Dysfunctional Families in the Wessex Novels of Thomas Hardy examines the diverse portrayals of dysfunctional families in Thomas Hardy's novels, which are used as a frame of reference for studying socio-historical changes in Victorian England. This ...
work addresses why, in what ways, and to what end Hardy created so many dysfunctional families in the Wessex novels, which focused on the rural artisan stratum of the working class, and how the specific historical and social changes of the times affected them. The research in this book explores how the family, or lack of one, is used as a vehicle for commenting on the changing economic and social situation of people in Victorian England. Investigation reveals many absences in Hardy's novels-absences of functioning nuclear families, successful marriages, the birth of children, the establishment of homes, successful business ventures, and traditional gender roles. Something is inherently wrong with Wessex society, and Hardy offers us an imaginative glimpse into possible future consequences, or more specifically, an unstable socio-economic foundation. Hardy focuses on dysfunctional families, intermingling narrative, character, action, and imagery in an exploration of their dysfunctionality, holding up a critical mirror to nineteenth-century English society, while providing a critical comment on his own moment in history.
Number of pages: 300
Date of publication: 15/06/2005
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