Question For 12/29

In the first 30 pages of “The Blazing World” by Margaret Cavendish, the Lady (and later, the Empress) is transported into an alternate world with animal creatures and is immediately given power to rule due to her human status. However, her first initiatives are to demand knowledge out of the Emperor and all of the animals who are different types of scientists. “When she thought that her new founded societies of the Vertuoso’s had made good progress in the several Employments she had put them upon,” (18, Cavendish). This insinuation that knowledge is owed to rulers, that if a member of a society makes a discovery, it is a civic duty to report and use that knowledge to help the society as a whole, is the current social contract under which our present research system runs. In being able to observe the absurdity of the Empress asking this barrage of questions, this offers insight into what the world asks of scientists and expects of their research. There is a tendency to believe that scientists should be working non-stop towards world-changing answers and that they owe this to give back to society, but “The Blazing World” shows that this constant need for answers is actually hamrmful to the individuals who are working. Are there any other examples for how “The Blazing World” highlights the ridiculousness of our world?

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