What makes the Lost World so interesting to read? Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 12 October 2017

What makes the Lost World so interesting to read?

The Lost World is one of the greatly known books by sir Arthur Conan Doyle. There are many things that made this book then and now so interesting to read, then it was simply the plot and the story of the great English explorers conquering and fighting for their country. Now we see it interesting for other reasons. At the time he wrote this book a lot of things were incredibly different from what they are now.

The Edwardian time was the time when England had its great empire and the British were very keen and eager to find new land, civilize countries and find resources such as gold and jewels. The stereotype Edwardian gentleman is found in The Lost World, his name, Lord John Roxton. Known for his bravery and hunting skills, he agrees to go on a expedition to a mysterious plateau along with other characters Ned, Challenger and Sumerlee.

He was the typical upper-class man in his 30s and he regarded anyone who wasn’t English or European as an inferior race of savages. This brings me to the behaviour the British had in the Edwardian times towards race. Doyle describes his treasured English explorers carefully and with great detail “a fluffy, feathery untidy cockatoo of a man”. This is perfectly fine for our times until you meet new characters in the book such as Zambo and Gomez.

Zambo’s description is rather short compared to Doyle’s English characters, but has Ned describe him as a “gigantic negro” and comments like “as willing as a horse and about as intelligent”. These kinds of comments now would be frowned upon and most likely be thought of as racist. He also describes other characters as “half breeds”, this now is only used in the case of animals. This comment shows us that Conan Doyle thinks of these mix race characters in his book as animals and the word half might also suggest that he thinks of them as half a person not a whole one.

The difference is immense in the wording Doyle uses, for Challenger he describes him with comments like “he stood in the golden glow” this is trying to make us imagine that he’s some kind of god standing in the light to his fellow explorers. Also Doyle says how his beard is an “Assyrian luxuriance” the kings of ancient Assyria had carefully combed, full black beards. So Doyle describes him first as some kind of god and then as a king, this clearly shows how he thought of the English compared to the “savages”.

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  • University/College: University of Arkansas System

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  • Date: 12 October 2017

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