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Title: The rural-urban bind in Thomas Hardy's regional novels
Author: Pickford, Curtis
Awarding Body: Manchester Metropolitan University
Current Institution: Manchester Metropolitan University
Date of Award: 2012
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This research project explores the rural-urban bind in four novels by Thomas Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891), and Jude the Obscure (1895). In each of these novels Hardy contrives to create an imagined nostalgia for a rural community losing its traditions, memory, and history due to social change brought about by the urban elements of modernisation, migration, and industrialisation. The purpose of this thesis is to expose the methods that Hardy employs to construct and conserve this rural-urban bind. Firstly, Hardy utilises the regional novel genre, which, as this essay shows, offers a felicitous framework for considering the problematic repercussions of the rural-urban bind, drawing attention to the importance of locality within the landscape. Secondly, Hardy draws on pastoral landscapes as a setting for representations of how social change, industrialisation and urbanisation affect characters, communities, environments and a nostalgic, rural way of life. Finally, this thesis explores Hardy's antagonistic portrayal of science, religion, industry, technology and travel to argue that the rural-urban bind is used negatively to convey encroaching modernity and portray a growing urban industrial landscape, which consumes rural traditions, erases memories and severs the individual's connection to place.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available