Tag Archives: politics

Joseph Conrad – Nostromo (1904)

Nostromo

If Lord Jim and Heart of Darkness dramatize the difficulty of narrating a life, confronting that difficulty by dramatizing the various subjective, generic, historical conditions that frame our experience of the world, then Nostromo ups the ante, expanding the palate of narrators (13 main characters) and opening the stage to the history of a continent and the circuits of global trade. Nostromo is “constructed” in ways similar to Jim, but this novel is not so much interested in characterization, as it is interested in how the past becomes present, and the present becomes future, and how all the various characters deal with these historical becomings.

Conrad employs a basic rectangle of characters:

Nostromo   –   Decoud (loves Antonia)

Mr. Gould   –   Monygham (loves Mrs. Gould)

On the top, two men that are killed by the silver. On the bottom, two men who are able to resist that death. On the left, two idealists. On the right, two pragmatists. Acting outside of these rectangle, are the two women, Antonia and Mrs. Gould.

Nostromo the character is a composite of what other characters believe him to be. We see him consistently fail to live up to the idea of the hero–he is literally a “man of the people” to the degree that he becomes subject to the same temptations of the silver.

When the old Garibaldi soldier kills Nostromo (not knowing that he does it), Conrad is showing who the older foams of heroic revolution are not tenable under the new regime of global capitalism.

Discuss the difference between catching a moment out of the stream of time and Mrs. Gould’s beliefe that we need to see the past, present and future within every moment….this is a different way of seeing the relationship between particular events and history in general.

Sir Walter Scott – Waverly (1814)

Important as, in many ways, the frist historical novel. It tells the story of Edward Waverly, a rich, quixotic Englishman who finds himself involved in the failed Scottish uprising of 1745. The subtitle, “tis sixty years since” pins down the specific time and place of the story, which toggles between ROMANCE AND HISTORY. Late in the novel, after the Scottish forces attempting to restore Charles Edward to the throne are virtually vanquished, Waverly reflects, “with a sigh, that the romance of his life was ended, and that its real history had now commenced” (414 Penguin). The play between romance and history is crucial, and Scott is self-conscious about the creation of a literary artifact that positions itself as a Romantic intervention into a history that has already been told, officially. Despite the radical possibilities of imagining history otherwise, the romance of Scottish Highlanders is represented in the text as a representation, a painting that Waverly treat as a health sublimation of passion that he can dis-identify with even while drawing from it as a resource for his life as rich, vaguely conservative Englishman.

This isn’t to say that Scott is entirely conservative, or an English nationalist. Throughout, he portrays a gallantry and chivalry that transcends the disputes separating the Hanoverian and Stuart interests. Waverly can recognize in Colonel Talbot a physiognomy of nobel bearing even though he is his enemy.

Towards the end of the novel, Scott will rather clumsily insert his theory of narrative development, arguing for the novel’s great powers of characterological description. Scott will typically pair up characters similar enough to evoke their differences. Thus two small town officials–the politician Melville and the clergyman Morton–are both shown to be sympathetic, well-meaning interpreters of the law, but one is pessimistic while the other is more optimistic with regard to intention and human nature.

Charles Waverly can be connected to the long line of quixotic protagonists, from Quixote himself, to Crusoe, Catherine Morland, all the way up to Lord Jim. The chapter called “castle-building” is a good place to start conversations about architecture in relationship to imagination and history.

Further, one could say that the whole novel si a way of making it possible for Waverly not to be held accountable for his experiences. The sheer amount of luck, money and political maneuvering that allows him to be both Scottish and English, rebel and conservative, beings to point to the moneyed foundations of aesthetic experience tout court (connecting all the way with Forster’s “islands of money” on which the Schlegel sisters sit).

Read Scott in contrast to Austen. The former came to be considered a somewhat sloppy entertainer, while the latter was exalted as paragon of formal control. The former is more content, fact-based, while the latter was psychological, critical. in the former, there is a proliferation of languages and styles, while in the latter there is just Austen’s steady and refined free indirect discourse. But both can be seen as critics of Romanticism in certain ways: Scott levies a pretty serious critique of individualism along with social and political uprising. This pairs with Austen’s critique of sensibility in the character of Marianne Dashwood, etc.

