Analyzing the Writings of Thomas Hardy

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The overall aim of this research study was to establish an objective clustering of Thomas Hardy’s prose fiction texts as a basis for better understanding the associations between the texts, and the development of an objective thematic analysis of Hardy’s corpus that can address the problems of replicability and objectivity in non-computational thematic classification of literary studies. To achieve this, this thesis used vector space clustering based on hierarchical cluster analysis methods. The novels and short stories of Thomas Hardy formed the context of the study. Implications for theory and practice were examined. At this final stage, this chapter is an overall summary of the findings of the thesis. The chapter ends, however, with a note of suggestions and recommendations for improvement and speculating on future directions. 9-2 Findings Returning to the question posed at the beginning of this study, it is now possible to state that the novels and short stories can be thematically clustered using in objective and replicable methods. In spite of its limitations (discussed in 9-3 below), this thesis suggests the following significant findings. • All of Hardy’s prose fiction works exhibit rich thematic concepts. It can be claimed that many thematic discussions of Hardy were unjust in limiting their discussions to the series of novels and short stories he wrote between 1871 and 1895. • One of the most significant findings to emerge from this study is that cluster analysis methods can be used to empirically derive taxonomies of thematic concepts of the novels and short stories of Thomas Hardy. Equally important, nonetheless, computers and machines cannot be replacements for humans in reading and interpreting literatu... ... middle of paper ... ...In this, it is recommended that we have a generic classification of the novels and short stories of Hardy by means of exploratory multivariate analysis. With this, we could identify tragedies, comedies, histories, etc within the literary product of Hardy. Fourth, the thesis is concerned with the works of Thomas Hardy with no mention or involvement of other writers of the age. In this, the results cannot suggest whether Hardy was influenced by any of his contemporaries in dealing with the themes of his works. It is always argued, for instance, that Hardy was influenced by George Eliot. On his part, he was strongly motivated by the desire not to be categorized as a follower of her. In this, it is recommended that a hierarchical cluster analysis of the works of both Hardy and Eliot be undertaken so that any comparisons/correlation can be objectively investigated.
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