Victorian Virtue: Smith, Malthus, and Hardy by Tyler Wood

"Manners make the man; that is, they make his fortune (Household Words 296)."

Self-sacrifice, in Victorian England, was a virtue of the utmost importance. This was a time when modesty and manners reigned supreme, but also a time of a child boom, so what was virtuous for a man to do in this era? One thing for sure is to sacrifice for the betterment of all. This idea was ingrained into the realms of economics, politics, nation building, sexuality, and of course - morality. In Jude the Obscure, Thomas Hardy uses the popular ideas of a virtuous man and turns them on their head for the sake of showing what ends society's 'virtue' and 'morality' ultimately lead to. Hardy, unlike Adam Smith and Thomas Malthus, makes love and passion worthy ideals to sacrifice for.

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