Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Pleasures of BenthamismVictorian Literature, Utility, Political Economy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Kathleen Blake

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199563265

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199563265.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 October 2020

Pains—Capital versus the Gift in The Mill on the Floss

Pains—Capital versus the Gift in The Mill on the Floss

(p.111) 4 Pains—Capital versus the Gift in The Mill on the Floss
Pleasures of Benthamism

Kathleen Blake (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

As it acknowledges the pain of work, Utilitarian political economic acknowledges the pain of capital savings for investment, achieved through parsimony. This correlates with Malthusian ‘moral restraint.’ To many, Eliot's Mill on the Floss has seemed strained in plot coherence. But attention to economic transactions not usually looked at reveals a narrative logic linking the fatal financial ruin of Tulliver Sr. to the fate of his children, though this seems remote from money concerns. Eliot endorses a capitalist delimitation of privation‐‐‐seen in capitalist lending and related sexual restraint. Absent this delimitation, a pre‐capitalist economics of the gift leads to bankruptcy and sacrifice of love and life itself. Gift economics is identified with Christian asceticism and is most likely to govern relations between those in a class or gender hierarchy.

Keywords:   asceticism, capital, class, Eliot's The Mill on the Floss, gender, gift economics, lending, narrative logic, principle of pain, sexual ‘moral restraint’

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .