People Trying To Change Social Circumstances English Literature Essay

By showing Tess as ‘a pure adult female ‘ Hardy criticises Victorian impressions of female pureness. The nineteenth-century society treated adult females as 2nd category citizens. Although they did hold certain legal rights, those were non respected in existent life.

The premier function of adult females was to bring forth kids and to be good married womans ; adult females learnt to play the piano, to sing, to have on frocks etc. Womans were forced to populate in a province of ageless childhood depending on the male household member. Contrary to nineteenth-century impressions of adult females, Hardy portrays Tess as an independent heroine. Furthermore, in redefining the function of adult females Hardy focal points on gender.

Tellurium of D’Urbervilles is regarded as Hardy ‘s tragic chef-d’oeuvre, subtitled ‘A Pure Woman ‘ , foremost published in 1891 after being rejected by two publishing houses. It is the narrative of the state miss who is foremost presented as an guiltless miss but turns into a tragic heroine. From Hardy ‘s point of position, Tess in non responsible for what she has done. She is a victim of a series of bad lucks which easy destroy her personality.

The novel is written in seven chapters ; each chapter stand foring a stage of Tess ‘s life after which Tess becomes more mature. With the life as a series of calamities, Tess refuses to stay a victim and struggles through life.

The nineteenth-century society divided adult females into two classs: Fallen adult females and Good adult females i.e. pure adult females. Good adult females were seen as pure and clean, virgins until matrimony, whose organic structures were perceived as temples forbidden to be used for pleasance. Their function was to hold kids and take attention of the house. Any adult female who did non carry through these outlooks was seen as a fallen one. So, the inquiry is, who is Tess? Is she a pure adult female and a victim of her clip and society? Or is she a fallen one?


By researching the history of Britain during the Victorian age ( 1837-1901 ) we can look at the development of both, society and the function of adult females in this specific period of clip.

Britain had lost its most of import American settlements in the eighteenth-century during the American war of independency ( fought between 1775 and 1783 ) and when the nineteenth-century began, the state was at a threshold of war with France. Under such fortunes, no 1 would hold expected Britain to command the biggest imperium the universe had of all time seen after the terminal of the century. The 19th century in Britain was marked largely by industrial development and colonisation, which had its positive and negative effects on the British society. However, colonisation, seen by some as a affair of fate, turned Britain into the universe ‘s greatest economic power, which brought about great alterations in societal construction.

There are two historical elements which affected the English society of the nineteenth-century: colonisation and industrialisation. Both of these brought great addition in wealth, doing Britain the taking economic power of its clip. From today ‘s position, it might look that the Victorian age was rather conservative, since it was characterized by great primness. However, most of the nineteenth-century in Britain was a enormously exciting period when many artistic manners, literary schools, every bit good as societal, political and spiritual motions were started. It was a clip of prosperity, imperial enlargement, and great political reform.

As it was already mentioned, British adult females could merely fall into one of the two classs and the dry fact is that the power of the state was in custodies of a adult female. It was a adult female who represented this state and yet, the force per unit area of being one was immense. It was Queen Victoria who was the greatest symbol of such a powerful state and imperium. She ruled the imperium for 64 old ages, which makes her reign longer than that of any other British sovereign, and is the longest of any female sovereign in history. Queen Victoria ascended the throne when she was merely 18, following the decease of her uncle William IV. The reign of Queen Victoria is known as the Victorian epoch, named after Queen Victoria herself. It was a period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military advancement within the United Kingdom. Victoria was a spiritual female parent of nine kids, a devoted married woman to her hubby, Prince Albert, and as such she was regarded as the best personification of the ethical motives of her clip. She set really high lesson criterions which were hard to follow for the 20th century monarchy.

As mentioned antecedently, the nineteenth-century Britain was the greatest economic power of the universe. After working in their places or little workshops people bit by bit started working in mills. First to face alterations was the fabric industry. This caused great displacements in societal construction, doing proprietors of industries and trades people more powerful than of all time. However, the industrial revolution created a great demand for female and child labor. While it is true that kids had ever worked together with their parents, they did non work 12 hours a twenty-four hours or longer as they did in the new mills side by side with work forces and adult females. The state of affairs improved somewhat after 1833, when the first jurisprudence modulating factory on the job conditions was passed. Among other things, it set a bound on the figure of hours that kids could work and do it illegal for kids under nine to work in cotton Millss. In 1868 the Trades Union Congress was passed, which helped even more for the on the job conditions to better.

