An Analysis of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d’Urbervilles

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An Analysis of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d’Urbervilles

Set in the late 1880s in a fictional county called Wessex, England, Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles, is the story of Tess Durbeyfield, an innocent sixteen year old girl who grows into a complex women as the result of fate. The main theme throughout the novel is how accident determines the destiny of characters’, in particular Tess. Through fatalism, male dominance, and the views of social class, Tess of the D’Urbervilles exhibits the characteristics of literary naturalism, an outgrowth of realism developed in France in the late 19th century.

Throughout Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy concentrates single-mindedly on the life of Tess, the story’s heroine. The decisions that Tess makes and the events that occur in her life at the beginning of the novel start a domino effect that cannot be reversed. It begins when John Durbeyfield becomes self-important when he learns, by chance, that he is related to the d’Urbervilles, a noble family in England. This leads him to send his daughter, Tess, to work in the d’Ur...

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