ENGA10H3 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Meritocracy, In Private, Narcissism

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Published on 29 Oct 2016
Chapter 1- Beginning of Modernity: Darwin, Marx,
Nietzsche, Freud.
20th centaury was a time of Crisis
Age of anxiety and Age of science
Because Morals and Ethics are not quantifiable
A conscience is a liability - in this mad world of science and profit
Impressionism and expressionism make the point that what is "out there" in the world may be
REAL. But our reality is only a PARTICULAR version of what WE think is real. I.e my reality and
someone else's reality is not the same
In the 20th century, we need not more answers but better questions.
All the characters in the books have a choice: to face this emergent reality and cope with it or
find a way to burrow back deeper into the imaginary protective cocoon of ideology. Ie. Face
the harsh reality or go back to ideology
It is much easier not to face reality and go back to ideology
We tend to adopt a blind ritual. More like an addiction rather than a ritual. Addiction:
promotes continued self-delusion. Ritual: promotes insight.
False objectivity deludes people into false certainty.
Lord Henry is a proto-fascist with his self-gratifying fascination with how easy it is to
manipulate and influence the unsure Dorian Gray.
Charles Darwin helped cause the age of anxiety because of his publication: origin of species
that defied God.
Relationship between transcendence (experience beyond the physical level) and certitude
(absolute certainty): In order for there to be absolute certitude, there must be inviolable
(never broken) transcendence
Wanting to be 'sure' is the most dominant urges of our time ---> age of anxiety.
The entire consumer culture runs on the dynamic of addiction --> like zombies
o Suggested that the rich were rich because they exploited poor and profited off their
efforts and suffering.
o Related back to Heart of Darkness: How the Europeans exploited the Natives and it was
deemed honourable and permissible because the results were profitable.
o Coined 'super structure' and 'infrastructure"
o 'Superstructure' = apparent 'reality'
o Infrastructure = the actual power structure
o People who come into contact with DG end up destroying themselves. They do’t ko
the infrastructure (LH) behind the superstructure.
o Portrait of DG gives us insight on the super/ infra structure on a personal/ psycho-social
level where as Heart of Darkness address the political and economical level.
o Kurtz goes mad when he realises the superstructure of 'bringing light' to the natives is a
cruel lie. The only reason why Marlow survives is because he never 100% bought into
the superstructure lie in the first place.
o The infrastructure serves to perpetuate the superstructure. Ie. Not a level playing field.
o Superstructure obscures infrastructure form our view (like fog) via IDEOLOGY.
o The purpose of Ideology is to keep people productive and make the system SEEM fair
and natural without having to exert violent force. Ie ideology is not different from brain
In 20th Century : was a shift from aristocracy to meritocracy. Ie from getting what you inherit
to getting what you earn.
A myth is a narrative construct that tends to explain current events and likely outcomes with
reference to how something is originated.
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