Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Comparing A Plea for Gas Lamps and Jekyll and Hyde :: comparison compare contrast essays

A Plea for Gas Lamps and Jekyll and Hyde In A Plea for Gas Lamps Robert Louis Stevenson describes how, with the advent of urban gaslight, a new age had begun for sociality and corporate pleasure seeking. Referring to the lamps as domesticated stars, he describes the new lamplit city emerging gracefully as a jovial public sphere in which soft joys prevail and people are convoked to pleasure. Wolfgang Schivelbush connects such gaslit pleasure directly to commerce. Gaslight offered life, warmth and closeness. This was true also of the relationship surrounded by light and the shop goods upon which it fell. They were close to each other, indeed, they permeated each other, and each enhanced the effect of the other.(153) At the same time, however, the industrial uniformity of gas streetlighting made some(prenominal) uneasy. Like the railway, it represented a dehumanizing, centrally regulated urban infrastructure. With a public gas supply, domestic lighting enter ed its industrial -- and dependent -- stage. No chronic self-sufficiently producing its own heat and light, each house was inextricably tied to an industrial energy producer. . . . To contemporaries it seemed that industries were expanding, sending out tentacles, octopus-like, into every house.(28-29) This dread of uniformity became intensify as incandescent gas lighting, high pressure gas lighting (Robins 142), and finally electric arc-lighting grew more common in urban settings. People became at one time nostalgic for the flicker of gaslight, and the inhuman qualities of street lighting were directly associated with the brightness and uniformity of electric arc-lights. For Stevenson, the immediacy and central control of electric lighting transforms the city into a technological nightmare Our tame stars are to come out in future, not one by one, but all in a body and at once. A sedate electrician somewhere in a back office touches a spring -- and behold . . . the design of the flagitious city flashes into vision -- a glittering hieroglyph many square miles in extent. The monstrosity of the city is defined by this sudden, startling uniformity, which obliterates the its pleasing variety, variant it a vast, but simple design.

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