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Is Tess a victim of society? Thomas Hardy wrote "Tess of the D'Urbevilles" in 1891in the height of the Victorian ideals and a social constraint

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Introduction

Is Tess a victim of society? Thomas Hardy wrote "Tess of the D'Urbevilles" in 1891in the height of the Victorian ideals and a social constraint. Society was restrictive to individuals and appeared controlling to its members. Tess is a modern character who is victimised by the society. Her strong willed personality clashed with what was desired and required of women in that society. Tess is a modern character for the time period, she is portrayed as strong willed and not as passive as women were throughout that time period. The family The landowners, who towards the end of the novel make the family move out of their home that is on conditional ownership, oppress her and her family. Tess has been brought up in this home where they have to work to live and often cannot work enough to survive. Tess has been made a victim of society by this, in being brought up like this, she is encouraged to work to help pay for her family when they are struggling to survive. ...read more.

Middle

It is later understood that her mother hasn't gone to fetch her husband but instead to join him leaving Tess in control of the family that she has the responsibility for. In this way the society that Tess has been brought up in with added accountability for the family and the attitude of helping out and being mature, has affected her and added to her downfall. As well as being responsible to the family Tess is alone and separated from the support in which a child needs. Her adult actions have separated her from her mother who now knows that Tess is able to look after the children and so she can enjoy herself and be less responsible. With this separation from her family Tess has less guidance and an abandoned attitude. It is this that adds to Tess's independence and ultimately Alec's success in controlling her. Her mother doesn't offer Tess much guidance and so when she tries persuading Tess to go to try claim kinship with the D'Urbevilles, Tess feels pressured into it. ...read more.

Conclusion

The death of Sorrow leads Tess to the milk farm. When Angel leaves her after learning of her rape she feels forced to go and find work. Her work at turnip farm leads her to rediscovering Alec and her final downfall when she murders him. The murder contrasts with her victim appearance, how can Tess be a victim yet acts against the status by murdering? The murdering of Alec has been built up to in Tess's life. She has been constantly ruined and abused by him and the murder is her way out. Tess's character is frank and truthful. She tells Angel everything about her past and her troubles. The society emphasising purity gave Angel his teachings that made him leave her. It is this that throws Tess into the marriage with Alec, which she clearly is not happy with. Overall Tess is a victim of many aspect of society and her downfall is built up on her mistakes. Tess is a genuine character to feel sorry for. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1068 words English Is Tess a victim of society? ...read more.

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