Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
English, General Literature, and Rhetoric
This paper examines the problematic nature of western reliance on class-based societies through looking at postbellum United States and Victorian England through a transatlantic lens. I prove how the classification system produces a group of “unclassed” peoples based on a racial and intellectual status, by looking at Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure and Pauline Hopkins’ Of One Blood. These two nineteenth-century novels expose the production of unclassifiable who are outcast based on what I call a “class-race-intellect disagreement.” By revealing the life and struggles of the mixed-raced individual, I will show how the class systems used by western nations not only maintained the financial, social, professional, educational, etc. disparity between the upper and lower classes, but created an entire class of outsiders who are not welcome to participate in the world in which they live. This paper will not only show how these “unclassed” individuals were produced in the nineteenth-century, but how their status has maintained across oceans, borders and time.
Geed, Kendall, "Obscure, Unclassed and Undefinable: Social Immobility for Mixed Races in the Nineteenth Century Presented in Jude the Obscure and Of One Blood" (2018). Graduate Dissertations and Theses. 69.