Chapter

Melancholic Men

Janice Carlisle

in Common Scents

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780195165098
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199787685 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195165098.003.0003
 Melancholic Men

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This chapter treats the principal male characters of Oliphant's Salem Chapel, Dickens' Great Expectations, and Meredith's Evan Harrington, each of whom is inodorate, a characterization that points to their embodiment of a particular condition of Victorian genteel manhood defined here as melancholia, in some cases a nearly pathological insubstantiality that reflects an unacknowledged loss of direct physical contact with the products of artisanal labor and their production. The causes of this apparently idiopathic psychological state are then traced to the conditions of material production characteristic of the 1860s.

Keywords: Dickens; Evan Harrington; Great Expectations; insubstantiality; melancholia; Meredith; nostalgia; Oliphant; production; Salem Chapel

Chapter.  15016 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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