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According to the Author of This Extract, What Aspects of Faraday’s Life and Work Contributed to His Reputation? How Does the Picture Presented Here Compare to the Picture of Faraday’s Reputation in His Own Lifetime

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2012 07:18 AM
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Part 1
According to the author of this extract, what aspects of Faraday’s life and work contributed to his reputation?   How does the picture presented here compare to the picture of Faraday’s reputation in his own lifetime presented in Book 1, Chapter 4?

The extract from The Times written some 100 years after the birth of Faraday portrays the image of a great man of science, a pioneer to be emulated ‘…how his successors have followed him…’ (Faraday, AA100 Assignment Booklet, 2011, p.23) and perpetuates the reputation gained in his lifetime of a self-motivated, hardworking scientist who is working for the love of his subject rather than for any financial gain ‘…that Faraday loved science for the sake of science…’ (Faraday, AA100 Assignment Booklet, 2011, p.23).   In deed, Faraday gave up a paid career to follow his passion ‘…he must give up the ‘commercial’ work…’ (Faraday, AA100 Assignment Booklet, 2011, p.23).

Although this, in many ways, does mirror the reputation Faraday gained during his lifetime; the Victorians did view Faraday as a man ‘…motivated entirely by curiosity about the world and uninterested in rewards…’ (Falconer with James, 2008, p.89).   Faraday’s obituary goes so far as to state that he was a man with a ‘…singular absence of personal display…’ (Falconer with James, 2008, p.115).   While all of this may be true, it may not all be down to his love of science.   The extract does not mention the fact that Faraday not only worked hard in his laboratory but he also worked hard at forging a public image of himself as a man with attributes that conformed to the Victorian heroic ideal of a self made man, an image that chimed with the high moral stance that was intrinsic to the contemporary view of a ‘…gentleman of science…’ (Falconer with James, 2008, p.97). With this in mind Faraday commissioned many portraits, sculptures and photographs during his lifetime, all of which were contrived and well thought out, showing exactly the image Faraday wanted...

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