The crucial role that form or structure plays in the novelist’s presentation of life was obvious to Thomas Hardy. His novels are carefully constructed; and the once fashionable observation that his architectural training as a youth was the reason he built neat, geometric plots does not account for the range of experimentation and inventiveness in the forms of his novels. Hardy’s continuing popularity has to do with a combination of seriousness, tenderness, and tolerance that enables him to make significant interpretations of experience. The structural features of his novels are not usually noticed either by general readers or by critics, even though structure is a dominant factor in creating the tragic qualities of the individual novels. My interest is to suggest some of the ways the forms Hardy employed in his great novels contribute to his achievement of tragedy.
KeywordsForm Alone Theorist Spring Tragic Hero Rhetorical Criticism Tragic Character
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