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

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Tess of the d'Urbervilles 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 GCSE Tess of the d'Urbervilles essays

  1. In many respects Tess is a victim of society, but what other factors contribute ...

    As soon as Alec meets Tess he is extremely forward and is immediately attracted to her. "Well, my beauty, what can I do for you?" This is the first thing Alec says to Tess, and shows what sort of character he is.

  2. Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891) by Thomas Hardy.

    This novel and the one that followed it, Jude the Obscure (1895), engendered widespread public scandal with their comparatively frank look at the sexual hypocrisy of English society. Hardy lived and wrote in a time of difficult social change, when England was making its slow and painful transition from an old-fashioned, agricultural nation to a modern, industrial one.

  1. "The president of the Immortals had done his sport with Tess"

    Alec comes and rescues Tess; Cars mother laughs and says, "Out of the frying pan and into the fire." Which is true as can be seen in the later events. In this chapter Tess is singled out by Car because she is threatened by her innocence and how much attention she gains.

  2. Tess Of The D'Urbervilles - review

    We see that the horse (Ironically named Prince) was killed by a mailman's cart, as they had collided. A shaft from the mailman's cart had gone through Prince's chest, killing him instantly. This is a very symbolic moment, since the horse was very important to the family, as it was all they had.

  1. Tess of the d'Urbevilles: by Thomas Hardy

    but then follows this description with the words: 'but to almost everyone she was a fine and picturesque country girl and nothing more' (Chapter II). Hardy uses this dismissive tone of speech to display to the reader the prejudice Tess is subject to because of her low social class, this

  2. Compare the ways in which the Writers of 'The Handmaid's Tale' and 'Tess of ...

    I have something on him now". It is Offred who holds the Trump card on all counts; she can control those who seek to control her by using "collusion of a sort, betrayal of a sort", most significantly with Serena Joy - "She does want that baby".

  1. How important is the use of irony in Thomas Hardy's poetry and in his ...

    "Life is, he [Hardy] suggests, essentially ironic"6 this view is nowhere more apparent than in the irony of Casterbridge where Henchard, after initially believing Elizabeth-Jane to be an impostor, is convinced of her being his daughter - but after telling her this finds she is in fact truly Newson's child.

  2. How is important is Chapter 34 to Thomas Hardys Tess of the DUrbervilles?

    no claim to it, and hated impurity, as I hope I do now. ? ?? This helps develop a sense of tension as hardy uses dramatic irony; the readers know that in the eyes of the time and the eyes of Angel Tess would?ve been regarded as impure.

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