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Pleasures of BenthamismVictorian Literature, Utility, Political Economy$
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Kathleen Blake

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199563265

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199563265.001.0001

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Pains—‘Work while it is called Today’

Pains—‘Work while it is called Today’

Utility, Political Economy,Carlyle, and Trollope

Chapter:
(p.82) 3 Pains—‘Work while it is called Today’
Source:
Pleasures of Benthamism
Author(s):

Kathleen Blake (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199563265.003.0003

Benthamites and economists acknowledge a principle of pain in work. But there is to be no self‐sacrifice that outruns self‐interest. Indeed in contemplating work, these writers communicate an element of gratification. Heeding German Romantic influences on Carlyle, which have received much attention, the chapter explores overlooked Utilitarian‐economic influences as well. It shows how the labor theory of value comes together with Romantic ideas on creation, vocation, and everyday work (in this era encompassing industrial production) to form Carlyle's Gospel of Work. The chapter treats Sartor Resartus, Carlyle's annotations of Mill's Principles of Political Economy, and the application of a new‐forged work ethic to the topical cause of work‐reform in the Church of England, as represented in Anthony Trollope's novel The Warden. Thematically and by means of their styles, Carlyle and Trollope affirm work‐as‐pain but only so far as it serves and eventuates in pleasure.

Keywords:   Caryle's Sartor Resartus, Gospel of Work, labor theory of value, principle of pain, Romantic vocation, Trollope's The Warden, work, work‐reform

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