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Expulsion and the Nineteenth-Century Novel – The Scapegoat in English Realist Fiction - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Expulsion and the Nineteenth-Century Novel: The Scapegoat in English Realist Fiction

Michiel Heyns


This book examines the notion that the realist novel reinforces existing social structures through its techniques of representation. It depicts the 19th-century literary scapegoat — the ostensible victim of the expulsive pressure of plot — as begetter of an alternative vision, questioning the values apparently upheld by the novel as a whole. Novels, like communities, need scapegoats to rid them of their unexpressed anxieties. This has placed the realist novel under suspicion of collaborating with established authority, by reproducing the very structures it often seeks to criticise. This book i ... More

Keywords: 19th-century novel, realist novel, techniques of representation, social structures, literary scapegoat, Jane Austen, Mansfield Park, Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend, George Eliot

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1994 Print ISBN-13: 9780198182702
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198182702.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Michiel Heyns, author
University of Stellenbosch