Tess Of The D Urberville And Angel Clare Analysis

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The primary agenda of Thomas Hardy in his writing of Tess of the d’Urbervilles was to highlight the injustices of the patriarchal society prevalent in Victorian England. It is for this reason that, despite Alec d’Urberville’s role as the antagonist of the novel, Angel Clare is the thematic centre of Tess of the d’Urbervilles. It has been famously said by Edmund Burke that “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” which is precisely the sentiment Hardy seeks to illustrate through his portrayal of both Alec d’Urberville and Angel Clare. Throughout this essay I will demonstrate that it was Hardy’s goal through his writing of Tess of the d’Urbervilles to highlight the manner in which many upstanding men of…show more content…
His very name was chosen to bring forth malicious imagery. His first name ‘Alec’ meaning ‘defender of men’ and causing the reader to think of Alexander the Great who is classically infamous for his heightened view of himself, his violent temper, impulsive nature and unshakable pursuit of his desires without any concern for moral rectitude. It is in a similar manner which Alec considers himself and takes what he wishes without considering the impact it will have on others. “What am I, to be repulsed by a mere chit like you?” he says to Tess whilst riding in The Chase. This statement shows exactly Alec’s belief in his own superiority. “a mere chit like you” shows how he condescends Tess for her class and for her sex. He considers her to be insignificant and takes no consideration to her thoughts or emotions. As a rich man he is her better in every way, by the laws of the patriarchy and society, and yet she constantly rejects his advances. He views himself as her complete superior; in his mind she has no right to deny him and he becomes infuriated with her consistent rejection of his advances. Thus he takes advantage of her. Alec Stoke-d’Urberville rapes Tess in The Chase. His rape of Tess and his lack of remorse thereafter prove his evil
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