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Walking in the Novels of Thomas Hardy

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abstract
This thesis considers walking in the novels of Thomas Hardy as an expression of deracination and normlessness. Unlike his literary predecessors who celebrated walking as a salutary activity, Hardy envisions movement as an inherently disruptive, often destructive act. Informed by spatial theory and mobility studies, I examine how walking embodies displacement--ideological, gendered, and narrative--in five of Hardy's novels. His characters, in their inability to settle in one place, represent a destabilization of identity and suffer the inevitable consequence of placelessness. In particular, the peripatetic and mobile lives of his heroines enact what is considered disruptive female behavior in the nineteenth century. I lastly examine how walking shapes narrative elements to construct the fatalistic region of Wessex. In wandering this space, Hardy's walker conveys the problems of an anomic existence--of isolation, exclusion, and rejection--as inexorable and insoluble.
subject
contributor
Le, Van (author)
Jenkins, Melissa (committee chair)
Klein, Scott (committee member)
Bowie, Rian (committee member)
date
2014-01-15T09:35:35Z (accessioned)
2013 (issued)
degree
English (discipline)
10000-01-01 (liftdate)
embargo
forever (terms)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/39137 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
Walking in the Novels of Thomas Hardy
type
Thesis

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