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Ambivalence in Hardy: A Study of his Attitude to Women (Anthem Press India)
Ambivalence in Hardy A Study of his Attitude to Women - Anthem Press India Author:Shanta Dutta Was Thomas Hardy a misogynist or a subscriber to the feminist cause? ‘Ambivalence in Hardy’ explores Hardy’s complex and deeply ambivalent attitude to women, both in his fiction and in his life. While his sympathy for wronged and exploited women is forcefully expressed, his writings also reveal his fears, uncertainties, reservation... more »s and tensions - the natural inheritance of patriarchal ideology and a predominantly male literary tradition.
The author analyses one 'minor' and one 'major' text from each of the three decades of Hardy’s career as a prose fiction writer. The 1870s are represented by ‘The Hand of Ethelberta’ and ‘The Return of the Native’, the 1880s by ‘Two on a Tower’ and ‘The Woodlanders’, and the 1890s by Hardy’s short stories and ‘Jude the Obscure’.
Generous references to Hardy’s letters, disguised autobiography, literary notebooks, marginalia and the letters of his two wives seek to blend a biographical approach with a feminist reading. Parallelisms between Hardy’s fiction and that of contemporary feminist writers are explored, suggesting mutual literary influence. His relations with women writers - particularly his protégées and 'scribbling' wives - are discussed in unprecedented detail. ‘Ambivalence in Hardy’ significantly contributes to and challenges the field of Hardy studies.« less