Tess of the D’ Ubervilles: Out of the Frying Pan into the Fire.

Benjulata Swain


Hardy’s Wessex Novels are a class apart in which this sylvan genius is found penetrating into the lasting pangs of life. So this world of sorrow and suffering traps the beautiful innocent country girl Tess who repeatedly despite her promises fails to face the Destiny. She is raped by Alec and betrayed by Angel, her husband. Her struggles till the end are proved futile. Though she appears more challenging but she is more ruined by society; Alec’s lust, Angel’s masculine idealism and her own fatal flaw in character. This tragic heroine is often found an innocent prey in the sticky gum of chance – happenings setting endless miseries on her way. Ultimately she turns her own best advocate. She neither loses spirit nor commits suicide to escape from a world of poverty, passion, betrayal and exploitation. She turns vindictive and stabs Alec for deceiving her repeatedly.  She bravely accepts death- sentence and here Immoralities ended their sport with Tess.


Wessex Novels, destiny, deception, suffering, stoicism, death

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New Review: Rutland, pp. 228-29.

Evelyn Hardy: Thomas Hardy; A critical Biography, P.233

Arnold F Kettle : An Introduction to the English Novel, Vol.II, P-15.

Dorothy Van Ghent: “On Tess of the D’Urbervilles, from the English Novel: Form and Function.

Donald Davidson: “The Traditional basis of Thomas Hardy’s Fiction” from Still Rebels, Still Yankees and Other Essays, ( Baton bouge, The Lousiance State Press, 1957).

Aristotle : The Poetics, ch.XIV (Butcher’s translation).

F.E.Hardy; The life of Thomas Hardy; P-429.


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