Friedrich Schiller – On the Aesthetic Education of Man (1794)

Inspired by Schiller’s disenchantment with the violent fallout of the French Revolution, these Letters seeks to articulate how aesthetic education is only way in which true political freedom can be achieved–whereby a human can be both fully man and fully citizen.

Letter by letter summary of argument:

  1. Sets forth a summary. It will be about Art and Beauty. Excuses himself for using intellect even while he will be critiquing it.
  2. Art is distinguished from utility and science.
  3. The realm of nature, within which man lives, does not contain all of man: the work of reason allows man to transcends the bounds of nature by elevating physical necessity into moral necessity, from the state of nature to the moral state–without, however, jeopardizing the realm of nature that nourishes man.
  4. The state of nature works by compulsion, while the moral state works through freedom and rational choice.
  5. The present state is characterized by lower classes governed “animal satisfactions,” while the higher classes exhibit and even more disgusting “lethargy” in the form of unfettered egotism.
  6. Using the ideal of Greece, shows how the present world is characterizes by unrestricted competition. Wholeness has been fragmented, and the world is held together by antagonisms.
  7. Nature offers a way forward: it “points in her physical creation the way we have to take in the moral” (45), because the lower elemental forces needs to be assuaged before the nobeler things can be attended to.
  8. Introduces the languages of “drives” and “force.” Truth must itself become a force if it to compete with these other external forces. But people are too borne down by struggle for existence to develop a capacity for feeling that is the way toward Truth [yes, some jumps are made in this letter]
  9. Art is therefore necessary to develop this feeling. “Even before Truth’s triumphant light can penetrate the recesses of the human heart, the poet’s imagination will intercept its rays, and the peaks of humanity will be radiant while the dews of night still linger in the valley” (57).
  10. People object that beauty’s relationship to pure form, rather than content, could lead soem to reject reality all together. But Schiller says that perhaps Experience as such is not the best place to go looking for positions of judgment.
  11. Taking a step back, he defines the human as the combination of a PERSON and a CONDITION, that former stays the same despite the changes in the latter. Neither can remain in isolation or the man ceases to be man. It is through the SENSES that the “way to the divine is opened up.” Living in time (our condition) is purely sensual. The formal properties of personhood therefore “annul time” via the formal drive. Thus reality and formality are set in opposition.
  12. The sensual drive puts man “beside himself” by making him entirely subject to the vagaries of time. The formal drive annuls time, rendering man no longer a mere quantity, but qualitatively different. [The connection metonymy and metaphor should not be missed]
  13. However, Schiller wants to pose a more fundamental drive, which he works up to by means of the cultivation of the opposing drives: “procuring for the receptive faculty the most manifold contacts with the world…in securing for the determining faculty the highest degree of independence” (87).
  14. Introduces the play-drive, which is pulled rather obviously from the notion of judgment in Kant’s 3rd Critique…it brings together under a single drive the two other drives.
  15. The object of the sense-drive is life and the object of the form-drive is form. The object of the play-drive is living-form, or beauty as such. [One wonders why the sense-drive is not called the life-drive…one more way of dislocating the processes of self-preservation outside of the human apparatus. We can form forms, but we do not live life. We sense it.] Further, the sense-drive gets converted into the material drive, thus further  away from the dynamic processes of life. Also, interesting fn on Burke that say that he consigns “beauty to mere life,” something very similar to Hume and the empiricists]. The dialectic between form and matter, then, is such that beauty renders the burden of necessity “lightweight.” And this playful relationship to necessity is in itself necessary [relate this to Arnold’s The Study of Poetry and Wilde’s Artist as Critic]
  16. Now stuff starts to get weird. There are two types of beauty: melting beauty and energizing beauty, The former “releases” while the latter “tenses.” [Curious relationship to Bataille here].
  17. Interestingly enough, it is not so much that there are different types of beauty, but that beauty discloses its melting or energizing property according to the subject’s needs
  18. Now he steps back, and begins in Kantian fashion to discuss beauty’s relationship to Experience and Reason, between which there yawns a chasm of infinity.
  19. Aesthetic emerges as the middle disposition when sense and reason are both fully active and therefore self-cancelling. Sense-impression determines the human mind, passively. Before we can achieve active self-determination, we must negate the realm of sensation and make way for the realm of active determination. Unlike Hegel, then, Schiller does not attempt to derive the unity of sense and substance out of the nuts and bolts of primary experience; rather, he concedes sensation and self-consciousness itself to the realm of pre-cognitive “mystery.”
  20. The freedom that comes from the collision of these two drives–the formal and the sensual–is itself a product of nature. What one fills the absence of sensual determination with is the “real and active determination” of the aesthetic as such.
  21. The aesthetic differs from mere sensuous feeling in that it is not an empty infinity, but an infinity filled with content. It is not exhausted in its relationship to natural objects; rather, the “life of the aesthetic” restores the potentiality inherent to humanity. It gives the human the ability to be human once again, again and again. This is not separate from Nature: rather, Nature confers on humans the power of becoming-human. In this way, nature is consonant with the aesthetic.
  22. He then gets into the particulars of aesthetic theory–e.g. the perfect work of art is that which transcends its material without utterly destroying those materials. The basic idea is that content limits, while form de-limits, which by now doesn’t seem counter-intuitive at all. Interestingly, though, just when content seems to entirely extirpate content all together, Schiller uses a metabolic metaphor to describe their interaction: the “form consumes his material.” 
  23. He returns to the thread of the main argument by stating, clearly: the sensuous man is made into rational man only by way of the aesthetic.
  24. These three states–the physical (sensual), the aesthetic and the moral-rational, correlate with three phases of man’s relationship to Nature. He first suffers, then emancipates himself, and then attains mastery. 
  25. Further elucidates the “moment” of the beautiful, claiming that both the perceiving subject and the object of contemplation are reciprocally beautiful. He then claims that there should no longer be a question about the transition from beauty to truth, “since this latter is potentially continued in the former, but only a question of how he is to clear a way for himself from common reality to aesthetic reality, from mere life-serving feelings to feelings of beauty” (189). [It seems to me that there is still a really big question about the realization (or not) of potential, since man is supposedly that creature which reserves potential indefinitely.]
  26. Maps out some of the pre-conditions for beauty: the hermit emerging from the hut is the Ideal: he can sense “the exuberance of matter.” Imports Kantian categories of need and satisfaction of those needs: both requirements for the emergence of the aesthetic. Also, the “tactile” sense are relegates to our animal selves. “The object of touch is a force to which we are subjected the object of the eye and ear a form we engender” (195). That which we engender is SEMBLANCE. Aesthetic semblance, as opposed to social or natural semblance, must be both honest (expressly renounces all claims to reality) and autonomous (dispenses with support from reality). Seeing something as semblance (not real or living) takes a whole lot of aesthetic education, supposedly.
  27. In the final letter, Schiller calls for “a revolution in feeling,” which would breech the cycle of our animal needs by way an attention to the formal qualities of sensual experience.This will not come about by having quantitatively more material things; rather, it comes from experiencing things differently.

