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The Journal of English Language and Literature , Vol.64, No.4, 551 ~ 565, 2018
Hardy’s Laodiceanism: Dare’s Role in A Laodicean
Donguk Kim
Laodiceanism is the blueprint from which Hardy draws one of his most ingenuous effects: the creating of a Laodicean around which the novel constructs its ambiguity. Hardy’s command of “ingenuity” joins both the leading heroine Paula and the minor character Dare into the same category of a Laodicean. Alongside Paula, Dare is the most important ingredient in the novel in that he acts as an enigmatic persona defying the reader’s attempts to establish a coherent type. This paper aims to offer a close reading of Dare’s life story, which is chosen for discussion as he has been deemed as a simple functionary and thus apparently escaped serious critical notice thus far. It is stressed that the structure of sensations Dare embodies is fascinating in the sense that it is a locus where the coexistence of both meaning and nonmeaning would not amount to harmonious peace or stability so much as permits the impossibility of single and central significance. In this coexistence is inscribed a notion that the binaries in opposition are endlessly inter-mingled in dialogic tension, which is the hallmark of Laodiceanism that Hardy aims to present through the creation of Dare.
Key Words
Laodiceanism, indeterminacy, laughter, Hardy, Victorian fiction
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