The Lost World Quotes

"But above all he must be a man who could do, who could act, who would look death in the face and have no fear of him-a man of great deeds and strange experiences." (Gladys Hungerton, Chapter 1, p. 5)

Gladys is telling Ned Malone the attributes she wants in a husband. She is looking to be the woman of a famous man, who is known to the world for his noble deeds. This is the impetus for Ned to seek a mission which would place him in dangers path and thus impress the woman of his dreams.

It is because of Gladys, the adventure of Ned's life is started, by his request to his editor for a story with a mission. This is also why Ned volunteers for the expedition for the lost world to impress her with his willingness to face death in order to accomplish a great deed.

"So why should you not try your luck with Professor Challenger, of Enmore Park?" (McArdle, Chapter 2, p. 10)

Ned's editor cannot send him on a mission to experience danger and report on a faraway land, but he can send him to interview a man known to cause injury to reporters. Professor Challenger is a contrary man, whose hatred of the press is well known.

He is reported to have discovered living dinosaurs in South America. He, after being ridiculed by the press, is not willing to talk to reporters about his experiences. Ned's editor wants to expose the professor as a fraud, but he needs a reporter cunning and brave enough to interview the man. Ned rises to the occasion and through deception arranges a meeting with Challenger. He poses as a student of science, which the professor quickly discovers is a lie and he assaults Ned. Ned gains Challenger's acceptance, because he told the policeman the fight was his fault. This starts Ned on his way to the adventure he was seeking, because by the end of the day he is a member of the committee going to South America to validate Challenger's findings.

"There was a full-page picture of the most extraordinary creature that I had ever seen." (Ned Malone, Chapter 4, p. 34)

Ned has just been shown the sketchbook of Maple White, the man who discovered the plateau. Ned is at first skeptical of what the book contains, but upon seeing the picture of what is clearly not an animal known to live on the earth, he starts to believe the professor's story. The professor also shows Ned a bone, which is taken from no known animal, and some damaged photographs as proof of his conclusion. His conclusion is the plateau in South America is inhabited by living dinosaurs.

"Would Mr. Summerlee serve on such a committee and test his story in person?" (Professor Challenger, Chapter 5, p. 56)

Professor Summerlee is a professor of comparative anatomy and he has challenged Challenger's findings in front of the members of the Zoological Institute. In response to Summerlee's challenge, Professor Challenger decides to give the exact location of the plateau of the dinosaurs to a committee, chosen from the audience. This audience, which was assembled to listen to a lecture about the creation of the world, includes medical students, scientists, and other guests.

Challenger directly asks Summerlee to be a member of the committee, to which he quickly consents. Other members of the committee are Lord John Roxton, a sportsman and world traveler, and Ned Malone, who will report back on the groups findings to his newspaper.

"The bridge was gone!" (Ned Malone, Chapter 9, p. 118)

The men, which now include Professor Challenger, have just crossed a tree bridge from a precipice to the plateau and are overjoyed to be on the plateau at last. Their joy is short-lived, because Gomez, one of the native guides, has pushed the tree into the gap between the precipice and the plateau.

He has done this because at on an earlier journey, Lord John killed Gomez's brother and this is his revenge. The men are now stuck on the plateau, with no known means of escape. The men must now devise a way to live on the plateau for longer than they had initially anticipated.

This is also a turning point in the plot of the book, because if this had not happened then the subsequent events, the discovery of the pterodactyl rookery, the ape-men attack, and the meeting of the Accala, would not have happened.

"That mission was to test the truth of Professor Challenger's statements. Those statements, as I am bound to admit, we are now in a position to endorse. Our ostensible work is therefore done." (Professor Summerlee, Chapter 11, p. 149)

The men have explored some of the plateau, been attacked by pterodactyls, and listened as two dinosaurs fought and one died, now Professor Summerlee wants to go home. Professor Challenger wants to stay and explore the plateau in greater depth to gain as much knowledge and proof as is humanly possible.

Summerlee has admitted Challenger is correct in his statement that dinosaurs are living in South America. This is the mission the committee has been sent to fulfill, to discover whether or not Challenger is correct. Now that has been established, Professor Summerlee sees their next mission is to find a way down to the base of the plateau.

Despite Challenger's protests the others agree with Summerlee, but they will face other obstacles before this goal is accomplished.

"When shall we have such a chance again? Let us go forward, and either die now or live for the future in safety." (Maretas, Chapter 14, p. 201)

Maretas is the chief of the Accala's son and one of the tribesmen the members of the expedition returned home to their people. The expedition is received with great reverence by the Accala people.

Maretas, wants to annihilate the ape-men, called Doda, to gain vengeance against them for their slaughter of his fellow tribesmen. He also understands that if they do not attack now, while they have the aid of the expedition, then the war between the two people will never end. They do attack the Doda and they defeat them.

"And so, in humble and thankful mood, I close this account. Our eyes have seen great wonders and our souls are chastened by what we have endured. Each is in his own way a better and deeper man." (Ned Malone, Chapter 15, p. 227)

The men have returned to the base of the plateau and are ready to set out on the long journey home. They are happy to be back in the world they are accustomed to and they are also changed by what they saw and lived through on the plateau.

This experience changed how each of them views themselves and the world around them. They feel a great kinship for each other, they know they can rely on each other for anything as they travel through life.

Ned is done writing his reports on the expedition to his editor. He feels he is ready to return to London and to Gladys, the reason he started this adventure in the first place.

"As to the main incident, it was a bewildering surprise to the audience, but not, I need hardly say, to us." (Ned Malone, Chapter 16, p. 242)

The men had returned to London and gave their report on what they found on the plateau. Still after all their evidence, some still doubted them. They were accused of inflating their findings to bolster their careers. This was a challenge Professor Challenger could not let go uncontested, so he showed them the one thing he knew would silence his critics; he showed them a live baby pterodactyl.

The men of the expedition of course knew he had brought it back with them. They had to help transport it down the Amazon, onto a ship, and into the lecture hall. What none of them had expected was the escape of the dinosaur through an open window in the hall. The last the pterodactyl was seen, was at sea as it tried to fly home.



Related Links:

The Lost World Summary
The Lost World Quiz
The Lost World Chapters 15 - 16 Summary
The Lost World Chapters 1 - 3 Summary
The Lost World Chapters 4 - 5 Summary
The Lost World Important Characters
Literature
Literature Summaries


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