Aurora then takes on the role not of the mesmerized but of the mesmerist
, as she herself controls and distorts the utterances of Marian Erie, an impoverished seamstress whose story, Aurora thinks, must be told "in fuller utterance" (3.828).
In this sense, the French Revolution, with its "revolutionary madness," is presented by the spirit rapper as a mesmeric world-reform, in which vast invisible spirit forces and powerful mesmerists
had been at work--it was Satan who seemed to have been unbound then, and not Prometheus, since all hell indeed broke loose:
Tatar, Winter, and Pick all argue for a static method of reading mesmerism within Trilby, in which the wicked mesmerist
Svengali controls absolutely the passive Trilby.
While the notion of universal fluid common to pantheism and mesmerism supported a belief in characteristics available to both men and women, the roles of the mesmerist
and somnambulist had certain gender associations in the nineteenth century.
(31) George du Maurier's Trilby with its sinister figure of the mesmerist
, Svengali, was published in 1894.
Not only that: the Indians had evolved practices like hypnotism and mesmerism through which they could induce individuals to do whatever the hypnotist or mesmerist
Although she was not in the audience for this "experiment" hosted by the Clarkes, she reports to Emerson that the "Buchanans" were there, undoubtedly Joseph Rodes Buchanan, a popular speaker on phrenology, animal magnetism, and "neurology," who had spoken at Amory Hall in early 1844 on "The Pursuit of Truth." (11) In the usual ritual of a mesmeric demonstration involving a male mesmerist
and a female subject, Buchanan probably served as the mesmerist
to Anna Quincy Thaxter Parsons, an active member of religious and reform groups in Boston, who, after being put under "Mesmeric influence," examined a series of letters written by famous people and interpreted them.
The relationship of the mesmerist
to the mesmeric subject raised issues of power and control between individuals, classes, and (since most mesmerists
were men and most subjects women) the sexes.
Because little noises keep him awake at night he builds a soundproof cellar and hires a mesmerist
to put him to sleep.
Some weeks ago, for example, I was allowed to view the displays of a mesmerist
at the Cadiz Court House.
He also registers that in the course of two days he has been demoted "from therapist to hypnotist to mesmerist
; tomorrow he'd be reading palms."
As abolitionists denounced the slaveholder's tyrannical power, another group of reformers denounced the mesmerist
's magnetic control over his somnambulic subject as a type of psychological slavery.