Man And Time By Mley Priestley Summary

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Given the playing around with time in Time and the Conways, the words of Dunne profoundly influenced J.B. Priestley. Using this knowledge, Priestley wrote his own book on time, entitled Man and Time (1964). In this work, Priestley explained that each person has three “observers”: Observer One experiences time (and therefore, existence) as linear; Observer Two is able to catch glimpses of the past, present, and future especially through dreams while existing in a fourth dimensional time; Observer Three is aware of the other Observers and is ultimate (Foster, 4). Each succession of Observer is aware of its predecessor Observer so that the Third Observer is all-knowing and detached. What Priestley means to suggest is that on a general conscious level, we are aware of linear time. Only when we dream, are we able to let go of the limitations of perceiving time as linear; we are able to see time as happening all at once, being ‘the whole stretch of ourselves’ as Alan described. Time is not separate moments to be categorized as past, present, or future; rather, Observer Two breaks free from this categorization in order to perceive a ‘truer version of ourselves’. Then, Observer Three is even more omniscient than Observer two and seeks to be the most real version of ourselves; however, we do not have general access to request Observer three. These ideas of Priestley greatly influenced his work, especially Time and the Conways. Alan’s speech at the end of Act two to Kay is Priestley’s

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