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Title:Thomas Hardy's experiments in narrative discourse in five tragic novels
Author(s):Farrell, James Christopher
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Kramer, Dale
Department / Program:English
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, English
Abstract:Hardy's tragic novels are examined in the context of Mikhail Bakhtin's writings on architectonic and dialogic modes of discourse in novels. Bakhtin uses the concept of architectonics to describe an author's struggle within a literary text to give artistic unity to his protagonist's experiences. Bakhtin's focus on the conflict between the discursive environment of an author and the subjective horizon of a character helps to clarify Hardy's attempts to use narrative language and form to express the tragic meaning of his characters' discordant lives. Bakhtin's analysis of the dialogic structuring of divergent voices in novels is useful in tracing Hardy's development as a novelist toward open-ended and composite forms of narrative discourse. The Return of the Native and The Mayor of Casterbridge have a strong architectonic focus based on the opposition between the meanings of Egdon Heath and Casterbridge explored by Hardy's narrators and the destructive lives of his characters. In The Woodlanders, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, and Jude the Obscure, Hardy creates experimental forms of narrative discourse which place increased stress on the subjective solitude of his characters, on the unreliability of his narrators, and on the cruelty which he finds in the relations between the individual, society, and nature. With the dialogic structuring of narrative voice and individual consciousness in Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure, Hardy's vision of modern tragedy achieves its most complex and challenging expression.
Issue Date:1992
Rights Information:Copyright 1992 Farrell, James Christopher
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9305521
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9305521

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