The Island of Dr.moreau: Novel Summary
The novella is framed by an introduction in which the narrator’s nephew explains the circumstances of the publication of the events recounted in the narrative. The nephew, Charles Edward Prendick, explains that his uncle, Edward Prendick, was thought drowned when the ship he was traveling on, the Lady Vain, hit a derelict. Nearly a year later, however, his uncle was found in a small boat at a location near the Galapagos Islands. The story Prendick told was so odd that he was thought mad, so he claimed to have lost his memory of the nearly year-long period of his absence because of stress. Prendick left his nephew the story, without explicit instructions to publish them. The nephew notes that only one island is in the area where his uncle was picked up—Noble’s Isle, a volcanic dot. He can also confirm that a schooner like the one his uncle describes in the narrative did sail from Africa in January 1887 but was later lost at sea.
The literary device of the frame—an external story that contextualizes the inner narrative—allows Wells to present his narrative as if it were nonfiction. Readers note that the nephew takes pains to suggest that his uncle’s written recollections have some basis in fact and thus could be true.