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International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences
Volume 50

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Louis Althusser and Thomas Hardy: How Victorian Ideologies Work in Under the Greenwood Tree

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Abstract:

In his early novel, Under the Greenwood Tree, Thomas Hardy attempts to show the readers how the inhabitants of a small village are repressed by the ideologies the dominant class or capitalism defines for them. The aim of these suppressive programs is to oppress the individuals by making them good and subordinate subjects. Althusser calls these ideologies created by the dominant class, Ideological State Apparatuses; however, in this novel one observes how some of the subjects try to revolt against these cruel rules by defining their own ideologies. One can also recognize that how the blatant break of these ideological programs by the revolutionary subject makes the subject look weird and eventually how he/she is alienated and marginalized by the society. On the other hand, the good subjects are made to believe that following these ideologies is usual and breaking of them is synonymous with interfering with the discipline and order of nature. Brought up in the Victorian age, Hardy understands how people are controlled by the ideologies and how they subscribe to them unwisely. In this novel he shows how a new and up-date product of capitalism—the organ—is introduced to a very traditional atmosphere in order to indoctrinate new changes in it. The so-called good subjects simply believe that change is necessary and inevitable. But this change has wisely planned by the oppressive capitalist powers for whom this change means the manipulation of these docile subjects, not only by separating them from their music community but also by depriving them of their traditional music.

Info:

Periodical:
International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences (Volume 50)
Pages:
155-161
DOI:
10.18052/www.scipress.com/ILSHS.50.155
Citation:
S. Sasani and H. Davari, "Louis Althusser and Thomas Hardy: How Victorian Ideologies Work in Under the Greenwood Tree", International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, Vol. 50, pp. 155-161, 2015
Online since:
Mar 2015
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