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Title: Defoe and Fielding : studies in thievery and roguery
Author: Last, Brian William
ISNI:       0000 0001 3605 3436
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 1978
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Defoe and Fielding were intensely concerned with the social conditions of the time. The upsurge in crime constituted a threat to the ordinary citizen as well as a danger to civilized values. As Fielding in particular showed, exploitation of the ordinary citizen took place under the guise of respectability. It was the task of the writer to remove this guise and examine the real motives behind the actions of a particular individual and judge that person according to strict moral standards. The criminal was not simply a member of the lower classes; he could be a member of the aristocracy or of the government. The times were corrupt; Defoe and Fielding had to come to terms with this corruption by examining the motives behind it and the possible remedies for it. The difference between the various levels in society becomes blurred in their writings in order to make the point that robbery on the highway and robbery by the apparently respectable memeers of society are one and the same thing; both have to be exposed in order to preserve civilized standards. Both writers were searching for the truth, and took care to examine the individual circumstances surrounding a person's lapse into crime so that the fairest judgement possible could be made. This seeking after truth guides them in their fight against crime and corruption
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Defoe, Daniel, 1661?-1731 Criticism and interpretation ; Fielding, Henry 1707-1754 Criticism and interpretation ; Crime in literature ; Corruption Fiction