Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Cecil L. Eubanks
This enquiry first establishes both the importance and the general meaning of the notions of happiness in Rousseau's corpus. Both private and public happiness are seen as the overarching intent of his life as a thinker. The possibility of a tertiary notion of happiness--between private and public--is presented with the introduction of the subject work Julie; or The New Heloise. Themes considered at some length are passion/virtue, happiness/duty, love/friendship, as well as the notions of Platonic and courtly love--not to mention the dichotomy motion/rest. At the end of Part One of the novel, the lovers are forcibly separated, and the tasks of reconciling the above dichotomies must be accomplished in other than physical terms. Parts Two and Three are portrayed as a classic example of the passion myth playing itself out until the symbolic deaths of the lovers--he goes to sea and she marries at her father's demand. The remainder of the story chronicles the reign of morality and extreme sublimation. Passion and virtue are eventually reconciled in the death of the heroine Julie, but not before she offers a vision of a viable means of reconciliation and fulfillment.
Buttross, Peter Jr, "Notions of Happiness in Rousseau's "Julie"." (1995). LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses. 5945.