For Shaw, George Eliot and her writings encapsulated many facets of Victorian thought that had shaped his outlook in early life, many of which he had subsequently rejected or sought to revise. Her influence on his views on science and health care is visible in the resemblances between Shaw’s play The Doctor’s Dilemma (1906) and Eliot’s novel Middlemarch (1871). In echoing Eliot’s narrative of a doctor navigating ethical perplexities and patients’ expectations, Shaw captures the hopeful attitude toward science that he absorbed in his mid-nineteenth-century youth, as well as his continued efforts, in the face of disillusionment, to retain and redirect that hope toward a world made better and healthier by science under socialist organization.

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