The Adolescent Condition in Thomas Hardy's The Woodlanders
Abstract

Abstract:

In The Woodlanders, Hardy examines the intersections between adolescence as scientific fact and adolescence as utilitarian economic construction. Hardy posits that the emergence of adolescence as a social category provides an opportunity for further, excessive control of young women in a patriarchal society when science is taken at its word, but, paradoxically, also opens up a space for a new kind of freedom and rebellion when the adolescent condition of nineteenth-century scientific theorists is seized for the very subversive qualities which the Victorians oppose.