    Even the animal world supposedly has this sort of freedom: “The trees put forth innumerable buds which perish without ever unfolding…living things are entitle to squander” (207). [Interesting relation to Bataille]. But this aesthetic “superfluity” does not remain content being “added” to things; rather, “the play-drive as it becomes ever freer finally tears itself away form the fetters of utility all together” (211).

    This turns into a rather unexpected critique of war and violence, and a valorization of “weakness” (213). This is matched by a a tri-partite movement from the Dynamic State (think Hobbes); the Ethical State (Kant); the Aesthetic State, which consummates the will of all in the individual. This is the kingdom of Taste, in which no privilege or autocracy is allowed. A-social appetite renounces itself seeking. Does this state exist? It exists within us.

Hannah Arendt – Lectures on Kant’s Political Philosophy (1970, published 1982)

This is a blow-by-blow summary of Arendt’s argument with some analysis interspersed:

In Kant, nature = history, the historical subject is conceived as the human species, bios and zoe before the emergence of the polis (8). The second critique is directed at man conceived in this way–as man as a creature in the natural world–while the (first part of) the third critique is Kant’s unrealized political philosophy, directed at man as a political, not merely social, being (9). What starts out as a critique of taste (a popular topic in the eighteenth-century) becomes an analysis of what is “behind taste”–i.e. judgment (10). [Already we see Arendt importing categories of modern thought that denigrate taste as such…but more later.] The frist part of the 3rd critique speak of men in the plural, as they really are and live; the second part speaks of the human species (13). [Here we see Arendt hedging, preparing to sideline the problematic entrance of purposiveness, teleology and the divine tout court in the second part.] How is judgment different from reason? Reason tells me what to do and speaks in imperatives; judgment arises from contemplative pleasure and delight (15).

