• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare how Hardy and Shaw present women. To what extent do they use this presentation to promote a feminist point of view?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Compare how Hardy and Shaw present women. To what extent do they use this presentation to promote a feminist point of view? Thomas Hardy's tragic novel Tess of the D'Urbervilles and George Bernard Shaw's comedy play Pygmalion both highlight the treatment of women during the Victorian Era - however, they both use different genre and style to explore this. The injustice towards women is clearly highlighted by Tess's famous quote "Whip me, crush me; ... I shall not cry out. Once victim, always victim--that's the law!" This clearly demonstrates Hardy's view of women being victimized by men and this is a view also taken by Shaw; he highlights this in his play through the ill treatment of Eliza by Higgins "A woman who utters such depressing and disgusting sounds has no right to be anywhere - no right to live". Many Victorian readers were horrified at the author's feminist views as they thought it was natural that men treated women as inferiors and were shocked at the authors for sympathizing with their female protagonist. The Victorian attitude that women were subservient to the man comes from the biblical view that Eve was made from a part of Adam. ...read more.

Middle

Hardy points out this desperation to highlight the fact it was not just men who "sold" their daughters; there were also women who had to use their daughter's beauty as a weapon for money and attraction towards men "Her mother's pride in the girl's appearance led her to step back like a painter from his easel, and survey her work as a whole". Even though Joan does this with affection there are deeper motives involved Hardy clearly use this to show that this novel is a tragedy and this selling will have terrible consequences in Tess's life. Shaw and Hardy also clearly portray women as the "puppets" or "dolls" who are easily used by men and are not allowed to be in control of their own actions and destiny. Higgins views Eliza as an experiment, "Yes, by George: it's the most absorbing experiment I ever tackled." Shaw states that Eliza is nothing more than a live doll without a mind of her own "you certainly are a pretty pair of babies playing with your live doll." She is still a lifeless statue with an element of crudeness in her parrot-like conversation "She's to keep to two subjects: ...- and not let herself go on things in general". ...read more.

Conclusion

She takes the law into her own hands and punishes the offender, as she took Christianity into her own hands to get her dying baby into heaven. But Tess' hands are a woman's hands and within the era they would have been seen as incapable to administer sacraments and they are not supposed to administer justice - so her death is inevitable. Similarly Eliza, who would never have been a "lady" if she was a "flower girl" to start off with, she clearly highlight to Higgins that "... the difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she's treated" telling him that his treatment it's the reason why she is leaving him. The independence of both women helps them decide their own future and so in the end they both accept the problems or consequences they will face as Eliza states "I sold flowers. I didn't sell myself. Now you've made a lady of me I'm not fit to sell anything else." Although both female protagonists do not particularly have a ending they desire nevertheless they both have been in control of their own actions and have created their own destiny, enabling, Hardy and Shaw to end their work on a more feminist assertive note. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Thomas Hardy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Thomas Hardy essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    In Tess of the DUrbervilles, how does Hardy present Tess and Angels relationship as ...

    5 star(s)

    During their courtship he staunchly argues that her low position as a milkmaid does not and will not deter him- on the contrary, Angel insists he needs a wife "who knows all about the management of farms" and Tess, therefore, is better suited to him than the Mercy Chant.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Which Character in Hardy's "Tess Of The D'Urbervilles" Do You Have the Most Sympathy ...

    4 star(s)

    Unfortunately for Angel and Tess he was a slave to 'custom and convention', so the head prevailed and the heart suffered and he abandoned Tess for the second time. Both Alec and Angel professed to being in love with Tess but their behaviour and motives led me to question whether this was true.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Tess says, Once victim, always victim thats the law. In the light ...

    3 star(s)

    The remote, untouched virgin land has not yet been destroyed by the industrialisation of London and similarly Tess's innocence and wholesomeness is protected by the 'engirdled' village which she is naturally a part of. Here, she first encounters her relative, the sexually dominating and somewhat demonic Alec D'urberville, whom she is later to fall victim to.

  2. Peer reviewed

    Explore the role of nature in the first three sections of the novel "Tess ...

    3 star(s)

    It could be argued that it was enticing her to go to sleep, and therefore was a main conspirator against her. However, a man kills her horse ("the morning mailcart...had driven into her slow and unlighted equipage"). The death of her horse is a combination of the two, and it

  1. Compare and contrast the characters of Alec DUrberville and Angel Clare in Tess of ...

    His attitudes towards the country folk are shown perfectly when, in Chapter Ten, he addresses the group of country workers as "work-folk", showing he considers them useful only for manual labour and of lower intelligence than himself. He defines them by what they do, rather than what they are.

  2. The of Power and Desire in Tess of the D'Urbervilles

    Hardy's use of third person narrative allows him to inject his thoughts and convey his sympathy towards Tess highlighting her as the victim. The image of her "feminine tissue, sensitive as gossamer, and practically blank as snow" along with the contrast of the "coarse pattern" that it receives stresses Tess's

  1. How does Hardy portray his grief and loss in The Voice?

    when his day was fair "But as at first, when our day was fair." This shows that when they were first married then it was good times, he uses the word fair this just means that it was good. Thomas Hardy seems doubtful in the first line of the second

  2. Tess of The DUrbervilles. Explore Hardy's presentation of Angel Clare

    The pair don?t meet at the May Dance, and might?ve had Angel stayed a moment longer, but fate intervenes. Angel is very stubborn and has a particularly harsh tongue at points in the novel; he calls Tess?s rape a ?grotesque prestidigitation? ? showing he can let his strict morals get the better of him and is quite influenced by society.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work