By Isabelle Gadbois
Many discoveries in science have led to the development of technological instruments such as the microscope, telescope, computer,telephone, etc. These inventions have improved some aspects of our lives but had negative outcomes at the same time. Various consequences related to these discoveries have created many controversies andarguments against the scientific community. For instance, Margaret Cavendish, an author in the 17th century, wrote in 1668 a book titled The Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World as aresponse to some of these discoveries. In this novel, Cavendish does not criticize technology itself but satirizes the technological methods and theories related to it. She does this effectively by using afiction story where she criticizes the use of some technological instruments that create disagreements among society.
First of all, Cavendish uses the Empress in the book to give her opinion on twotechnological devices; the telescope and microscope. In the story, the Empress asks the Bear-men to explain the phenomena of Celestial bodies by using telescopes. Since each Bear-man could not agreeon what were seen and explained by each of them, the Empress became angry and commanded to break the telescopes:
[...]After they had thus argued, the Empress began to grow angry at theirTelescopes, that they could give no better Intelligence; for, said she, now I do plainly perceive, that your Glasses are false Informers, and instead of discovering the Truth, delude your senses; Wherefore ICommand you to break them, and let Bird-men trust onely to their natural eyes, and examine Celestial objects by the motions of their own sense and reason. (BW 9)
Furthermore, the Empress is alsoexposed to the microscope during the story. As for the telescope, the Empress asks the experimental philosophers to demonstrate what the microscope is capable to do. The Bear-men showed her a few...