Monday, September 14, 2009

Physical Science

Hi Everyone,

So I was thinking about what we were discussing in class about the Leviathan and the Air Pump and how people believe in science even though a lot of it is based off of interpretation. While my idea doesn't apply to more theoretical and abstract scientific theories it does apply to a good number of accepted scientific theories. So I was thinking that perhaps the reason people will follow scientific ideas is that a vast majority of those ideas develop into tangible objects that work using those ideas.

Lots of scientific discoveries are simply experiments that work and then are turned into products that work. Once something that works is in your hands and you are using it, it is hard to say that the principles behind it are wrong. This was one of the ideas that I had for people so readily accepting scientific discoveries and advances. As for theoretical physics and chemistry usually it is "proven" by conducting not just one experiment many times but producing multiple experiments with similar results that leads to a theory being widely accepted. The theories about things that cannot be seen are much more difficult to accept but perhaps someday people will figure out why the world works as it does.

Also when we were writing questions in class today one of the ones I was curious about was "Why are two of the main characters in The Turn of the Screw, the governess and the person listening to the story, unnamed throughout the whole novel. I can't actually think of any good reasons for James to have left his characters seemingly underdeveloped. To me leaving the characters without names made the story seem unrealistic because when someone tells a story they rarely leave out a persons name, especially when the story is as long as the one that Douglas tells. If anyone has theories as to why they both are unnamed I would love to hear them.


  1. I agree with you that once something that works is in your hands there's no denyiing that the principles behind it are wrong.
    I think that James left the narrator's and the governess's name out of the story for suspense. It makes the audience think "who is this woman"? I think that James kept her seemingly underdeveloped also for the ambiguity. It makes it harder to understand what is really going on with her, which I think is what James wanted to do.

  2. I'd guess that the narrator in the narrative frame is unnamed because he or she isn't even really that important in the narrative frame, let alone the context of the whole work. The governess's lack of a name is quite unusual; the children never call her by name (which may not be unusual for the time period), but none of Mrs. Grose, her employer, or Douglas ever give her name, which is most unusual, especially considering the first and third's relation to her.


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