Parallax Perspectives on the Industrial Novel in Victorian Fiction Thesis uri icon



  • Thesis (M.A., English)--University of Idaho, June 2014 | This thesis analyzes three industrial novels written during the Victorian period in England, specifically 1844 to 1854. The three novels investigated are the most widely read of the industrial novel genre: Benjamin Disraeli's Sybil, Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South, and Charles Dickens's Hard Times. Using Slavoj iek's concept of the parallax--ontological, scientific, and political--to analyze these novels, this thesis argues that their solutions for England's disparity, while materially feasible, are not socially compatible with the period. Disraeli's support of the aristocracy hinders the progression of democracy. Gaskell's corporate socialism promotes transparency that still progresses slowly in the twenty-first century. Dickens's totalitarian fiction, while offering intellectual stimulation for people with access to literacy via education and literate story tellers, does not offer a practical solution, only Dickens's cynical view of Victorian society.

publication date

  • June 1, 2014


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