Determinism of Poverty or Poverty of Determination? Sociological Study of The Patient Stone and Jude the Obscure Based on Pierre Bourdieu's Theory

Document Type : Research Paper


1 M. A. graduate of English language and literature from Razi University, Kermanshah

2 Assistant Professor in English Department Razi University of Kermanshah



The study of Humans as social creatures is not limited to sociology. One of the main concerns of literary works has always been to reflect humans inside societies, exploring their worries, concerns and fears in relation to others . Sociological analysis of literary texts is a new field which focuses on this relationship and arrives at a deep and different understanding of the two fields. Pierre Bourdieu, the French sociologist, believes that society consists of different fields within which the individuals fight for better positions and places (capitals). In his theory, capital is not limited to economic capital and includes social, cultural and symbolic ones too. The authors of this article have used Bourdieu’s concepts and theory to give a fresh reading and interpretation of Sādeq Chubak's The Patient Stone and Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure. Both novels are among the most distinguished works of Naturalism that have always been analyzed for their emphasis on the environmental determinism. This study shows that the characters in these novels lack basic accumulation of capitals and their efforts to obtain the capitals, particularly cultural capital, fail not solely because of the environmental determinism but for their stupidity and losing life opportunities. Another result is that the Iranian society in Patient Stone is more suppressive than the English society in Jude the Obscure. Despite the oppressive atmosphere in the Iranian society, the male characters are responsible for their failures and women have to accept the unhappy fate that the patriarchal and superstitious society imposes.


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