Arendt helpfully summarizes the relation between the three critiques:

To summarize: Human species = mankind = part of nature = subject to history…teleological judgment: second part fo Critique of Judgment.

Man = reasonable being, subject to the laws of practical reason which he gives to himself, autonomous, an end in himself…realm of intelligible beings = Critique of Practical Reason and Critique of Pure Reason.

Men = Earthbound creatures, living in communities, endowed with sommon sense, sensus communis, a community sense; not autonomous, needing each other’s company even for thinking (“freedom of the pen”) – first part of the Critique of Judgment: aesthetic judgment. (26-7)

Arendt then beings to work up to a theory of general communicability by way of “critical thinking.” Critical thinking is precsiely that which does not succumb to dogmatic metaphysics, on the one hand, or skepticism, on the other. It can never be “caught hold of” by a single institutional thought. Critical thinking is precisely that sort of thought that does nto claim general validity, but rather general communicability. “It is accomplished by ‘comparing our judgment with the possible rather than the actual judgment of others'” (43). In other words, sensus communis does not refer to the lowest common denominator of thought, but to that which is possible for any person to think within a given community. Here we mark the relative limit of taste. Thus the tasting subject becomes the Kantian “world-spectator,” or cosmopolitan, onlooker that assumes a progressive narrative. [This is a convergence of the first and second parts of the 3rd critique, one should note.]

Now some tricky stuff on taste and imagination: Arendt claims that imagination solves the riddle of incommunicability of taste (64-5), by converting, by way of reflection, the merely objective sensual proceses of tasting and smelling into object of an inner sense. By reflecting on its representation, pleasure or displeasure can be aroused and communication is made possible. [That Arendt excises corporeal experience all together from the political potential of taste is disappointing, to say the least.] Imagination makes present what is absent, which means that tasting experience must be converted into a existential absence for the sake of representation: immediacy is sacrificed for the mediated. This is because, in Kant, what pleases is not the act of perception (now indistinguishable from sensation itself), but the operation of reflection. [Some careful parsing of the difference between the agreeable, the beautiful and the sublime is in order.] By removing the object, one establishes the conditions of impartiality (67). Or, as Arendt puts it, cleverly, “the nonsubjective element in the nonobjective senses is intersubjectivity. (you must be alone in order to think; you need to company to enjoy a meal” (67).

There is therefore, according to Arendt, two mental operations that occur in judgment: imagination, which prepares the way for reflection (68). “The sense of taste is a sense in which one, as it were, senses oneself; it is an inner sense” (68). [What about that delicious Burgundy? what happened to it?] And reflection is the operation of actually judging something. [Well Arendt’s division is pretty flimsy, because the excision of the object which supposedly takes place in reflection has already happened in taste and imagination.]

The rest of the lectures are marked by a steady reversion to Smithean forms of sympathy. Ugh. Tastes are to be judged according to their communicability. What? Why? Judgment becomes conditioned on “mental enlargement,” a fully de-corporealized mode of cognitive relation: able to think from the other’s standpoint (74). [As if that were possible.] Then out of nowhere comes the idea of “exemplary validity,” which seems to relegate the modality of the aesthetic’s a relationship to politics to secondary status. More important is the process of simile by which we establish associative properties that can be imitated. A disappointing conclusion that doe snot follow from the very provocative thoughts in the beginning and middle. A postscript follows in which she writes, “The judgment has exemplary validity to the degree that the example is well chosen” (84), which puts us right back at the beginning.

 

John Stuart Mill

What is Poetry? (1830)

– Poetry is not metrical composition. (4)
– What makes poetry is felt. (5)
– Stories are more primitive, poetry is more advanced and mature (7)
– Poetry does not conjure the real, but it conjures a displacement of the real. (8)
Eloquence is heard, Poetry is overheard (12)
– Poet supplements the real with spontaneous imagination (20)
– Oratory/narrative/poetry

 

On Liberty (1859)

Mill puts for the counterintuitive requirement of government not to protect the interest of the majority only, but also to protect the interest of the minority: “protection against the tendency of society to impose, but other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them” (9). The appropriate region of human liberty is 1. the inward domain of consciousness 2. tastes and pursuits 3. to unite with other individuals for any purpose not involving harm to others. (18).

