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Title: The explicable and the inexplicable : Gothic manifestations in four of Thomas Hardy's novels
Authors: Liljedahl, Jane Louise.
Award date: 2002
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: In this thesis I will examine how Hardy uses Gothic manifestations within his novels to allude to the inexplicable-objects and events that defy rational explanation. The Gothic is a medium of faith that alerts us to the mysterious unknown that is real, but elusive, gesturing toward a reality that is not itself. By acknowledging the non-rational, the Gothic liberates feelings and emotions, leading to an expansion of consciousness with no restrictions or boundaries. In turn, Gothic literary themes, tropes, and representations offer limitless possibilities that evade language. Unable to express his quasi-religious intuitions in a scientific, philosophical or religious creed, Hardy used the crude machinations of Gothic literary convention to express these intuitions.;By introducing examples of Gothic writing in Hardy's novels and comparing them with conventional Gothic literature, I will provide a general overview of how Hardy utilises Gothic conventions to express his own sense of the Gothic. Establishing a historical account of the term "Gothic", the corresponding literary genre will be studied, introducing specific examples of writing from some of the leading practitioners of the Gothic literary period - Horace Walpole, Ann Radcliffe, Matthew Lewis and Charles Maturin - giving special attention to the related ideas of Edmund Burke. Jane Austen's parody of the formulaic Gothic will also be a focus.;Although Hardy is not a Gothic writer in the manner of the eighteenth-century Walpole or Radcliffe, he uses traditional and non-traditional Gothic literary conventions in his novels. Like most Gothic authors, he often alludes to the existence of an inexplicable entity, possibly of supernatural origin. In his earlier novels, he discounts the power of such a force and offers reasonable explanations for events that appear inexplicable. However, no similar clarification is offered in his later novels.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: Ph.D.
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, Dept. of English
Leicester Theses

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