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Charles and the Hopeful Monster

Postmodern evolutionary Theory in The French Lieutenants Woman James Clark (not his sister)

Anthropocentric Evolutionary Theory


O The version of Natural

selection in which homo sapiens always become the telos or the goal of evolutionary path. O The words itself [evolution] becomes a synonym for progresss. O 19th Century theory, known as Contemporary Darwinism.

Postmodernity and Evolution


O Postmodern evolutionary theory rejects

notions originally presented by 19th century theory. O These theories include the notion of anthropocentric evolution. O Postmodern interpretations of Darwinism and evolution emphasize the probabilistic nature of evolution. O Evolution is simply the process by which chance (the random mutations in the nucleic acid helix caused by natural radiation) cooperates with natural law to create living forms better and better adapted to survive.

What version does Fowles use?


O NEITHER!!! O Fowles use the idea of Stephen Jay Gould

who use a model of anthropocentric to constrain chance. O This is that whilst the process that takes us towards humanity still as the ultimate goal but utilises chance to get there. O This theory still provides people with the idea that they are still spiritually superior. O CHARLES LIKE IT BECAUSE HE BECOME SATISFIED!!!

What is the hopeful moster?


The notion that key changes in evolution involve the relatively sudden appearance of a relatively radical newness on the scene. Such newness will by its nature seem monstrous and alien in relation to the already established kinds of life around it. Further, it will be as first only hopeful because it is by chance that the mutation will have found itself in an amenable environment and thus be able to reproduce itself successfully.

What does this have to do with Charles and who is the hopeless monster?
O Sarahs see that Charles is caught in an

evolutionary incident and metaphorically buried in a landslide, becoming fossilized. O She simply tries to show him the way out.

Sarah as the hopeful monster


O Sarah appears on the Victorian scene as a

mutation among existing self-representations, a kind of hopeful monster. A hopeful monster, a suddenly new mutation, must encounter the contingently occurring environment into which it is thrown. This is why is it hopeful. It has neither chosen nor been chosen to be what it is because of the environment; therefore, it is chance as to whether the environment will favor it or not. O Fowles emphasizes this by providing us with little historical background to Sarah.

Charles Evolution
O The plot and Sarah (the mutation) lead

Charles to retrace her story of seduction, abandonment and public estrangement that reinforced her natural condition. O Sarah manifests her mutation through Charles as himself seems weak and longing for a satisfaction. O Charles is the meeting place between Darwinism (Charles) and Existentialism (Sarah). i.e. Charles in the 20th Century.