The War of the Worlds


The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells is all about alien invasion of Earth! But what are the main themes of the story? Wells predicted the horrors of World War One nearly twenty years before it started.

Have you seen the latest movie from 2005 with Tom Cruise? The original book was published in 1898 but the context of this latest version was 9/11 and the War on Terror

This was the trailer of the 1950s film version. The context was Cold War paranoia…

Then there was the famous Orson Welles radio broadcast that terrified America just before World War Two (because people thought it was real!)

Watch the key scenes from the film. How do they compare with the main events in the book?

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Here’s the trailer from the comedy Mars Attacks! How different is it to HG Wells’ story?

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After you have read the book, discuss the following questions in the comments below with your classmates:

  1. Humans are almost wiped out by the alien invasion. What was HG Wells trying to say about the over-confidence of humanity? Do you agree with him?
  2. The Martians are finally killed by germs (bacteria) and not by humankind’s technology and weapons. Can you see a similar threat to the human race today?
  3. How successful was HG Wells at predicting the future of warfare in the 20th century?
  4. How similar was the book to the film? Which one did you prefer and why?

Here are ten books that predicted the future…

What are the best alien invasion movies?

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