This book offers a reading of seven novels made by Hardy as fables regarding the constitution and the dissolution of the self through illustrating how integrity and both bodily and psychic wholeness inform and disfigure fictional material. The study begins with the bodies of actual human characters as well as figurative language that leads to how bodies may be represented through the earth, the sky, the town, the house, the college, and other such elements. Hardy's writing is found to demonstrate fear of corporeal dissolution or anxiety about bodily integrity referred to as ‘somatic anxiety’. In Hardy's novels, nature manifests itself as a fragmented human body. It is important to note that there are other methods for illustrating these matters as these can also be reflected also by other ‘humanoid’ figures. These are moreover portrayed through the plot and through characterization.
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