Consequence, sociality, and capitalism: Temporality in "Wuthering Heights" and "Past and Present"
Pirosch, Ryan Christopher
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This thesis argues that alternatives offered to competitive, atomistic ideologies of capitalist liberalism are problematized by capitalist conceptions of temporality, which have a tendency to allow the present to subsume the past and the future. Consequently, such alternative ideologies address temporality first in order to produce a foundation suitable for the acknowledgement of consequences and the production of social responsibility. Through an analysis of Thomas Carlyle's Past and Present and Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights , both written in an historical moment in which competing agricultural and industrial capitalist practices had brought each other to the point of crisis, this thesis demonstrates that a cooperative and altruistic sociality must begin with successfully differentiating the past, present, and future. As both writers find, the legitimization of a cooperative sociality is predicated upon a temporalizing gesture through which the individual is re-instated in the social as an historical subject in process.