Through imagination, how can science and literature be seen as similar?

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missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Science and literature are similar in that they both offer explanation to concepts in this world that we may not quite understand. For example, a well-worded truth can be found in literature that applies to humanity. A scientific principle can be proven through an experiment and from that point on accepted as an absolute truth.

A reader of literature has to imagine a scene or create a movie in their head that helps keep comprehension alive and at work as they move through a text. A scientific tester has to continue imagining variables to change in an experiment until they produce a result or product that meets their goals or intended end.

Science and literature may differ in that on relies on the logical in the mind while the other activates the abstract.

A good piece of literature that explores the scientific mind of man is Frankenstein. Shelley's exploration into the character of Victor demonstrates a man who had originally been facinated by literature, but then became interested in science shortly after his mother's death. He was curious about the capacity to create or maintain life longer.

gopikrishna | Student

Despite general lack of interest in examining the relation of science and technology to the arts, major twentieth-century artists and writers have sought to embody theories of modern science in their art. Many critics of early twentieth-century modernism now explain the narrative and representational experimentation of Picasso, Bracque, Joyce, Woolf, and Faulkner as attempts to come to terms with the theories of Einstein and Heisenberg; in the Alexandria Quartet Lawrence Durrell has explicitly sought to do the same. Although at least some major writers and critics see an intimate relationship among science, technology, and the arts, scientists tend to see their fields in complete isolation from art and culture. Science, they reason, is a field unto itself, and if it has a language it is that of mathematics. Historians of science have shown how pioneering researchers inevitably draw upon the cultures surrounding them for their ideas and images. The development of cinema, television, video, and digital information technology has provided the kind of intellectual distance necessary for students of information technology and culture to perceive the effects of our still dominant information technology — the printed book — upon literature. Since the coming of Romanticism in the late eighteenth century, many poets, such as Blake and Keats, have tended to oppose science and technology to the arts, choosing to see them as different, even antithetical, modes of thought.