A Study of The Vicar of Wakefield

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The Vicar of Wakefield is neither a sensational novel directed toward the reform of mankind nor does it mark an advance in fictional techniques. Rather, it is conventional both in form and substance. Despite this literary orthodoxy, the novel has remained popular with critics and the reading public for two centuries. Previous plot studies of The Vicar have concentrated principally on Goldsmithss failure to utilize adequately the cause-effect relationship. With few exceptions, all scholars who have studied this plot find coincidence and accidental meeting the novel's greatest weakness. Most character analyses of the narrative have centered on the chief character. ... continued below

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iii, 99 leaves

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Arthur, Lynda Ruth August 1960.

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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 1765 times , with 87 in the last month . More information about this thesis can be viewed below.

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  • Arthur, Lynda Ruth

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The Vicar of Wakefield is neither a sensational novel directed toward the reform of mankind nor does it mark an advance in fictional techniques. Rather, it is conventional both in form and substance. Despite this literary orthodoxy, the novel has remained popular with critics and the reading public for two centuries. Previous plot studies of The Vicar have concentrated principally on Goldsmithss failure to utilize adequately the cause-effect relationship. With few exceptions, all scholars who have studied this plot find coincidence and accidental meeting the novel's greatest weakness. Most character analyses of the narrative have centered on the chief character. While one critic attributes "typical human naturalness" to the Vicar, another finds him "an impossible mixture of folly and wisdom" and "an inadequate cog in a poorly designed machine.." In thematic studies of The Vicar, critics have attempted with little success to define the major theme. Those themes which have received most extensive treatment are the contrast of appearance and reality, the innate goodness of man, the limitations of contemporary literature, the corruption in government, and the ideal nature of rural life. A few stylistic studies of the novel have concentrated their praise on Goldsmith's spontaneity, some, contradictorily, on his careful diction, and others on his success in handling both humor and pathos.

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iii, 99 leaves

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  • August 1960

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 24, 2015, 9:39 a.m.

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  • Oct. 7, 2016, 10:36 a.m.

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Arthur, Lynda Ruth. A Study of The Vicar of Wakefield, thesis, August 1960; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc663023/: accessed December 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .