"Tools and the man" : Samuel Smiles, lives of the engineers, and the machine in Victorian literature.
Access RightsWorldwide access
Access changed 11-14-11.
MetadataShow full item record
While Victorian responses to the machine varied greatly, a distinct literary strain emerged with Carlyle and ran through Ruskin and Dickens which understood the machine as a threat to human agency. In their fear, they focused on machinery itself as sublime or horrible. Samuel Smiles's series of engineering biographies, entitled Lives of the Engineers, argues against this position by highlighting the engineer, the human element, who creates and controls the machine. Interacting with concepts from Carlyle, Smiles's biographies show engineers as Captains of Industry, dynamic men who shape themselves and lead others. By combining a narrative of these self-made men with a narrative of technological history, Smiles shows that machines are products of human agency rather than threats to it. This presentation facilitates the inclusion of engineers in subsequent works by Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Kingsley, George Eliot, and Rudyard Kipling.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Gibson, Jordan Leigh. (2008-11-10)Many critics, like Oona Frawley, believe the land of Ireland has the unique power to connect the collective Irish conscience to the past and is often a rallying cry to garner support for the freedom of Ireland. MacLaverty ...
Who is like God? : divine versus demonic authority in the works of Dostoevsky and Flannery O'Connor. Hooten, Jessica Lynice. (2009-08-24)This dissertation explores issues of authority in the works of Fyodor Dostoevsky and Flannery O'Connor, using René Girard's theory of mimesis. O'Connor and Dostoevsky recognize the rejection of divine authority as the ...
Iris Murdoch's genealogy of the modern self : retrieving consciousness beyond the linguistic turn. Jordan, Jessy E.G. (2008-10-15)In this dissertation I argue that Murdoch’s philosophical-ethical project is best understood as an anti-Enlightenment genealogical narrative. I maintain that her work consistently displays four fundamental features that ...