Full Text

19. Phenomenology and Affect: Modernist Sulking

Sara Crangle


Subject Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780470658734.2013.00020.x


Extract

In The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872), Charles Darwin locates the origins of human sulking in our primate ancestors. In experiments, Darwin encouraged sulking in chimpanzees by offering them something appealing, like an orange, and then taking it away. Darwin (2009) describes the expression that followed: “A firmly closed mouth, in addition to a lowered and frowning brow, gives determination to the expression, and may make it obstinate and sullen” (209). We frown from the first few days of life, Darwin points out, and never learn to control this expression as we do weeping, for instance. Frowning Darwin considers a product of our evolutionary need to look into the distance, scanning the horizon for danger; we also frown when contemplating a difficult or obscure line of thought. A mouth resolutely shut indicates attentiveness, decisiveness, and may precede physical exertion, but pouting, or what Darwin delightfully calls “making a snout,” is a behavior he restricts to European children and adults of all other races (212–213). Frowning falls within Darwin's survivalist remit; sulking proper he demarcates as childish and “primitive.” While Darwin's suggestion that non-European adults sulk was popular in the nineteenth century—witness “[t]he silent sullen peoples” of Kipling's “The White Man's Burden” (1897–1899)—the conviction remains that sulking is an emotional ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:

 

     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.


[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top