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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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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 01 July 2022

Heartbreak House

Heartbreak House

“A Long Garden Seat on the West”

(p.102) 8 Heartbreak House
Shaw's Settings

Tony Jason Stafford

R. F. Dietrich

University Press of Florida

Nature, invention, human vileness, and Creative Evolution all conjoin in Hector’s speech in Act III: “Heaven’s threatening growl of disgust at us useless futile creatures. [Fiercely] I tell you, one of two things must happen. Either out of that darkness some new creation will come to supplant us as we have supplanted the animals, or the heavens will fall in thunder and destroy us.” It is uttered in the garden, toward which the whole play has been moving, with the backdrop of nature (“heavens”), the theme of invention (“some new creation”), the revelation of the vileness of human invention when cut off from nature (“us useless futile creatures”), and the suggestion of Creative Evolution (“will supplant us as we have supplanted the animals”). In brief, the passage summarizes one of the play’s themes: the baseness of human invention when alienated from, and contrasted with, nature’s creativeness, as symbolized by the garden and nature.

Keywords:   Nature, Invention, Human vileness, Creative Evolution, Windows, Symbolism, Landscape, Poses, Reification, Merchandizing

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