Thomas Hardy | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 29 pages of analysis & critique of Thomas Hardy.
This section contains 7,899 words
(approx. 27 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Jeanette Roberts Shumaker

SOURCE: Shumaker, Jeanette Roberts. “Abjection and Degeneration in Thomas Hardy's ‘Barbara of the House of Grebe.’” College Literature 26, no. 2 (spring 1999): 1-17.

In the following essay, Shumaker asserts that Hardy illustrates the danger of the Victorian myth of degeneration in “Barbara of the House of Grebe.”

Thomas Hardy's Gothic tale, “Barbara of the House of Grebe” (1891), dramatizes the horrid consequences of belief in the Victorian myth of degeneration. Only months after writing Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Hardy creates another tragedy in the less well-known “Barbara”; this time tragedy stems from dread of the lower class and of sexually assertive women of any class.1 The theory of degeneration situates the hatred of the working class and women seen in “Barbara” within the pseudo-scientific debates of the late-Victorian era. Hardy shows how belief in the myth of degeneration could ruin relationships and lives.

Recent studies of degenerationism in history and literature...

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This section contains 7,899 words
(approx. 27 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Jeanette Roberts Shumaker
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Critical Essay by Jeanette Roberts Shumaker from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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