Please explain Shaw's philosophy of creative evolution and life force which found its first extended treatment in Man and Superman.

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George Bernard Shaw's Life Force is the vital energy that strives to attain ever-higher levels of achievement and evolution. Through Creative Evolution, the Life Force bursts forth to create life forms superior to those already developed. This superiority will manifest in the Supermen, an advanced race of humans which will evolve in the future because the most vital and energetic women will mate with the most creative and intelligent men. Shaw based this theory of eugenics on the work of such thinkers Henri Bergson, Samuel Butler, Charles Darwin, and Friedrich Nietzsche.

In his "Epistle Dedicatory" to Man and Superman, Shaw writes that:

Man is no longer, like Don Juan, victor in the duel of sex. Whether he has ever really been may be doubted: at all events the enormous superiority of Woman's natural position in this matter is telling with greater and greater force.

The play shows, in action, Shaw's theory that the woman is the great and aggressive pursuer of the man and that this will lead to a higher evolutionary state, as the best women seek out and conquer the smartest and most creative men by persuading them to marry and procreate. Ann Whitefield, with her "ensnaring eyes and hair" and high degree of vital energy, is an example of this kind of woman, as she overcomes the highly intelligent John Tanner's reluctance to marry. Pairings like this will inevitably improve the human race, according to Shaw.

Of course, today we find theories of creating a race of supermen repugnant, but Shaw was writing before experiences in the middle of the twentieth century warned society that it is dangerous to try to create a 'superior' caste.

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Shaw adds a uniquely feminist twist to the quasi-Nietzschean idea of creative evolution. He suggests that it is the woman who is the prime mover in the process of natural selection. For it is she who consistently chooses those specimens of maleness that are the strongest, thus altering over time the biological and cultural make-up of mankind.

In Man and Superman that role is taken on by Ann Whitefield. It is she who takes the lead role in her relationship with Tanner, aggressively pursuing him and trying to get him to marry her. Although the life force finds its ultimate expression in the male of the species, it's women like Ann who act as its conduits, channeling the life force through their actions as they go about determining which man they will choose as their mate.

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Shaw's notion of life force, heavily influenced by thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche and especially Henri Bergson, was a central feature of Man and Superman. The idea was that human existence was driven by a "life force" that was a drive toward creating "supermen" through a process of evolutionary improvement that would advance the species. As Don Juan says in Act III of Shaw's Man And Superman:

Life is a force which has made innumerable experiments in organizing itself; that the mammoth and the man, the mouse and the megatherium, the flies and the fleas and the Fathers of the Church, are all more or less successful attempts to build up that raw force into higher and higher individuals, the ideal individual being omnipotent, omniscient, infallible, and withal completely, unilludedly self-conscious: in short, a god?

One example of this was that many of the social conventions governing interaction between men and women were essentially a cover for the drive to reproduce. Hence women wanted to marry accomplished, powerful, and intellectually fit men rather than kind men who would necessarily be good to them. Additionally, those who are viewed by society as having low morals (because of sexual activity) are in fact fulfilling the basic urge of the species, to create what the devil calls "the latest in fashion among Life Force fanatics," a Superman at the apogee of evolution.

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