Consolidation of the Victorian Marriage Tradition in Hardy’s Jude the Obscure

Parvin Ghasemi, Masood Keshavarz


Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy has always been considered a novel in which the concept of the traditional Victorian marriage is severely criticized through various tones.  New Historicism and Cultural Materialism are methodological approaches that provide us with a different interpretation of this novel. Therefore , on the basis of these "reading practices," as Greenblatt calls them, the researchers attempt to offer  another reading of this novel. The present research concludes that Jude the Obscure at first presents an explicit, reproachful treatment of the conventional Victorian marriage but at the end it reinforces this type of marriage by repressing the characters whose views are at odds with the dominant views of the society. In other words, through marginalizing its own major characters as "the others", Jude the Obscure consolidates the dominant discourse of the Victorian society about "marriage".


Victorian marriage; new historicism; cultural materialism; consolidation; discourse

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