Tess of the d'Urbervilles Summary

Tess of the d’Urbervilles Summary Novel by Thomas Hardy. Why and how did the narrator show Tess as ‘passive’/’weak’ in the novel? 

Tess of the d’Urbervilles is a novel written by Thomas Hardy. He narrated Tess as ‘passive’ and ’weak’ in the novel ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’ an idea of the fallen woman. Throughout several of his works, he portrays the fallen woman through her own eyes, and, in doing so, presents a different perspective. One of his works establishes this new perspective in Tess of the d’Urbervilles.

Tess of the d’Urbervilles Summary

Tess is an ordinary country girl with a basic elementary education but very few worldly principles outside of Marlott. She has a curiosity that goes beyond his early education, as she appears when debating religious and moral issues with both Angel and Alec. Her weakness is innocence. She is unconscious of the way of the world and, therefore, cannot defend herself. Tess disappoints her mother for not telling the whole truth about the less-compassionate world.

Tess’s nightmares are sometimes associated with her different characteristics. She is passive in her dream-like state, as Alec refers to her with roses and strawberries. It is this guilt that compels her to passively submit to her mother’s plan to go to ‘d’Urbervilles and to wear her mother’s clothes, although both attempts are seen as foolish because of her own judgment. In the key moments of her life, Tess submits passively, when a determined effort can achieve more favorable results. The most obvious example of her relationship with Angel.

Hardy’s narration of Tess is that of a woman who also suffers from her fall but still finds the strength to rise above her situation. However, Hardy has also shown that the consequences of her fall are permanent.

Although Tess tries to start a new life with Angel Clare, she can never completely escape from her past relationship with Alec d’Urberville. She is always reminded to lose her holiness but overcomes these feelings of self-doubt.

Far from being a passive victim, Tess has shown a deadly tendency to be brave, and ultimately ruthless, of self-determination against adversity. Hardy develops a character whose inner strength allows Tess to conquer the established definition of a fallen woman.

by Rabby Sharif Ador

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