Women In The Victorian Society In Tess Of The D Urbervilles

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III. SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND PREJUDICE The society in the Victorian Era was amidst a great change. Having in mind the fact that they were moving from a pastoral life to industrialization, their lifestyle changed. As with every transition, there is the issue of adapting to changes because people tend to hold onto their principles. The society of that time had ideas and expectations on how women should behave. They were expected to be humble, pure, innocent, good wives and mothers. Furthermore, they were seen as inferior to men in almost every aspect. Feeling himself as a 'misfit ', Hardy was always in a disagreement with editors and critics, thus he had to edit his texts to conform the Victorian Society. In this way, he identified himself with the suppressed classes. Rosemarie Morgan thinks that continuous censure, criticism and frustration is precisely what increased his sympathy towards women who were coerced to conform to the men 's world (Morgan, 2006, p.15). This chapter of the paper makes an attempt to discuss the importance and the influence that the society with its prejudices had on the portrayal of women in the novel, with special focus on the protagonist Tess of the d 'Urbervilles. Social influences and prejudices include the oppression that Tess receives from her family, the church 's denial of a proper burial for her baby, and the society 's judgments on being a mother of an illegitimate child. The second one is gender restraints, illustrated through male
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