By absent-minded on
Monday, July 6, 2009
Friday, June 29, 2001
Besides interpreting the evidence, there is (at least) one more need one has when thinking: we must search for probable thoughts that would open our way to real answers even when we lack enough evidence. Imagine how useful this can be, when we can not have that evidence, or if we want to avoid searching for it at the moment.
By saying that Steerforth is loved by "not only his mother, but also by his servants, David, schoolmates, Emily...", I was not offering any evidence on his character; I offered a 'thinking shortcut', that he must have some qualities Uriah lacks since all those persons love him. We can search for them, if we want, but if we search and we don't find them, then we can be sure that we didn't search enough or ignored the evidence or misinterpeted the evidence, etc. because Steerforth and not Uriah is presented by Dickens as lovable. We are not allowed to find no reason, unless we underestimate our author.
Accordingly, if you still believe you have some right and you feel that you have to fight me, you can not answer this syllogism giving any evidence whatever, but first denying the syllogism itself, i.e., show how is it possible for Dickens to have Steerforth being essentially a second Uriah - and yet featuring all those persons giving Steerforth a love Uriah never dreamed of.
For the reason and evidence, I can recall one case, but I'm sure one can find even more. Think of the years when Steerforth was in school together with David, how he supported the little orphan, in ways and sincerity Uriah could never have, whatever his social status might have been. The very presence of Uriah fills the atmosphere with horror, something Dickens never does for Steerforth.