Equally far as the political life in nineteenth-century Britain is concerned, the Whigs and the Tories were the opinion parties in the House of Commons. In the undermentioned old ages, the Whigs became the Liberals and the Tories became the Conservatives. However, some happenings such as the blackwash of a Tory Prime Minister Spencer Perceval in 1812, who has until this twenty-four hours remained the lone British Prime Minister of all time to be killed, take to a period of great political and societal agitation.

The Victorian society was divided into four categories: aristocracy and aristocracy, in-between category, “ upper ” working category and “ lower ” working category. The adult female ‘s function and her responsibilities were defined by those categories supplying her no other options. The barriers of these categories which included their ain specific criterions defined the function of a adult female. It was expected of a adult female to act harmonizing to the criterions of a society category she belonged to and was considered an offense to follow the criterions of another.

Ladies of the highest category, aristocracy and aristocracy who inherited land, wealth and rubrics, managed the place and family. When it came to run intoing new people with the intent of set uping connexions in economic sense, work forces relied on their married womans to form parties and dinners. Women besides took attention of her kids, sick household members and at the same clip had to better their cultural cognition.

The in-between category included everyone between the working category and lower aristocracy. The function of in-between category adult females varied from household to household depended largely on how much money they had. A individual adult female had an option to work as a governess if she did non get married and had no relations to care for her.

The “ upper ” working category included those who had a somewhat higher degree of income and position and those who were employed in occupations that took accomplishment or thought as opposed to physical labor. Womans of the working category found places in stores, as instructors or governesses.

The “ lower ” working category included the urgently hapless, typically individual adult females. They were expected to back up themselves and the Industrial Revolution offered them mill occupations ; some were amahs, barmaids, sold flowers. Some authors and intellectuals of this period protested against the highly bad conditions of the on the job category. The most outstanding was Charles Dickens, who himself worked at the age of 12. The reforms that were passed did non alter the world of the working categories, although they did derive some rights ( e.g. most males over the age of 21 gained the right to vote ) .

However, the most of import function of a nineteenth-century adult female in Britain was the 1 of a married woman and female parent. John Simkin notes that “ The Torahs in Britain were based on the thought that adult females would acquire married and that their hubbies would take attention of them ” . When a adult female got married her personal belongings became the belongings of her hubby, the same as her earning if a adult female worked after matrimony. She could non make anything without the consent of her hubby. A married adult female was defined as one individual with her hubby harmonizing to the jurisprudence. The hubby was supposed to take attention of his married woman and she was supposed to obey him. As holding no rights, a adult female could non decline forced sex by her their hubby and could be beaten by him if she did.

Simkin notices that “ the thought was that upper and in-between category adult females had to remain dependent on a adult male: foremost as girls and subsequently as married womans ” . When they were married, adult females could non acquire a divorce without troubles. As Simkin continues, harmonizing to the British jurisprudence work forces had “ the right to disassociate their married womans on the evidences of criminal conversation ” as opposed to adult females who did non hold the same right if their hubbies had been unfaithful. Simkin besides notes that “ Once divorced, the kids became the adult male ‘s belongings and the female parent could be prevented from seeing her kids. ”

It was believed that instruction of a adult female did non hold to be extended as that of a adult male. The most of import thing for a adult female to cognize was how to convey up her kids and to maintain house. Therefore, it was unneeded for a adult female to go to university. People even believed it was against a adult female ‘s nature and could do her ill. A adult female had to remain low-level to her hubby and the most valued virtuousness was obeisance.

In the nineteenth-century there was a great displacement of population from rural to urban countries. Peoples seeking better living conditions for their households left everything and populated large metropoliss in hunt of work. By 1870 Britain had grown from 10 million at the start of the century to over 26 million. Slums or empty, disintegrating houses without sanitation and H2O supply were a place of 1000000s of workers populating at that place with no nice nutrient or vesture. Many had to walk stat mis to mill or factory work. Their on the job hours began at 5.30 a.m. and lasted till 10 p.m. Drinking and maltreatment were frequent in household lives, since people thought that life had really small to offer them.