The mode of argument is strangely Darwinian: if minority opinions are repressed (represented as heresy) then culture will not be able to grow and evolve. Society, in other words, depends on these mutations. Thus individuality must be protected because it fulfills the role of sexual selection and proliferation: “The initiation os all wise or noble things, comes and must come from individuals; generally at first from some one individual” (82). On the other hand, thought and discussion serve as regulative activities, much like natural selection. “It is only by the collision of adverse opinions that the remainder of the truth has any chance of being supplied” (65). Indeed, Mill goes so far to declare the act of non serviam, the “mere example of nonconformity,” as an act of “service” (83).

Mill’s worries look forward to Hardy’s worries about an homogenized affective steady-state, and also to Nietzsche’s concerns with the stoical “acting according to nature” which results in our being metabolized by natural forces of decay:

The demand that all other people shall resemble ourselves,  grows by what it feeds on. if resistance waits till life is reduced to nearly on uniform type, all deviations from that type will come to be considered impious, immoral, even monstrous and contrary to nature. Mankind speedily becomes unable to conceive diversity, when they have been for some time unaccustomed to see it. (91)

This conflation of biologic and cultural diversity (or not) is picked up again in much of the vitalist philosophy of the early 20th-century. But Mill stays focused on the State (of England) as the crucial object of critique. He worries that a commitment to efficient social “machinery” is repressing the innate human capacity to think and live freely. The value of a state is comprised by the individuals in the state—they are the chief end. If they are sacrificed for the sake of state machine, then the vital energy required for that machine to run will be sapped away. Again, relate to Nietzsche, in which knowledge depends on life, even if it is opposed to it.

 

Autobiography (1873)

Opens with an extensive account of his education as conducted by his father, under the aegis of Benthamite utilitarianism. Cultivated exclusivity as means of avoiding the vulgar influences of other boys. Feeling was denigrated, as was imagination, and therefore poetry was not valued. From this Mill learned to never accept half-solution (an interesting intervention into the language of “half” that pervades poetics from Wordsworth through Tennyson). But all this led to a “Crisis in my Mental Life,” that led to Wordsworth and Coleridge and his subsequent salvation. From this he developed his theory of indirect happiness, based on Carlyle’s idea of “anti-self-consciousness.”

 I never, indeed, wavered in the conviction that happiness is the test of all rules of conduct, and the end of life. But I now thought that this end was only to be attained by not making it a direct end. Those only are happy (I thought) who have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness; on the happiness of other,on the improvement of mankind, even on some art or pursuit, followed not as means, but as itself and ideal end. Aiming thus at something else, they find happiness by the way. (92)

Indeed, Mill goes on to reject any system except that which acknowledge “the system” to be far more complex than we could ever hope to understand (104). But he nevertheless accepts an historical system of organic vs. critical eras. It seems as if his current period is one of transition: “when old notions and feelings have been unsettled, and no new doctrines have yet succeeded their ascendancy” (162). The development into an organic era depends on culture to educate the masses into a system that no longer divides along class lines–in which private property becomes coextensive with a socialist ideal. Mill connects this with the division between Intuition and Experience or Association. The latter, he claims, is more conducive to a politics of reform.

Interesting to think of Autobiography as a Bildungsroman of sorts…with JS Mill being the exact opposite of an orphan. He becomes both the giver and the receiver of education, without the sort of temporal trickery that allow sDavid Copperfield to be both subject and object of his story.

Autobiography, The Library of Liberal Arts (Bobbs-Merrill: Indianapolis, 1976)

 

 

Yeats – No Second Troy (1910)

The poem is part of The Green Helmet and Other Poems (1910). It explicitly refers to Yeats’ fractious affair with Maude Gonne, a revolutionary muse that married one of his friends. But this personal event gets couched within a mythical frame imported from Homer, which in turn frames the revolutionary impulses of the Irish. Thus a very good poem for looking at the convergence of the subject, history and politics. Formally, the poem is a series of four questions: the first two are entire quatrains, and they therefore lose their interrogative character as they expand from the inside into something very much like declaration. This reflects Yeats own ambivalence to the the political activities of Gonne and others. The final two questions, one line each (making to lines of alternating rhyme) intimate resignation and awe:

Why, what could she have done, begin what she is?
Was there another Troy for her to burn?

