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Comparative Literature Commons

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European Languages and Societies

Bucknell University

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Violence And Edification In 19th Century Fiction: An Analysis Of The Novels Of Charles Dickens And Leo Tolstoy, Caroline Fassett Jan 2017

Violence And Edification In 19th Century Fiction: An Analysis Of The Novels Of Charles Dickens And Leo Tolstoy, Caroline Fassett

Honors Theses

This Thesis argues that violence is essential to the structures and plots of Charles Dickens’s Barnaby Rudge and A Tale of Two Cities and of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace and Anna Karenina, and is particularly essential to the edification, or the moral and intellectual improvement, of principal characters in these four novels. Additionally, this Thesis contends that this edification is both anticipated and reinforced by the novelists’ incorporation of counterparts whose demeanor and/or narrative overtly mirror that of the principal characters.

To support this argument, I bring the theory of Thomas Carlyle into conversation with the ...