Master's Theses

Date of Award

Summer 1967

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

Advisor

Dr. Samuel J. Sackett

Abstract

Because of the increasing importance of science in the modern world, this thesis examines the validity of Sir Charles Snow's theory of the "two cultures." This examination is done in the light of the picture revealed by the novels Sir Charles has written and compared with those of Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov. These men were chosen for comparison because of their membership in the "two cultures" and because of their fiction which was written about the same time as that of Sir Charles. Sir Charles’ theory of the "two cultures" is built upon eight points. First, the modern world is divided into “two cultures”, which cannot communicate with one another. Of these two groups, the scientists have "the future in their bones," are morally superior to the "traditionalists," and are better suited to govern than the "traditionalists." In addition, the division into the two groups is based upon differing concerns for the condition of mankind with the scientists interested in the social condition while the "traditionalists" are interested in the individual condition. In order to alleviate this gap between the two groups, the western world must rethink its educational system. Neither Mr. Clarke nor Dr. Asimov agree substantially with Sir Charles to validate his theory on its more controversial points. They do seem to picture a division between the two groups under question and a lack of communication. But beyond saying that the scientists have "the future in their bones." They do not support the points of Sir Charles's theory.

Rights

Copyright 1967 Sherry J. Stoskopf

Comments

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