After reading the book, Tess of the D’urbervilles by Thomas Hardy, I was impress how he brings many feelings and emotions through the story. At first, I was so overwhelmed about the story as it projects the sad experiences that still exists in society towards women. I was scared to continue reading because true stories from young women being abused are heard everyday. It is not only the story that Hardy wrote but the way he writes to bring the story to life that makes an impact on readers.
I really like how Hardy makes the character of Tess. Most stories like this have characters that are superficial and a happy ending. However, Hardy goes deeper into characterization, we can relate his story as a tragedy and raises the question is Tess a tragic hero? Looking at characterization, the author conveys strong feelings through the characters, specially Tess, the main character. The author conveys guilt by the way Tess speaks and thinks. She is always thinking that she does wrong and doesn’t deserve good things in her life. By the way her parents, Angel and Alec talk to Tess it made me think about the responsibilities in the role of a wife, husband and the role of men and women in general. It made think that society assumes certain responsibilities just because of gender. Tess is the oldest of her siblings and a girl, she grows with the idea that she is responsible for providing to her family. In addition, Alec and Angel express the stereotype of a perfect wife. What is a perfect wife? Does society chose the image of a perfect wife? Why does the idea that the women has to take full responsibility keep passing from generation to generation? On the other hand, the circumstances of Tess’ life made me raise the question of what is to forgive? Angel and Tess confess their flaws, and Tess ends up marrying the man that raped her, Alec. Forgiveness can be seen in different points of views but in this story is going too far.
What I find the most impressive is that Hardy does a very good job expressing feelings of a young woman through Tess. I felt Tess like a real human that suffers, have hard times and it is not just a fairy tail love story with a villain. It made me identify with Tess in some things, the punishment and stereotypes of society just because experiencing something that a young woman can’t understand. This novel was published 1891 and it makes me think that there are still similar societal problems. Have women stereotypes changed over the time?