Presentation on theme: "Mill and Newman ENGL 203 Dr. Fike. Review Major characteristics of Victorian period: –Expansion –Industrialization (steam power) led to misery for many."— Presentation transcript:
Review Major characteristics of Victorian period: –Expansion –Industrialization (steam power) led to misery for many –Communication (telegraph) –Advances in science (Darwin) –Religious controversy (doubt)
More Review Dramatic monologue (T, B, A) GRL vs. failed GRL (A vs. B) Role of the poet in society (T) Compensation for lack of faith (A) A = Arnold B = Browning T = Tennyson
Mills Dates 1806: Birth 1826: Nervous breakdown at age 20 1859: On Liberty 1873: Autobiography 1873: Death
Background on Mill The young JSM was fully educated by the age of 14 in language and philosophy. Therefore, his life was characterized by lack of emotion and of liberty. On the other hand, the mature JSM, who wrote On Liberty, argues for the antithesis of his early experiences. Next slide.
Page 872-73/86-87 872: Human nature is not…. 873: A person whose desires and impulses…. What is Mills point?
Possible Answer Man is not a machine (steam engine: mechanical [876/90]) but an organism (trees [874/88]: emotion, body life), and freedom of thought is a great value vs. following custom or parental prescription.
Analogy to Blakes Eden and Beulah Eden = creativity Beulah = the realm of sexual joy, pleasure, repose. You can reach Eden through Beulah. Remember Bs emphasis on touch?
Mills Life Father:wife::reason:emotion/sexual life (Beulah) Therefore, his wife was a kind of savior for himshe nourished a part of him that had been neglected during his youth. See top of page 874/88: Thus the mind.... Sexual union opens up creativity (cf. Yeats).
Opposition in the Autobiography Attainment of goals through the application of reason. vs. Personal happinessemotional fulfillment. See the key question on 885-86/99-100: In this frame of mind….
What Mill Realizes POINT: Reason abrades (wears away, acts as an abrasive to) the emotions unless it exists in harmony with qualities that balance it. Page 887/101: the habit of analysis [reason] has a tendency to wear away the feelings.... Also, Analytic habits... tend altogether to weaken those which are... a matter of feeling. Page 888/102: All those to whom…. Last paragraph on 888/102: I went on with them mechanically… (my emphasis). POINT: As academic persons, we must be careful not to let our humanity get lost in a shuffle of papers. Mill, the consummate young student, later warns us not to overdo study (reason) to the exclusion of all else (emotion, sexuality).
How Does Mill Change? Page 889/103: When, however, not more than half…. What do you make of this passage?
Possible Answers He reads about the death of a father in Marmontels Memoirs, which provides a model that Mill needs in order to feel constructive emotion. Plus, the death of the father is symbolic: it corresponds to the death of paternal control. (Someone says that you are never fully an adult until both of your parents are deadsaid in reference to JFK, Jr.) The boy in the Memoirs becomes the father-figure in the family. POINT: Deep emotion + the archetypal killing and taking the place of the father. RESULT: Mill is no longer his fathers lean, mean, studying machine.
Further Results of This Change Lets discuss this question: How can you achieve happiness? The answer is on 889/103, last par.
Possible Answer You achieve happiness not as your object but as the by-product of some other endeavor such as helping others (the best way to be happy) or engaging in an activity that means something to you (cf. New York Stories: if you have fun, others will want to join you).
The Importance of Balance Mill begins to understand the importance of nourishing parts of himself other than the mind (e.g., the nonrational part). See 890/104. Mills awakening corresponds to his growing interest in poetry and music, which, like Marmontels Memoirs, convey strong feeling. See in particular WW on page 891/105: my reading wordsworth... [was] an important evnt in my life. And page 892/106: What made WWs poems a medicine.... See the effect of The World Is Too Much with Us, page 174: next slide. How does this poem provide an analogy for the transformation that Mill achieved?
The World Is Too Much with Us The world is too much with us; late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers: Little we see in Nature that is ours; We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon! The Sea that bares her bosom to the moon; The winds that will be howling at all hours, And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers; For this, for everything, we are out of tune; It moves us not.--Great God! I'd rather be A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn; So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn; Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea; Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.
WWs Poetic Theory Page 892/106: –the love of rural objects and natural scenery –pleasure –feeling –joy In other words, Mill responded in exactly the way WW says in the Preface that a reader should.
POINT Emotional balance and liberty are linked. In On Liberty he argues that a well-balanced person should enjoy liberty. In other words, that work deals with the kind of person Mill becomes as a result of the crisis in his mental history. AND WW, the quintessential Romantic poet, thus takes the edge off Mills quintessential Victorian rationalism.
