On February 1, 1887, the ship “Lady Vane” crashed. One of his passengers, Charles Edward Prendic, who was all believed dead, was picked up in the sea on the boat after eleven months and four days. He claimed that he had spent all this time on the island, where incredible things were happening. His stories were attributed to the nervous and physical overwork that he had to endure.
After the death of Edward Prendik his nephew found detailed records of his uncle’s adventures.
After the death of his comrades in misfortune, Prendik awoke in the small and dirty cabin of the merchant ship Ipecacuan. His savior, Montgomery, explains that Prendika was half-dead on the boat. Montgomery was able to help him, because he studied at the University of the natural sciences and had the necessary medical knowledge. He greedily asked Prendik about London, the university, the familiar teachers…
Montgomery carries an unusual load – puma, llama, rabbits, a dog. Prendik stands up for the servant Montgomery, over whom the team of sailors mocks, and deserves the dislike of the captain’s drunkard. Prendic drew attention to the strange appearance of Montgomery’s servant – glowing in the darkness of his eyes, a wary look. He evoked in the people around him a feeling of disgust, bordering on fear. It, apparently, was the reason for his persecution.
The journey of Montgomery is coming to an end – the island is approaching, on which he must land. And again Prendik is on the verge of life and death. The captain does not want to leave the unexpected passenger, and Montgomery take it with him to the island. Charles Prendic is pushed out onto a half-sunken boat… But Montgomery took pity at the last moment and picked up the boat to the barge that met him.
Prendika from the first steps on the island is striking. And first of all – the kind of its inhabitants. “there was something elusive in them that I could not comprehend, and this evoked in me a strange disgust I was particularly surprised by their gait, they were somehow twisted, as if they consisted of somehow stitched pieces.”
Montgomery introduces Charles to his older colleague and speaks out, calling his name – Moreau. Charles Prendic remembers a long-standing scandal involving the name of the outstanding physio-physiologist Moro. One of the journalists managed to get into the laboratory under the guise of a laboratory assistant, where Moro performed mysterious experiments. Under the threat of exposure, Moreau fled from England. The mystery surrounding the work of Montgomery’s senior colleague confirms Prendik’s conjecture that this is the same Moro.
But what kind of experiments does he conduct? In the room in which Prendika was placed, the heart-rending moans and cries of the animal Moro operates. Prendik realizes that this is a puma. When the screams become unbearable, Charles runs out, wanders aimlessly and enters the forest. Here he meets with a strange creature, unlike a human being. He begins to guess the essence of the experiments of Dr. Moreau. Montgomery and Moreau find it and return it to the house. But the fear that he himself will prove himself guilty, makes Prendika flee again. In the forest, he stumbles upon a whole settlement of animal-people. Ugly bull-people, bears-foxes, man-dogs, satiro-monkey-man. These monstrous creatures are able to speak.
Moreau, in order to keep obedience to his charges, created for them and God himself.
Dr. Moreau and Montgomery again found Prendika. And Moreau reveals his secret to him – he gave the animals a human face. Man was chosen as a model because in his appearance there is that “which is more pleasing to the aesthetic sense than the forms of all other animals.”
To Prendik’s question – how he can expose living beings to such suffering – Moreau objects that “it is so insignificant.” “Pain – it’s just our adviser she cautions and prompts us to be cautious.”
Moreau is not satisfied with his experiments-animal instincts return to his creations.
The main difficulty is the brain. All instincts, harmful to humanity, suddenly break through and overwhelm his creation with anger, hatred or fear. But this does not discourage him – a man was formed for millennia, and his experiments are only twenty years old. “Whenever I immerse a living creature in the font of burning pain, I... say to myself: this time I will burn out all the bestial things from it…” He links his hopes with the operation over the puma.
Among other animals, Montgomery brought rabbits to the island and released them to freedom – “multiply and multiply.” Once in the woods, he and Prendik find a torn carcass. So, someone broke the law and tried the taste of blood. Moreau, to whom they talk about this, understands what a terrible danger looms over them. He decides to urgently collect animal-people to punish the one who broke the law. Arriving at the site of the settlement of his creatures, he blew a horn. Sixty-three individuals quickly gathered. Only a leopard man was missing. When he appeared at last, hiding behind the backs of the beasts, Moreau asked his charges: “What awaits the one who broke the law?” And the chorus of voices answered: he “returns to the House of Suffering”.
Then the leopard-man rushed to Moreau. Servant Montgomery – Mling – hurried to the rescue, Aeopard-man disappeared in more often, the chase began. Prendik overtakes him first to save the House of Suffering. And the hyena pig that followed them dug its teeth into the neck of a dead leopard-man.
Charles Prendika deeply shakes everything he saw, especially the fact that “wild, aimless research carried Moro.” “I was overwhelmed by the strange confidence that, despite all the absurdity and formality of forms, I saw before me human life with its intertwining of instincts, reason and accidents…”
The atmosphere on the island is thickening. During one of the operations over the cougar, she broke free, wringing out the hook from the wall, to which she was tied. Moro went to her search. In the battle they both died.
Living on the island becomes even more dangerous. The animals feared Moro, his whip, the Law he invented, and most of all the House of Suffering. Now, despite all the efforts of Prendika and Montgomery, the man-animals gradually return to their instincts. Montgomery, who went to the island with Moro because of his addiction to alcohol, drunk and perishes. He gets drunk himself, water his faithful servant and other animal-people who came to his call. The results were tragic. Prendik ran to the noise, a ball of animal-people fell apart from the sound of a shot, someone ran away in the dark. Prendik’s eyes opened a terrible picture: a wolf-man bored the throat of Montgomery and died himself.
While Prendic was trying to save Montgomery, the House of Suffering caught fire from the fallen kerosene lamp. With horror he sees that Montgomery has burned all the boats at the stake.
Charles Prendik remained alone on the island with the creations of Dr. Moreau. And with them this is what happens: “their naked bodies began to become covered with wool, their foreheads to grow, and the face to stretch forward.” But they did not descend at all to the level of the animals, because they were a cross, they showed, as it were, the common verities, and sometimes glimpses human features. ” Neighborhood with them became more and more dangerous, especially after the hyena-pig tore the animal-dog, which protected the dream of Prendika.
Prendik is looking for ways of salvation. The construction of the raft ends in failure. But once he was lucky – to the shore, a boat was killed, in which there were dead sailors from the Ipecakuan. Prendik returned to the normal world. But to recover from the island of Dr. Moreau Prendic long could not.
“I could not convince myself that the men and women I met were not animals in human form, who are still similar in appearance to people, but will soon start to change again and show their animal instincts…”, “… it seems to me that under the outer shell the beast hides, and before me the horror that I saw on the island, only on a larger scale, will soon be played out. “
Charles Prendic can no longer live in London. He moves away from the noise of a big city and a crowd of people, and calm gradually comes to him. He believes “that all that is in us is to find solace and hope in the eternal, all-encompassing laws of the universe, and not in ordinary, everyday concerns, sorrows, passions.”