“Still Corporeally Imminent”: Hardy’s Revenants

  • Galia Benziman


This chapter examines the reappearance of the dead in Hardy’s novels and short stories (discussing Desperate Remedies, Far from the Madding Crowd, Two on a Tower, A Pair of Blue Eyes, The Mayor of Casterbridge and more). Hardy’s characters who “return from the grave” are either found to be alive after they were presumed to be dead, or operate figuratively in absentia while dead. Their return places the survivors in an awkward position. Real or symbolic, this reappearance reveals the relationship of the dead and the living to be fraught with conflicts and power struggles, frequently as part of married life. It demonstrates the unending domination of patriarchy, even after death. Bereavement in Hardy is thus ambiguously melancholic in the Freudian sense, precluding a healthy work of mourning.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Galia Benziman
    • 1
  1. 1.Open UniversityRa’ananaIsrael

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