Here we see the problematic importation of the mythic impulse into the political landscape of 1910.  Yeats seems to claim that such fervor is ultimately destructive when unleashed by “ignorant men” without “courage equal to desire.” Thus “hurling little streets upon the great” is a diminution of the mythic impulse that cannot entirely disregard the heroism of this poetic-political activity, “simple as a fire.”

 

Elizabeth Gaskell – Mary Barton (1848)

Mary is the daughter of John Barton, a worker that is actively involved in the labor movement and is critical of the current means of wealth distribution. His wife dies (along with all of his other children) in the first few chapters, leaving him with Mary, who becomes the object of Jem Wilson’s affection (anothe honest laborer) and Henry Carson’s affection (the son of Carson, the tycoon that runs the show in Manchester). Esther, the sister of Barton’s wife, returns to warn him to save Mary but he ignores her. Carson won’t marry Mary, and Jem knocks him down. Carson is killed and Jen is arrested on suspicion, but Mary (after seeing the piece of paper with her name on it) realizes that her father committed the crime (he was randomly selected to do so by his quai-anarchist Chartists). She tries to get an alibi and only barley catches Will Ladislaw’s ship before it leaves for another voyage. In court, Will returns just in time and Jem is found not guilty, but Mary swoons and almost does not recover. Eventually Barton confesses to Carson that he killed his son but he explains his motives as part of the poor fighting against the rich. Carson reads the Bible and decides nto to prosecute, and Barton dies in his hands. Jem and Mary get married and move to Canada. Margaret (a friend of Mary and a great singer) gets back her sight and marries Will.

Depiction of the working class from the perspective of the working class. She claims her original impetus in the Preface: “when I bethought me how deep might be the romance in the lives of some of those who elbowed me daily in the busy streets of the town i resided.” To this end, the first half of the novel is devoted to “vivid” portraits of daily life in contrast to the sumptuous excess of the Carsons, while the second half of the novel revolves around the murder plot. There is an insistence on the maternal aspect of the working poor (men themselves must become maternal) as opposed to coldness of bourgeoisie.

Characterization is typical Gaskell, who attempts to create characters that are out of her control. A good example is Mary swooning in the court scene. The attempt to make them “life like” will be taken up in various ways by Eliot in particular, but not so much by Dickens or even James.

The mode of observing the streets at street level is merged with more abstract generalization. The convergence is on what we might call “personally verifiable material”–objective facts gathered through authorial experience. There is this an increased physicality and attention to detail that links her with someone like Engels. All this leads towards the goal of conveying “a sense of the real,” in Gaskell’s own words.

The mob: More prevalent in North and South, but the revolutions of the late 40s certainly registers as being connected to the struggles of the working class poor, and the fear that this will disrupt English stability.

The Chartists made demands fueled by economic hardship and fueled by the Corn Laws, which kept the price of gild high.

In terms of narrative, there is an attention to the interplay between knowing and speaking. Various characters can know things and don’t speak them, while others speak without knowing. Both are dangerous. Gaskell herself admits to knowing nothing about Political Economy, but goes on speaking about. The narrator has the most confident voice, but language itself repeatedly fails–perhaps pointing in the end, to a call for better listening above all.

Brigid Lowe (2005) uses Henry James dictum–the novelist is someone “upon whom nothing is lost”–as a way of locating Gaskell at the beginning of a tradition that stretches past James and into Joyce: the figure of the realist novelist who not only orders materials, but gathers and amasses detail. Woolf would complain about this impulse to focus on the trivial (an imposition of a modernist aesthetic peculiarly masculine according to Lowe), even though Gaskell’s attention to concrete detail is what earned her praise, and admiration from the like of George Eliot. Mary Barton in particular claims that workers are the fit subject for literature, in a way similar (but different) to Dicken’s attempt in Bleak House to look at the Romantic side of ordinary life. Pity is not always called for overtly, but the reader is able to feel poverty’s encroachment. In Mary Barton, there is still the hope that classes will be reunited into a social whole. In North and South, in response to criticisms that her first novel was one-sided or overly optimistic, Gaskell would portray the goal of various innovations (of factory owners) as hopefully softening the violence between classes. But the ending of that novel is not so hopeful, as the owner becomes churned up in the very turbulence of financial misery he sought ameliorate by reform, etc.