Tess Of The D Urbervilles By Thomas Hardy

1961 Words 8 Pages
During the Victorian times it was expected of women to be “pure” and “chaste” until they were married. If they did not meet the society 's expectations of being virginal then they were seen as a fallen woman oran outsider of sorts. She would be rejected by many; family, friends, men, and the church. Having sex before marriage during this time period was a major sin, and you would end up suffering the consequences for your actions. This can be distinguished in Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles. The main character of his novel, Tess, is considered an impure woman after her sexual involvement with Alec. She begins to be rejected by the social community until she feels that she is better off somewheres else and is driven away from her family …show more content…
They are talked about behind their backs. As well as being treated different than they used to be, “ever since the occurrence of the event which had cast such a shadow over Tess’s life, the Durbeyfield family had been tacitly looked on as one which had to go.” (page 340) This quote is a great example of as to why Tess’s family had been impacted by her error along with how Tess is being effected. The quote describes the result of the event as “a shadow over Tess’s life,” which is a great metaphor to describe how Tess’s life had been shattered by one mistake. Additionally, her family had continued to be harassed throughout the novel. It hadn’t been a major issue, but there were some times that it was made prominent. For instance when Tess’s father died they were not allowed to stay in the house as tenants because of her. “ Father’s was the last life on the property, and when that dropped we had no further right to stay. Though we might, perhaps, have stayed as weekly tenants - if it had not been for me.” (page 360) This is another illustration of how Tess’s exile isolated her and her family from the rest of society. Since the owner of the house knew of Tess’s past involving premarital sex with Alec, he wouldn’t allow Tess and her family to stay in the house as tenants because she is seen as impure. Considering the time period that Tess is living in, it is expected of women to remain chaste until marriage, in Tess’s case she is not. Which is causing her to suffer the consequences of being socially outcasted. This experience of alienation is continued through Tess’s love

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