"Thy Damnation Slumbereth Not": A Study of the Effects of Shame in Literature from the Industrial Era
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This thesis discusses the effect of shame on young women represented in Naturalist literature who have violated the sexual social contract of the late Nineteenth century. The research looks primarily at three works: Tess of D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets by Stephen Crane, and Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser, as well as at the critical work surrounding these authors. Shame in these novels is depicted as an unnecessary weight placed on the shoulders of a character by an indifferent society and when heeded, this shame causes ultimate destruction.