Digression on the Liberal Arts Poetry and music are things with no extrinsic value, but Mill endorses them, presumably as part of a liberal arts curriculum. Mill favors the liberal arts! They create a well-balanced quality of mind, which is what Newman argues for in The Idea of a University. See page 913/127, top par.
Two Types of Utility Extrinsic utility:__________ _________. See 913/127, section 2. Intrinsic utility, page 913-14/127-28, section 5:
Possible Answer Extrinsic utility: immediate usefulness Intrinsic utility: something cannot be put to immediate use, but it is an end in itself because it enables goodness, which is prolific. POINT: Newman is against the Utilitarian objection to liberal education (i.e., the objection that it is worthless because it is not professional training). He favors instead an education that fosters a quality of mind over direct practical applicability. Such education, he says, has true utility.
Closed-Book (Unofficial) Pop Quiz Answer True of False to following statements (3 minutes): 1.The free expression of opinion must always be allowed. 2.Those who do anything because it is the custom make no choice at all. 3.Whatever is not a duty is a sin. 4.Man needs no capacity but that of surrendering himself to the will of God. 5.Whatever crushes individuality is despotism 6.Only the cultivation of individuality can produce well-developed human beings. 7.Collective mediocrity rules America. 8.Calvinism patronizes (i.e., serves as a sponsor for) pinched, hidebound people. 9.Calvinist self-denial is better than pagan self-assertion. 10.Eccentricity is admirable and essential. 11.Women will never be the equals of men. 12.There are definite moral and rational differences between men and women. 13.You are more like a Dutch canal than a Niagara Falls.
Group Activity Get with a partner or a small group and check your answers against the text (next slide). You have 10 minutes.
Mills On Liberty: Group Activity 1.The free expression of opinion must always be allowed (870/84). 2.Those who do anything because it is the custom make no choice at all (872/86). 3.Whatever is not a duty is a sin (874/88). 4.Man needs no capacity but that of surrendering himself to the will of God (874/88). 5.Whatever crushes individuality is despotism (875/89). 6.Only the cultivation of individuality can produce well-developed human beings (875/89). 7.Collective mediocrity rules America (877/91). 8.Calvinism patronizes (i.e., serves as a sponsor for) pinched, hidebound people (874/88). 9.Calvinist self-denial is better than pagan self-assertion (874/88). 10.Eccentricity is admirable and essential (878/92). 11.Women will never be the equals of men (On the Subjection of Women). 12.There are definite moral and rational differences between men and women (883/97). 13.You are more like a Dutch canal than a Niagara Falls (876/90).
Summary of Mills Points in On Liberty An individual person is not accountable to society for his actions insofar as they concern no one but himself. But when they have an impact on others, he becomes accountable. That is, there is a difference between freedom to do something positive and the right to be free from something negative.
From the HMXP Book Pope John Paul II: …freedom freedomconsists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought (150).
Question/Brainstorming What things does Mill favor/value? What does he condemn? Take 2 minutes and make a list.
What Mill Favors/Condemns Mill favors the following: Individuality (873/87) Choice Spontaneity (873/87) Opinion Character Differences between people Cultivation of all human faculties Genius/originality in thought or opinion Eccentricity Energy Improvement Mill condemns the following: Custom Despotism Mediocrity POINT: Liberty enables the things that Mill favors and helps us keep the things in this column at bay.
Governmental Interference It is okay as long as it does not infringe upon liberty. When an individual person can do a thing better, the government should stay out of it. Even if individuals cannot do something better than government, they should do it for their own good/self-improvement. Do not give the government more power than we need to give itavoid bureaucracy. Government should encourage individual development and initiative.
Conclusion MillHistory Past Repressionspontaneity and individuality (Romanticism) PresentFreedomthe deficiency of personal impulses and preferences (Victorian period) (This is why people must struggle as Mill did.) Both quotations are from page 873/87.
Re. assimilation (881/95): Mill 882/96, top Industrialization (steam power) Communication (telegraph) Advances in science (Darwin); universal education The increase of commerce and manufactures promotes it Improvement in the means of communication promotes it Every extension of education promotes it POINT: This work really clearly reflects the Victorian age: think periodicity.
Periodicity 18 th Century/Neoclassical period: Reason Romantic period: imagination Victorian period: reaction to imagination and feeling = greater emphasis on reason literature about the resulting problems: –Arnolds Dover Beach (loss of faith) –Mills Autobiography (loss of feeling) END