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Shaw's SettingsGardens and Libraries$
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Tony Jason Stafford

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780813044989

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813044989.001.0001

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Man and Superman

Man and Superman

Books on a Garden Table

(p.55) 5 Man and Superman
Shaw's Settings

Tony Jason Stafford

R. F. Dietrich

University Press of Florida

Shaw’s Man and Superman begins in a library in London and ends in a garden in Granada. This contrast in settings suggests the movement of the play, both physically (going from England to Spain) and thematically. The opening of the play focuses on Roebuck Ramsden, whose library it is; the close of the play focuses on John Tanner whose symbolic habitat the garden is, representing nature. Ramsden and Tanner contrast with each other, the library and garden settings underscoring deeper and specific differences in the contrast. In no other play has Shaw so studiously drawn upon the garden and the library to fulfill his purpose. Meanwhile, Shaw has used both the library and the garden to further refine his vision of the Superman and the Life Force, has endowed these settings with deeper significances beyond their mere presence, and expands his former usages of these two settings.

Keywords:   Nature, Reform, Progressive, Guardianship, Book, Motor-car, New Man, Archetypes, Social Status, Machine

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