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Planet of the Apes Summary

Essay by review  •  March 6, 2011  •  Essay  •  427 Words (2 Pages)  •  783 Views

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This book starts off in a time where space travel is as common as traveling by boat. A couple sailing in through outer space stumbles across a letter in a bottle from journalist Ulysse Merou, the main character of the book. He was chosen by a renowned scientist to accompany him to travel to a gigantic star known as Betelgeuse.

Once they arrive within the system of Betelgeuse, they land on a planet eerily similar to Earth, naming it Sorer. In the jungle, they see a beautiful but savage human woman that lacks human emotion and language skills. Ulysse names her Nova. The next day others of her kind strip them of their clothes and ravage their ship. Shortly after, they are hunted by walking, talking apes. Ulysse is caught and taken to a room with cages lined up, all with human captives. Nova ends up his cage mate.

Apes run tests on them, measuring their lack of intelligence and reason, and also their mating rituals. Ulysse tries to bring attention to the fact that he is different from the others. Although he is written off by mostly everyone, especially a high ranking orangutan named Zaius, his efforts prove successful when a female chimpanzee, Zira, befriends him. She and her fiancй, Cornelius, help him plan a speech to prove to apes that Ulysse is an intelligent human being. The plan works and Ulysse becomes famous and works as a scientist.

Another conflict in the book arises as the origins of the civilization of the apes is in question; remains of an ancient human civilization proves that humans were once civilized before apes began to develop and took over. Ulysse finds out that Nova, who is kept in secret, is pregnant with his child; he wants to raise the boy to prove to all apes that humans are capable of intelligence. The orangutans see it as a threat, so they want to hide the baby and eliminate Nova and possibly Ulysse. Zira and Cornelius convince Ulysse to escape Soror and go back to Earth with Nova and their son. They succeed, Ulysse knowing that the time on Earth would be centuries after he left because of space travel. When they land, they are horrified to see that apes had taken over civilization on Earth as they did on Soror. Ulysse's story ends, and the end of the book reveals that the couple in the beginning of the book are actually chimpanzees.

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