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Hardian Philosophy In Far From The Madding Crowd

796 words - 4 pages

Hardy is primarily a storyteller and should be viewed more as a chronicler of moods and deeds than as a philosopher. Yet a novel such as Far from the Madding Crowd, which raises many questions about society, religion, morals, and the contrast between a good life and its rewards, is bound to make the reader curious about the author who brings them up.Hardy lived in an age of transition. The industrial revolution was in the process of destroying the agricultural life, and the subsequent shifting of population caused a disintegration of rural customs and traditions that had meant security, stability, and dignity for the people. It was a period when fundamental beliefs - religious, social, ...view middle of the document...

Determinism, on the other hand, acknowledges that man's struggle against the will behind things is of no avail, that the laws of cause and effect are in operation - that is, the human will is not free and human beings have no control over their own destiny, try as they may. Hardy sees life in terms of action, in the doomed struggle against the circumstantial forces against happiness. Incident, for example, plays an important role in causing joy or pain, and often an act of indiscretion in early youth can wreck one's chances for happiness. In Hardy's novels, then, Fate appears as an artistic motif in a great variety of forms - chance and coincidence, nature, time, woman, and convention. None is Fate itself, but rather all of these are manifestations of the Immanent Will.The use of chance and coincidence as a means of furthering the plot was a technique used by many Victorian authors but with Hardy it becomes something more than a mere device. Fateful incidents (overheard conversations and undelivered letters, for instance) are the forces working against mere man in his efforts to control his own destiny. In addition, Fate appears in the form of nature,...

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