Thomas Hardy’s Tess Of The D’urbervilles and George Gissing’s New Grub Street

4 April 2015
Examines the role of Victorian values (utilitarianism, evangelicalism, self-help) in these two novels.

The Concept of Self-Help in Victorian Literature

George Gissing’s New Grub Street demonstrates the Utilitarian values that characterized Victorian social and cultural life, while Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles demonstrates the Evangelical values also dominant during the period. The concept of self-help factors into both novels because Utilitarianism and Evangelicalism stressed the concept as the route to earthly and heavenly rewards, respectively. The tone of the two books differs significantly, most notably in the sense that Gissing uses the commercialization of literature to question the effect of Utilitarian values on daily human life and Hardy uses Tess’s life to question Evangelical religious tenets. However, the novels also demonstrate the similarity between the two philosophies. The position of the main characters at the end …

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Thomas Hardy's Tess Of The D'urbervilles and George Gissing's New Grub Street. (2015, Apr 23). Retrieved September 17, 2020, from https://newyorkessays.com/essay-thomas-hardys-tess-of-the-durbervilles-and-george-gissings-new-grub-street/
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