Consider the Significance of Rural Traditions. Tess of the D'Urbervilles

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I think customs and traditions are important in the novel because the difference between rural and urban customs would have caused a significant effect if the novel was based in a town or city. For example the use of agriculture may have been inexistent if the novel was based in the city, or religion may not have been an important factor as it is in the novel. Tess is brought up in the countryside, in a typical rural environment where the children are not obligated, or in most cases rich enough, to go to school therefore children are brought up and taught by their parents. This causes Tess to be uneducated in topics such as personal safety and naïve in areas such as men. Her innocence could be blamed on this lack of education because she is often lead away easily by male characters such Alec. Tess does not see how men can manipulate women nor is she even aware of her own personal safety. Therefore this absence of knowledge causes significances in the novel because Tess’ downfall is her inexperience; which causes her to be led so easily and finding herself in unpleasant situations such as her rape. Moreover; when children attend school, it becomes natural for them to be social and make friends. This sociability allows them to make friends easily when they grow older however as Tess does not go to school, she has an inability to make friends. As readers, we feel that Tess has a lack of a connection with the other milkmaids when she goes to work on the Dairy farm. The other milkmaids are seen to be friends with one another and look out for one another yet because Tess does not have this friendship with anyone, there is nobody to see over her and warn her to avoid dangerous situations. They allow her to walk off with Alec on her own because Tess says that it’s fine to leave her alone with him. If there was a strong connection between Tess and her fellow milkmaids, they may have advised her against being alone with a stranger. This novel is overflowing with...
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