Jude the Obscure and Child Suicide

Shuttleworth Sally

in The Mind of the Child

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199582563
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191702327 | DOI:
Jude the Obscure and Child Suicide

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This chapter examines the portrayal of unnatural childhood in Thomas Hardy's novel Jude the Obscure. The novel was influenced by the over-pressure debates of the 1880s and associated concerns with child suicide, but placed them in a new light. This chapter describes a scene from this novel where the narrator superimposed on the childhood sorrow of the character of Jude an adult's pessimistic vision of a Darwinian struggle for existence which overturns the comforting religious order of natural theology.

Keywords: unnatural childhood; Thomas Hardy; Jude the Obscure; child suicide

Chapter.  8093 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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