However, it was besides a period of great scientific advancement and thoughts. Darwin ‘s thoughts emerged in this period ; there was the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London which introduced the proficient and industrial developments of the age. Railways helped link far-off parts of the land and made going cheaper and faster, and innovations like trains and steamers made it possible to import inexpensive nutrient from abroad so people were better fed. Waterproof vesture and anesthetics made life more comfy and convenient. Some things which we take for granted today, such as picture taking, besides thrilled people of the Victorian age.

Without a uncertainty, it was an inordinately complex age, which has sometimes been called the Second English Renaissance. “ It is, nevertheless, besides the beginning of Modern Times ” ( Miller ) .


In this chapter we look at Tess ‘s life state of affairs from both points of position, pure adult female: heroine and victim or fallen adult female.

Tellurium of D’Urbervilles is a tragic novel of a immature miss named Tess who goes through many battles in her life and due to her artlessness and young person ends up “ violated by one adult male and forsaken by another ” ( Heap ) .

Tellurium ‘s male parent, John Durbeyfield, discovers that he is the descendent of the Norman baronial household of the d’Urbervilles, who came across with the Conqueror. As they really hapless, the household sends Tess to the new found relations trusting that Tess would get married a Lord. Unfortunately for Tess, the new “ relations ” have taken the name because it sounded good. Tess ‘s “ cousin ” , Alec, takes full advantage of Tess ‘s inferior place ; he seduces and rapes her. Tellurium goes back to her parents` place where she gives birth to a male child who shortly dies.

Tess leaves place once more to work as a dairymaid on a farm where she meets Angel Clare and they fall in love. Scared of losing him, she does non state him about her yesteryear. However, on their nuptials dark Angel confesses his old matter and Tess, now positive whe would be understood and forgiven, reveals her secret merely to happen out that Angel could non bare the idea of her non being the pure adult females he considered her to be. He leaves her, entirely and heartbroken. Tellurium struggles through poorness and in the terminal accepts Alec ‘s aid. Angel, gaining he had made a error, returns and finds her with Alec. Tess slayings Alec and she and Angel attempt to get away but are caught at Stonehenge. Tess faces a tragic decease sentence go forthing Angel with a promise to get married her sister.

Possibly it would be better to go forth the remainder for the terminal of this chapteraˆ¦ ? Yes no?

Thomas Hardy was an established author at the clip he wrote Tess of d’Urbervilles. However, this was his first novel to run into “ public indignation, chiefly because of his portraiture of a fallen adult female as being “ pure ” ” ( Rowland ) . As Matthew Rowland notes, “ Tellurium went through some battles and issues ” in her life that make it hard for us to claim whether they were wholly right or incorrect. The inquiry whether Tellurium is a heroine and victim or a fallen adult female still remains a enigma.

What is gallantry? Angus Wilson notes that “ The chances for gallantry are limited in this sort of universe: the most people can make is sometimes non to be every bit weak as they ‘ve been at other times. ” Arthur Ashe points out that “ True gallantry is unusually sober, really undramatic. It is non the impulse to excel all others at whatever cost, but to function others at whatever cost. ”

As Hardy wrote his book in the Victorian Age, it becomes obvious that he was assailing that society through Tess. Tess leaves her place, as Rowland notes, “ bewraying her household responsibilities in order to travel up ” in the universe. Hardy ‘s Tess is non a typical heroine. She evolves “ into a great individual in the pubic sphere even though she is a immature female ” ( Rowland ) .

Most critics see Tess as a hero. “ Tess has a stature that makes her ain agonies touching and personal to the reader ” ( Rowland ) . Even the manner Hardy himself writes about Tess makes us, the readers, believe he was fond of Tess. He describes her experience of the universe, her feelings and gives us an intense world.

On the other manus, there are those who believe that Tess is a fallen adult female. They see Tess as a adult female who wronged herself in all the regulations and Torahs of the society and therefore should be punished.


I can see some betterments, but the text requires farther redacting. Fix all rubrics. One rubric per chapter is more than plenty. Make certain every chapter has some sort of thesis at the beginning. Supply mentions for all citations, with writers name and page figure, except for the Internet beginnings where there are no page Numberss. By rephrasing I mean showing other people ‘s texts in your ain words: so you do n’t hold to utilize citation Markss but at the terminal of paragraph provide a mention for your beginning.

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