Inequality of Male Dominance Depicted in Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles

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In his novel Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy deals with issues of social and personal injustice through his use of poetic language and imagery. He characterizes Tess as a poor innocent country girl, who is victimized by the injustice of Victorian social law, the hypocrisy of social prejudice and the inequality of male dominance. Tess symbolizes a rural woman who is ruthlessly ravaged in a male-dominated world. Thomas Hardy’s depiction of Tess’s tragic fate evokes sympathy in her journey full of setbacks and mishaps.

Throughout the book, the reader finds Tess in various situations that result in her misery. Tess is born into a family of an alcoholic and an incompetent mother, an injustice in itself. Injustice is also displayed at Prince’s death, then again at his burial. Tess accidently kills the family’s horse Prince. Hardy makes Tess's reaction to the accident ironic, as Tess believes herself responsible for an event for which she had no control, furthermore, it is her father's irresponsibility that caused her to take the wagon to deliver the beehives. Hardy makes it evid...

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