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The Mind of the ChildChild Development in Literature, Science, and Medicine, 1840-1900$
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Sally Shuttleworth

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199582563

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199582563.001.0001

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Jude the Obscure and Child Suicide

Jude the Obscure and Child Suicide

(p.335) 18 Jude the Obscure and Child Suicide
The Mind of the Child

Shuttleworth Sally

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the portrayal of unnatural childhood in Thomas Hardy's novel Jude the Obscure. The novel was influenced by the over-pressure debates of the 1880s and associated concerns with child suicide, but placed them in a new light. This chapter describes a scene from this novel where the narrator superimposed on the childhood sorrow of the character of Jude an adult's pessimistic vision of a Darwinian struggle for existence which overturns the comforting religious order of natural theology.

Keywords:   unnatural childhood, Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure, child suicide

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