November 25, 2015

Weeckies: The Door in the Wall by H.G. Wells

Hello, everybody! This week's short story is The Door in the Wall by H.G. Wells. It was first published in 1911 in the collection The Door in the Wall, and Other Stories. But the edition I read is none other than Penguin's Little Black Classics #77, A Slip Under the Microscope

I've enjoyed immensely the H.G. Wells' novels that I've read, The War of the Worlds and The Invisible Man. Also, The Door in the Wall wasn't my first attempt to read Wells' short stories, since I've read Empire of the Ants, and Other Stories. So, I had an idea what to expect although this story isn't as hard science fiction as are some of the author's other stories.                                                                                                                                                           Lionel, a promising politician, confides in his friend a secret that he carries almost all of his life. When he was just a little boy, he wandered alone and found a white wall and a green door. His urge to enter this door was so great that in the end he ended up opening it. It turned out that the door led to a different world with a different quality, a warmer, more penetrating and mellower light. After this experience, he tried to find this door again but he couldn't. It only appeared to him at random moments and for one reason or another he didn't open it again. The knowledge of what he was missing was devastating to him.

Only one person is of interest in The Door in the Wall and that is Lionel. For this reason, we learn nothing about the narrator of the story. He is just the one that passes along the story, without judging or offering his own view. Indeed, the reader is the one to ultimately decide whether Lionel's story was real or fantasy. The reactions of the politician are intense, the agony and frustration that this door makes him feel seem real. But this is an extraordinary story, something that cannot be explained with science and the mind can't quite grasp.

   We see our world fair and common, the hoarding and the pit. By our daylight standard he walked out of security into darkness, danger, and death.    But did he see like that? 

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