Topics for Further Study

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In what ways are Shaw’s heaven and hell different from conventional concepts of them? How do these differences inflect the meaning of the play as a whole?

The character of Ann Whitefield has been criticized as being a calculating huntress of men, and Shaw has Tanner compare her unfavorably to several animals of prey (boa constrictor, lion, tiger). What does it mean that Ann pursues her man instead of waiting for him to pursue her? What does that say about her character?

Jack Tanner is a member of the ruling class and the author of the Revolutionist’s Handbook, in which he offers his theories of socialism and eugenics. Is Jack is the hero of this play? How is the idea of heroism refashioned to a new purpose in Man and Superman?

How does Shaw’s representation of the Life Force in Man and Superman compare with Darwin and Lamarck’s ideas of instinct?

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