Analysis Of Thomas Hardy 's ' Tess Of The D ' Urbervilles

2588 WordsNov 16, 201411 Pages
English Lit Essay Draft Throughout the 19th century in Victorian England, where Thomas Hardy lived and worked on his poetry and novels, religion was becoming a popular controversy. Before this era Britain was highly populated with Christians, a large number of the British public attending Church on a regular basis. However, something changed in the 19th century; a significant number of public figures began to announce their lack of religious beliefs. Scientific advances throughout the era, such as Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection, caused the general British public to question their previous judgement. Tim Lambert (2014) explains that an 1851 survey showed that just 40% of the British population had visited Church on a particular Sunday. In 1881, the same survey showed that just 1/3 of the population had visited Church; figures for Christianity were in decline. Britain’s fall in faith was reflected in Hardy’s “Tess of the D’Urbervilles”. Hardy almost expressed an anti-Christian view on life, mocking Christian beliefs throughout the novel. George P. Landow (2014) wrote that “Like so many other major Victorian authors who later in life had little sympathy with Evangelical Christianity, as a young man Thomas Hardy had an important Evangelical phase that left a deep impress on his thought.” Hardy’s phase of Christianity, and later disbelief in it, led to the questioning of many moral and ethical issues which can be seen in his work. For example, in
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