To what extent does the language in Hard Times, Major Barbara and Thomas Hardy: The Complete Poems, degrade humanity and for what reason?
The motives of Charles Dickens, Bernard Shaw and Thomas Hardy for presenting humanity as degraded, through their language, differ significantly. While the texts, which when taken as isolated pieces of literature contain mutual themes of reduction and belittlement, could be viewed as works produced by three similar authors, they are in fact written to very different ends. Dickens and Shaw are paradoxically great believers in ‘humanity’, but find themselves disillusioned with the state they find it in; thus, the physical degradation seen in Hard Times and the moral degradation seen in Major Barbara is designed to highlight and exaggerate what they believe is wrong with society. Hardy, however, as a great lover of the natural world, can be viewed as having a genuine despair for humanity, believing it is beyond repair. While it is important to primarily focus on the extent to which language presents humanity as degraded in these works, this can not be done effectively without an understanding of the authors’ moral pretexts. Indeed, it is equally critical to have an awareness of the time at which these three texts were produced; Shaw was only 14 years old when Dickens died and was writing amid a growing fear of war, a fear which would be realised just seven years after Major Barbara was published. Hardy, meanwhile, went on to write several war poems, thus making it too simplistic to claim he and Shaw had an identical disapproval of the capitalist, industrialised world, regardless of the textual similarities, primarily because they were writing on opposite sides of a World War. In spite of this, there... [continues]
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(2011, 11). To What Extent Does the Language in Hard Times, Major Barbara and Thomas Hardy: the Complete Poems, Degrade Humanity and for What Reason?. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 11, 2011, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/To-What-Extent-Does-The-Language-838245.html
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"To What Extent Does the Language in Hard Times, Major Barbara and Thomas Hardy: the Complete Poems, Degrade Humanity and for What Reason?." StudyMode.com. 11, 2011. Accessed 11, 2011. http://www.studymode.com/essays/To-What-Extent-Does-The-Language-838245.html.