Dr. Moreau and Oshii Mamoru
“The human is no match for a doll, in its form, its elegance in motion, its very being. The inadequacies of human awareness become the inadequacies of life’s reality. Perfection is possible only for those without consciousness, or perhaps endowed with infinite consciousness. In other words, for dolls and for gods…Actually there’s one more mode of existence commensurate with dolls and deities.”
“Shelley’s skylarks are suffused with a profound, instinctive joy. Joy we humans, driven by self-consciousness, can never know. For those of us who lust after knowledge, it is a condition more elusive than godhood.”
– Ghost in the Shell: Innocence
It is inevitable, perhaps even necessary, that animals must suffer for the advancement of humanity, particularly concerning the disciplines of science and medicine. Unfortunate or not, this can be taken as truth. However, forcing human awareness upon an animal crosses a boundary that makes it something else altogether. It is a gross violation of an animal’s innocence, just as is stealing a child’s consciousness and shoving it into a doll, the premise of Oshii Mamoru’s Ghost in the Shell: Innocence. Prendick mentions the confusion of the “Beast People”, neither animal nor human, regarding how they should behave, how they should live. They have lost the “instinctive joy” of animals; they have been given “self-consciousness” without a sense of self. What Moreau does to the animals in H.G. Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau is no more than a form of rape.
One of the things that irritates me about the novel is Prendick’s lack of objection after Moreau explains what he has been doing on the island for the last ten years. Sure, Prendick gives a couple paltry murmurs about the needlessness of it all, but he never seems to have the gall to state outright that Moreau’s actions are wrong. There’s the possibility that Prendick doesn’t even believe that what Moreau has done is wrong. Even if this statement is false, Prendick’s objections would more than likely be very different from my own. What I also find striking is Moreau’s arrogance. He performs his experiments not with some applicable goal for science in mind, but with the heedless brashness of a child who is told not to touch and does so anyway. He does so simply because he can. I wanted to give him a good kick in the face.
“‘We weep for the bird’s cry, but not for the blood of a fish. Blessed are those who have voice.’ If the dolls could speak, no doubt they’d scream, ‘I didn’t want to become human.'”
– Wenting Chen