Tess Of The DUrbervilles Character Analysis

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During the 1890s, women were not seen in the same light that they are seen in today. The gender as a whole continued to be reduced to the role of wives and mothers in the household, basically owned by their breadwinning husbands. Women did not have the right to vote, and were taught that motherhood was the best job for them. They were mistreated by men, who could basically do anything they wanted to women with little to no penalty. This injustice is the story of Tess from the novel Tess of the D’Urbervilles, written in 1891 by Thomas Hardy. Tess Durbeyfield is repeatedly sexually abused by Alec D’Urberville, and can hardly do anything about it due to society’s ideology of women at the time. The Handmaid’s Tale, written 100 years later in 1984 by Margaret Atwood, reverts a society that has experienced equality for women back to one that strips from them their rights. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia summarizes this novel as one which “depicts one woman’s chilling struggle to survive in a society ruled by misogynistic fascism, by which women are reduced to the condition of property.” Although this summary is intended to describe Offred, the main protagonist of Atwood’s story, it can also work for Tess and her struggle. Tess and Offred both stay determined that life will get better and stay passive in order to survive their misogynistic societies, and take risks to resist being reduced to states of property. Throughout The Handmaid’s Tale, Offred manages to survive in the

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