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Industrialism and class consciousness in the novels of D. H. Lawrence: a study in realism

James, P. A. (1974) Industrialism and class consciousness in the novels of D. H. Lawrence: a study in realism. Masters thesis, Durham University.



Unlike other areas of sociology, the sociological study of literature has remained in a limbo between social science as simply the study of facts, and literature as an area which by its very nature cannot be scientifically analysed. This thesis is an attempt to bridge the gap between these two poles. We begin by discussing the idea of literature as a social phenomenon, looking in particular at the work of Marx, Engels, George Lukacs and Lucien Goldmann, whilst at the same time pin-pointing various methodological problems. We end the first part by drawing together various elements from each writer, such as, 'world-view', 'mediation', and 'realism', including the more literary orientated work of Rene Girard, in an attempt to devise a method which is scientific but is also capable of discussing the text and aesthetic features of a novel in detail. In the second chapter we look at intellectual influences which Lawrence was subject to, and also his own personal philosophy as expressed in his essays and letters. In the third chapter, we examine the economic and political forces which were operating in England at the time he was writing, and try to relate these, and the elements discussed in the previous chapter, to the structure of his novels. In the last chapter we discuss the novels themselves by using our methodology arrived at in chapter one. In this way we are able to examine the novels both generally, and in depth, and arrive at a conclusion which confirms the subjective analyses of literary critics such as F.R. Leavis, but provides a scientific basis for the judgement of literature as aesthetically good or bad. It is expected that this method can be applied to other writers, and therefore says something about the novel as a genre and not merely one particular writer.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1974
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:31

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