Arcadia Essay Research Paper Throughout the play

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Arcadia Essay, Research Paper Throughout the play Arcadia by Tom Stoppard there is a distinct difference between the characters who have a science background and those who do not. One of the recurring themes is that those characters and actions of those characters which are against science often lead to conflict and disaster. Even those characters that are of logical thinking for the most part are prone to disaster when they let go of this rational thinking and give in to their irrational side. Bernard is a main character who is not a scientist and has basically no scientific background. From the moment he is introduced, he is portrayed as eccentric and odd. Here Bernard is described for the first time: ?Bernard, the visitor, wears a suit and tie. His tendency is to dress

flamboyantly but he has damped it down for the occasion, slightly. A peacock-coloured display handkerchief boils over is his breast pocket.? (73) The term flamboyant refers to his ornate and rather bold outfit and personality. He is dressed differently than most other characters and behaves much different as well. He is as well one of the most irrational characters of the play. Bernard and his constant need to be successful and famous lead him to disaster. Throughout the play he acts with little regard to the truth. He rarely looks to proof when coming up with ideas and theories. He feels that if there is the slightest proof that he is correct then he is able to tell everyone it is the truth. He completely disregards the logical way of thinking that theories can be proven wrong.

He never takes the time to see if his theories can be proven wrong. Here Hannah shows her dismay with Bernard?s irrational behavior: ?You haven?t established it was fought. You haven?t established it was Byron. For God?s sake, Bernard, you haven?t established Byron was even there.? (50) Hannah tries to tell Bernard that he hasn?t discovered enough evidence to publish his theory. Bernard although believes she is incorrect. He feels that all you need is your own instincts to lead you to the truth. Bernard displays this here: ?By which I mean belief in yourself. Gut instinct. The part of you which doesn?t reason. The certainty for which there is no back-reference.? (50) Bernard is responding the quote by Hannah above. Here Bernard is exemplifying perfectly his idea about how his

theories are founded. He uses the words ?gut instinct? and ?certainty for which there is not back? which shows how he doesn?t need hard evidence to prove things. He feels his own personal view is enough to make something real. He has no concept of the regular, logical format of backing up theories with evidence. Instead he relies on nothing but himself. And no matter how irrational his ideas are his feeling is that if your gut tells you it?s the truth then you should go with it. He also refers to his way of thinking as ?the part of you which doesn?t reason? showing how irrational he really is. He?s admitting that sometimes no reasoning is needed in proving something. To most this seems completely foreign and quite illogical. Bernard, although, finds this to be the normal way of

thinking. Later in the play Bernard is shown once again to be completely irrational. After Bernard makes his argument that Mr. Chater was killed in a duel with Lord Byron and this was the reason Byron left. Hannah reacts to this theory by saying, ?Bernard, I don?t know why I?m bothering-you?re arrogant, greedy, and reckless. You?ve gone from a glint in your eye to a sure thing in a hop, skip, and a jump.? (59) Hannah reveals her disapproval of Bernard?s attitude and aggressive approach to everything. His attitude is described as ? arrogant and reckless,? proving how little regard for logic he has. She also says, ?You?ve left out everything which doesn?t fit.? (59) Hannah describes how Bernard has chosen only information which has helped his case and left all other out. She is