Tess - A Pure Woman or A Fallen Woman? The Portrayal of Gender Issues in Tess of the D’Urbervilles: A Feminist Approach

A.K.M. Aminur Rashid


This article aims at examining women’s social position in Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles. A special emphasis has been given to the portrayal of Tess, her seduction and the aftermath of her rape. The narrator also describes the male-female relations in Tess of the D’Urbervilles. The exploration of gender issues in the novel has put forth the discussion in terms of patriarchy. Although the first reading of the novel produces a negative picture of Tess, a close reading unfolds Hardy’s artistic mastery over picking up the total screening of the Victorian age. The discussion why Tess did not protest to Alec’s seduction is not the case; rather Tess reflects on how women are unheard and justified for her being a woman. Her situation also reflects on how she becomes cheap to a society when she is seduced. Tess, a pure woman, becomes a fallen woman. Literally, the novel becomes a social narrative that marks an unjust gap between the male and the female in the Victorian society.

Keywords: Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Pure Woman, Gender, Patriarchy, Seduction, Tragedy

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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