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date: 21 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the role of reproduction, labour, and maintenance in Dombey and Son as it pertains to both the domestic sphere and the public sphere of economic and social relations. It shows that the reproduction and maintenance of the material home are represented in the novel mostly by the effects of their absence. It analyses both the ideological stakes of such representation and the way it ends up conflicting with claims about the naturalness of family and home that support domestic ideology. The chapter further argues that the way Dickens represents the firm of Dombey and Son also shows the need for, and the lack or failure of, the labour of reproduction and maintenance. It then discusses how ‘management’ is introduced to cure the ills of both the socio-economic and the domestic sphere.

Keywords: reproduction, maintenance, family, home, housekeeping, social ties, management

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