Existentialism and Darwinism in The French Lieutenant's Woman

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Description

Existentialism and Darwinism provide a means of viewing the development of personal freedom in a young English gentleman, Charles Smithson. Guided by Sarah Woodruff, a social outcast, Charles approaches freedom through the existential conditions of terror, anguish, and despair; he encounters alienation, human finitude, and the loss of a relationship with God on the way. The realization of his trapped state is aided by the Darwinian analogy present in the novel: the monied leisure class to which Charles belongs is presented as the species approaching extinction because it fails to make the changes necessary to survive changed conditions. The novel's ... continued below

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iii, 98 leaves

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Lee, Cynthia Bullock August 1977.

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This thesis is part of the collection entitled: UNT Theses and Dissertations and was provided by UNT Libraries to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 1723 times , with 138 in the last month . More information about this thesis can be viewed below.

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  • Lee, Cynthia Bullock

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Existentialism and Darwinism provide a means of viewing the development of personal freedom in a young English gentleman, Charles Smithson. Guided by Sarah Woodruff, a social outcast, Charles approaches freedom through the existential conditions of terror, anguish, and despair; he encounters alienation, human finitude, and the loss of a relationship with God on the way. The realization of his trapped state is aided by the Darwinian analogy present in the novel: the monied leisure class to which Charles belongs is presented as the species approaching extinction because it fails to make the changes necessary to survive changed conditions. The novel's two endings combine existential and Darwinian elements to present to Charles the choice that can help him escape his trapped state and gain freedom.

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iii, 98 leaves

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UNT Theses and Dissertations

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  • August 1977

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 10, 2015, 6:16 a.m.

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  • June 15, 2016, 8:20 a.m.

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Lee, Cynthia Bullock. Existentialism and Darwinism in The French Lieutenant's Woman, thesis, August 1977; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc504115/: accessed December 11, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .