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Title: The philosophical world-view of Thomas Hardy : existential and deterministic universes in ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ and ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’
Authors: Spiteri, Elizabeth-Anne
Keywords: Hardy, Thomas, 1840-1928. Far from the madding crowd -- Criticism and interpretation
Hardy, Thomas, 1840-1928. Tess of the D’Urbervilles -- Criticism and interpretation
Hardy, Thomas, 1840-1928 -- Philosophy
Issue Date: 2017
Abstract: This dissertation explores two novels by Thomas Hardy, through the philosophical lenses of Existentialism and Determinism. Written seventeen years apart, Far from the Madding Crowd (1874) and Tess of the D’Urbervilles (1891) will be analysed with the aim of showcasing the shift in Hardy’s perspective from his earlier novels to his later ones. The first chapter highlights the views of the 19th Century Existentialists and Determinists, particularly Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Arthur Schopenhauer. These two doctrines are explained and applied to Hardy’s novels in Chapters 2 and 3. Although Hardy’s world-view stems predominantly from the philosophy of Determinism, the pivotal events in Far from the Madding Crowd and Tess of the D’Urbervilles will be examined from both philosophical perspectives. This dissertation also explores the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre, a 20th Century Existentialist whose work is used to show how moments of free will are indeed embedded in Hardy’s novels. Despite the fact that Hardy precedes Sartre, some elements of Sartre’s philosophy can be seen in Hardy’s works. The objective of this dissertation is to explore the ways in which free will and determinism come into play in Hardy’s novels. Even though the over-arching philosophy of Determinism is apparent all throughout, it is important to note that even in later novels, Hardy does give his characters a few moments of freedom and happiness. Such moments depict how Hardy fuses both philosophical world-views together.
Description: B.A.(HONS)ENGLISH
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2017
Dissertations - FacArtEng - 2017

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