Essay Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Hardy

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-1- SAC Out come 2 – Literature In “Tess of the D’Urbervilles” Hardy does expose the social injustices and double standards which prevail in the late nineteenth century. These injustices and double standards are evident throughout the whole novel, and Tess, the main character, is the one who suffers them. This becomes evident from the first page when Parson Tringham meets Jack Durbeyfield and refers to him as “Sir John”. With his whimsical comment, made from the safety of a secure social position, the Parson begins the events which start the destruction and downfall of the whole Durbeyfield family. Logically the fact that Tess’s family and their “gentlefolk” relatives have the same descendents should mean that both sides of the…show more content…
Not only this, it was a sin of which he too was guilty – they both had a premarital affair. This leads us to the hypocrisy in the different standards set for men and women. True, this difference was common to the whole society, but Hardy does appear to be a pioneer in highlighting the injustice. At the end of phase the fourth, Angel admits to plunging into “eight and fourty hours’ dissipation with a stranger” (page 225). Tess’s forgiveness is immediate. She says: “Oh, Angel – I am almost glad – because now you can forgive me!” (Page 225) In her simplicity she believes all will be well but that is not the case. Phase the fifth is titled The Woman Pays. Angel blames her for this very simplicity. He is not willing to live with her and bring shame upon their future family. Angel can be forgiven with a word, but not Tess. As Hardy points out “The woman pays”. This is not only shown between Tess and Angel or Alex but by most of the men throughout the book, starting with her father. When Jack Durbeyfield gets drunk at The Pure Drop Tess is expected to do his work for him. While doing this she kills Prince, which leads to her misfortunes at Trantridge. Tess not only has to work for her father when he is drunk, she is expected to cover for his stupidity, as is her mother. An example of this is when Jack rides past the May dance, everyone assumes he is
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