Miles, Evelyn Carol (1975) Some aspects of the treatment of the industrial and urban working classes in British prose fiction, 1832-1914. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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Abstract

This study of attitudes to and the presentation of the industrial and urban working classes in prose fiction written between 1832 and 1914 begins with two chapters on the urban environment. The first, which concentrates on books written before 1880, examines treatments of the working-class response to two aspects of urban life:- the physical hardships of slum life; and the emotional and spiritual impact of the large scale and anonymity of the urban environment. The main issue to arise is the balance of moralistic and compassionate attitudes. The second chapter looks at the continuing debate about physical conditions, in fiction written after 1880; at the emergence of interest in the cultural environment of the working classes; and at the application of notions of the struggle for existence and survival of the fittest.
Chapters three and four examine the degree of sensitivity " attributed to working-class characters in their courtship and marriage relationships, and in inter-class marriages and personal relationships, including those in which a working-class girl is seduced by someone of higher social standing. The fifth chapter begins with an account of the fictional presentation of the lives and characters of working-class girls, who become prostitutes, and develops into a treatment of the moral conventions which emerge.
An'examination of the treatment of the effects on workers of conditions in factories forms the first part of chapter six. It is followed by an analysis of the ways in which several novelists present trade unions; and the chapter concludes with a study of working conditions and labour relations in workshops and "sweated trades". The final chapter deals with the political attitudes and activities of working men. It concentrates on the characterization of working-class political leaders, and relates this to the writers' attitudes to the political movements involved.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Humanities
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 08 May 2019 08:35
Last Modified: 08 May 2019 08:35
URI: http://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/6282

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