Tess of the d’Urbervilles: Hardy’s Nonconformist Views and Challenge of the Prevailing Social and Moral Ideology
Keywords:conventions, prudery censorship, editors, publishers
In Tess of the d’Urbervilles Hardy’s non-conformist views are evident through the dialectic of negation which opposes institutionalized codes, and rejects the stereotypical Victorian concepts of femininity. He hovers over Tess like a stricken father, and presents her as an innocent victim, yet he has not been able to save her from her pre-destined death. His endeavours to create a Utopian society and change the cultural logos in regards to sex and gender, have been hampered by various forms of repression from editors, reviews, publishers and supporters of “the purity movement”. In his attempt to avoid the trauma of rejection, he made substantial expurgations and revisions of the original text, but the tragic death at the end of the book shows that the prevailing ideology, and excessive prudishness of supporters of the league of virtue have outweighed his perceptions and defeated his liberal concepts.” His frustration, bitter experience, and the unpleasant attacks waged on him and his works, were apparently influential in making him cease writing novels.
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