Abstract/Details

Gambling and risk in Victorian literature and culture


2008 2008

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Abstract (summary)

This dissertation analyzes the representative power of gambling rhetoric and metaphors in the works of Charles Dickens, George Eliot, William Makepeace Thackeray, and Anthony Trollope. My project investigates the diverse aspects of gambling that penetrated the Victorian era to argue that gambling becomes a literary, social, historical, political, psychological, and sexual metaphor for a period fraught with uncertainty and risk but one that still maintained a strong sense of economic confidence. Critical works within the last two decades primarily focus on how representations of gambling comment on the cultural and historical economics of the nineteenth century. However, none have specifically integrated economic theorists, such as Adam Smith, Thomas Carlyle, and John Stuart Mill. I update the field by using an economic framework of gambling to expose how the rhetoric of chance, speculation, and risk became embedded in fiction, non-fiction, and the everyday language. After the discussion of gambling and the Victorian economy, I juxtapose gambling as occupation and occupation as gambling to highlight the ambiguous distinctions between gambling, speculation, and investment, as illustrated in Vanity Fair and The Way We Live Now. I also explore gambling as a form of play and compulsion in Charles Dickens's Bleak House and A Tale of Two Cities to highlight the psychological risks associated with gambling. Finally, I focus on gender issues through the lens of gambling in George Eliot's Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda to expose the risk and uncertainty involved in the economics of the marriage market.

Indexing (details)


Subject
British and Irish literature
Classification
0593: British and Irish literature
Identifier / keyword
Language, literature and linguistics; Dickens, Charles; Economics; Eliot, George; Gambling; Speculation; Thackeray, William Makepeace; Trollope, Anthony; Victorian; Victorian novel
Title
Gambling and risk in Victorian literature and culture
Author
Wagner, Jodi L.
Number of pages
224
Publication year
2008
Degree date
2008
School code
0183
Source
DAI-A 70/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Advisor
Palmer, William J.
Committee member
Deering, Dorothy; Friedman, Geraldine; Weiser, Irwin
University/institution
Purdue University
Department
English
University location
United States -- Indiana
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3344117
ProQuest document ID
288226498
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/288226498/abstract
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