Chapter

Life’s Little Ironies

Sophie Gilmartin and Rod Mengham

in Thomas Hardy's Shorter Fiction

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780748632657
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651641 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748632657.003.0003
Life’s Little Ironies

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This chapter discusses Hardy's Life's Little Ironies. The stories featured in this volume appear to be obsessed with the failure of nineteenth-century men and women to settle on a creative and meaningful relationship with the past and the future. The chapter studies in greater detail the general concern with legacies, which is reflected in Hardy's anxiety over the status of his personal literary legacy. It reveals that the most important thematic emphasis of the story is the extent to which stereotypes of language and role vitiate the relationships of all the main characters. The chapter determines that the narratives are not concerned with outlining the development of the characters, but with the repetition and duplication of actions and identities, respectively.

Keywords: legacy; stereotypes; language; relationships; repetition of actions; duplication of identities

Chapter.  10846 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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