The industrial revolution was the period of greatest economic and technological growth in modern society. Starting in Europe and spreading to the world, multiple countries experienced a new definition of efficiency and productivity. Although the growth was certainly profound, many people questioned the methods with which it was achieved and the society created from its ideals. In particular, two British Authors, H.G. Wells in The Time Machine and George Bernard Shaw in Mrs. Warren's Profession provide critiques of capitalism and industrialization. Both members of the Fabian society present pictures of a seemingly content world, which, when examined, reveal the degeneration of modern society, Shaw looking from the present, Wells from the future. Through portrayals of ostensibly prosperous worlds and the conflicts that arise between characters with differing views, both literary works successfully show the disadvantages of the new economic system and predict its destructive consequences in the present and the future.
Unlike their revolutionary communist counterparts, Fabians advocated gradual reform of the capitalist regime by working within the system. Through both emotional and logical appeal, Fabians attempted to sway the public towards greater policies of human rights and equity, creating the basis for modern leftist parties, such as the British Labour party or the democrats of the United States. Shaw and Wells, two of the founders of the party, appeal to the people through both morals and entertainment value in order to powerfully convey the Fabian cause.
The Time Machine applies a vision of a disturbing, advanced world to current society, warn...
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... change society, as in The Time Machine, or is just entering the social arena, as in Mrs. Warren's Profession, it is obvious what the fair and moral choice is in both literary works. No matter how they approach it, both literary works provide compelling arguments against social stratification and industrialization, providing only undesirable choices for the audience unless society can overhaul itself. The two stories provide similar critiques of any system promoting class conflicts and exploitation. However different, both present a scene of a seemingly content world, a scene that is shattered when viewed from a closer level. When applied to modern society, both present the view that although the growth of industrialization is undeniable, it is questionable as to whether society truly reached a more desirable end, given the consequences that stem from our progress.
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