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Essay on Fame in Djerassi’s Cantor’s Dilemma

Dreams of Fame in Djerassi’s Cantor’s Dilemma

Opportunistic scientists, the most hypocritical deviants of the modern age, revolve around the scientific method, or at least they used to. The scientific method once involved formulating a hypothesis from a problem posed, experimenting, and forming a conclusion that best explained the data collected. Yet today, those who are willing to critique the work of their peers are themselves performing the scientific method out of sequence. I propose that scientists, or the “treasure hunters” of that field, are no longer interested in permanent solutions, achieved through proper use of the scientific method, and rather are more interested in solutions that guarantee fame and fortune.

Fame and fortune as a motive for scientific discovery is a popular theme in fictional writing, especially in Cantor’s Dilemma by Carl Djerassi. Cantor’s Dilemma is a novel of the struggles of two scientists through life and a Nobel Prize “campaign”. As one digs deeper into the context of the novel, one finds it similar to that of a political race, a fight for glory. For example, the “Cantor-Stafford experiment”, the first tumorigenesis experiment tested in the novel, was not validated before its findings were published. This example fails to meet the standards of the scientific method because a conclusion was reached before experimentation was fully executed. Surely any true scientist would know such conclusions to be unsuitable and not “Nobel” worthy. Yet, Cantor and Stafford, both, won a Nobel Prize for their work.

Kurt Krauss in Cantor’s Dilemma, an opportunistic scientist, is the extreme of scientific deviance. As a fellow scientist and a competitor, Krauss is charged with the duty of ch…

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…o not believe my experience has changed the ways of the scientist at that company.

Both in fiction and in real life a certain breed of scientists has decided to ignore the scientific method and chase dreams of fame. With that fame, they hope to dig deep into our pockets and reap the benefits of their poor workmanship. It is most evident from the examples given that these scientists, who have seemingly reversed scientific evolution, no longer care for true science and the scientific method, but rather are interested in personal glory.

1 Carl Djerassi, Cantor’s Dilemma (New York, New York: Penguin Books, 1991), pg. 113.

2 Djerassi, Cantor’s Dilemma, pg. 113.

3 Abbott laboratories, medical news, (, 5:25 p.m. 9/23/97

4 “Cold Fusion Times”, (Wellesey Hills, MA, 7:15 p.m. 9/23/97

Glass Menagerie and Streetcar Named Desire – Comparing Amanda Wingfield and Blanche Dubois

A Comparison of Amanda Wingfield And Blanche Dubois

In today’s rough and tough world, there seems to be no room for failure. The pressure to succeed in life sometimes seems unreasonable. Others often set expectations for people too high. This forces that person to develop ways to take the stress and tension out of their lives in their own individual ways. In the plays “The Glass Menagerie” and ” A Streetcar Named Desire” written by Tennessee Williams, none of the characters are capable of living in the present and facing reality. Two of the characters are Amanda Wingfield and Blache Dubios. In order for these characters to deal with the problems and hardships in their lives they retreat into their own separate worlds of illusion and lies.

Amanda Wingfield is mother of Tom and Laura. She is a middle-aged southern belle whose husband has abandoned her. She spends her time reminiscing about the past and nagging her children. Amanda is completely dependent on her son Tom for finical security and holds him fully responsible for her daughter Laura’s future. Amanda is obsessed with her past as she constantly reminds Tom and Laura of that ” one Sunday afternoon in Blue Mountain when she once received seventeen gentlemen callers” (pg.32). The reader cannot even be sure that this actually happened. However, it is clear that despite its possible falsity, Amanda has come to believe it. Amanda also refuses to acknowledge that her daughter Laura is crippled and refers to her handicap as ” a little defect-hardly noticeable” (pg.45). Only for brief moments does she ever admit that her daughter is crippled and then she resorts back into to her world of denial and delusion. Amanda puts the weight of Laura’s success in life on her son Tom’s shoulders. When Tom finally finds a man to come over to the house for diner and meet Laura, Amanda blows the situation way out of proportion. She believes that this gentlemen caller, Jim, is going to be the man to rescue Laura. When in fact neither herself nor Laura has even met this man Jim yet. She tries to explain to Laura how to entertain a gentleman caller; she says-talking about her past ” They knew how to entertain their gentlemen callers. It wasn’t enough for a girl to be possessed of a pretty face and a graceful figure although I wasn’t slighted in either respect.

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