Date Thesis Awarded

5-2018

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

English

Advisor

Suzanne Raitt

Committee Members

Deborah Morse

Liz Barnes

Paul Manna

Abstract

The late nineteenth-century England witnessed rapid modernization and important reforms of educational policies for the lower-class. The huge impact of those changes on people's lives was captured by literary works. During the decades of England's first attempt at universal elementary education in 1870-1890s, Thomas Hardy wrote and published six novels: Far From the Madding Crowd,The Return of the Native, The Mayor of Casterbridge,The Woodlanders, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, and Jude the Obscure. This thesis examines the changing theme of education in Hardy’s six novels in the dynamic context of rapid modernization and educational reforms, observing hopes and difficulties that people face in different stages of social development.

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