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 Volume 16/1 includes forum "Modernity and Mobility: Victorian Women Traveling"
 January 2018

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 Volume 15/1: includes forum "Audionarratology"
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 June 2015

 Volume 13/1: includes forum "TheGhetto as a Victorian Text"
 January 2015

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 Volume 10/1: includes forum "Fernando Pessoa and the Issue of Heteronymy
 January 2012

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 Volume 8/1 includes forum "The Ethics of Temporality"
 January 2010

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 Quick Article Search

   Newest Articles

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 Till Kinzel

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 Inge Arteel

 Singing Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow
 Anahita Rouyan

 Being Silent, Doing Nothing
 Agatha Frischmuth

 Musical Macrostructures in The Gold Bug Variations and Orfeo by Richard Powers; or, Toward a Media-Conscious Audionarratology
 A. Elisabeth Reichel

 New Modes of Listening
 Emily Petermann

 Narrating Sounds
 Jarmila Mildorf and Till Kinzel

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Updated Up To 18/01/2017
Volume 3, Number 2 (June 2005) : 23-47
The Trisected Society
Social Welfare in Early Victorian Fiction
Tony Fitzpatrick
Rubric A: Then and Now

Abstract

 

This article analyses some seminal novels by Dickens, Disraeli, Gaskell, and Kingsley in their relation to developments in society and welfare of the early Victorian period, inferring from them a social discourse that challenged some but not all aspects of classical political economics. It argues that they reveal a view of society as “trisected,” that is as one in which the realms of production, distribution and reproduction are barely regarded as occupying the same conceptual space. So while some aspects of social policy are deplored, e.g. the workhouse, some of the assumptions and values upon which they were based are upheld. Rather than extensive institutional reform these books demand a new set of ethical coordinates which reflect a growing awareness of the interdependencies of individuals.


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