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Social Darwinism and Literature

by Joanna, Cedrick, and Jacky

Jacky Christie

on 5 October 2012

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Transcript of Social Darwinism and Literature

Social Darwinism and
Literature Social Darwinism Literature Originated out of Charles Darwin
-proposed natural selection & theory of evolution Darwin's "On the Origin of the Species"
-organisms who lacked "fitness" would die out, those who were fit would continue and evolve by Joanna, Jacky and Cedrick Herbert Spencer (philosopher)used to claim:
economy competition-->society evolution
laissez faire (free market)=good William G Sumner (polit. science) used to claim:
success & failure in business=governed by latural law, no one should interfere (including gov.) Believed wealth= God's favor,
poor=inferior & lazy -Christians rejected
-went against Bible's theory of creation Andrew Carnegie ("rags to riches" industrial leader) used:
"Gospel of Wealth" philosophy: wealthy americans should be responsible & use fortunes to help move/ develop social progress Period of Immigration and Urbanization:
Promoted "rags-to-riches" success possibility to any hardworking/ virtuous people Mark Twain &
Charles Warner Checking for understanding:
How did some alter Darwin's ideas to support their own beliefs? Checking For Understanding:
How was society expressed within different pieces of literature? Horatio Alger Jr. Henry James Edith Wharton Henry George Lester Frank Ward Edward Bellamy "Dynamic Sociology" "The Gilded Age" "Portrait of a Lady" by Joanna Su, Jacky Christie, Cedrick Becerra "Looking Backward 2000-1887" "Risen from the Ranks" "The Age of Innocence" Progress and Poverty "gilded"=valuable-looking on
outside,cheap on inside
-reflected the economy Overview Challenged American society & the ideas of Social Darwinism Social Darwinism portrayed to the public the complex lives of the upper class -Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species
-natural selection
-Herbert Spencer
-evolution of society
-laissez faire
-William G. Sumner
-success and failure
-Andrew Carnegie
-Gospel of Wealth discussed what a perfect society in 2000 would look like, and shaped reformer's thinking explained the lives of those in the wealthier class Challenged Social Darwinism:
argued humans were more evolved than animals
wanted government more involved in societal problems
cooperation not competition for human succession
basis for Reform Darwinism Literature -rags to riches
-literature during urbanization
-literature during the 20th century
-Horatio Alger Jr.
Risen from the Ranks
-Mark Twain and Charles Warner
The Guilded Age
-William Dean Howells
-Henry James
Portrait of a Lady -Edith Wharton
The Age of Innocence
-Henry George
Progress and Poverty
-Lester Frank Ward
Dynamic Sociology
-Edward Bellamy
Looking Backward 2000-1887 story of apprentice who rises poor--> wealthy living THE
END How did literature and Social Darwinism affect the period of industrial growth? 20th Century:
Newspapers grew in demand
sensational headlines were used
Fictional literature mainly included adventure tales of the West
Realistic portrayals revealed lives of less-polished upper-classmen Key Terms -Social Darwinism
-natural selection
-Gospel of Wealth
-laissez faire
-Reform Darwinism
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