Man and Superman Themes

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Sex

Man and Superman expounds Shaw's pointed view of humanity's sexual nature. In this play, Ann Whitefield woos her newly appointed guardian, John Tanner, and he, in spite of his anti-romantic persona, falls for her. He does not love her in the conventional sense, but falls prey to the "Life Force" that she exudes. It is more a matter of sexual attraction than it is of romanic love. Shaw's idea of this Life Force derives from French philosopher Henri Bergson's Olan vital, or spirit of life.

Bergson's concept proposed that intellect was an advanced form of instinct, and that intellect and instinct together constituted the source of vitality shared between all creatures and God. Social niceties, such as the conventions of marriage and courting, merely mask the underlying drive toward life and procreation. The Life Force is the creative urge toward self-preservation and regeneration, the drive to evolve, adapt...

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This section contains 1,180 words
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Buy the Man and Superman Study Guide
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Drama for Students
Man and Superman from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.