Patterns of judgement : the rhetoric of George Eliot and Thomas Hardy.
Hay, Ronald J
This study seeks to achieve a fresh perspective on these two major Victorian novelists by following up in a detailed and systematic analysis of some of their works the rhetorical approach to literature established by such critics as Wayne Booth and Sheldon Sacks. The focus in each case is on the author's personal vision of life and the technical means whereby it is transmitted to the reader. This thesis is based on a view of the literary work as an act of self-expression intended for an audience and as a representation of an individual apprehension of reality. I am, then, primarily concerned with the effect of the work, with its impact (intended or unintended) upon the reader rather than with its intrinsic, self-contained structure. The three major factors in the rhetorical equation are obviously the author, the work, and the reader. In analyzing particular novels I have sought to define and discriminate between the variable relationships existing in George Eliot and Thomas Hardy between author and fictional characters, between reader and characters, and between author (as embodied in or speaking through his work) and reader. To a limited extent, I have attempted, through the use of contemporary reviews, to place these relationships in some historical perspective, though primarily concerned with the way the novels strike the reader today. As for technical analysis, I have concentrated mainly on the rhetorical handling of plot and point of view with little attention given to style and imagery except as they are subsumed under the subject of point of view.
Advisor: Horsman, Ernest A
Degree Name: Master of literature in English
Degree Discipline: English
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Thesis