Tess's Cruelty: Tess and the D'Urberville

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In this novel, Hardy describes how Tess was killed by the cruelity of two specific characters in the novel, Alec d’Urberville and Angel Clare. Throughout the novel, Hardy seems to express his opinion on who is more responsible for Tess’s death by the cruelity they portrayed. Alec was a member of the capitalist. This willful chap was ignorant and incompetent, depending on his rich family. He began to dally with women when he just was a very young man. When he saw Tess for the first time, he was struck by her beauty. His philandering and ferocious nature was completely unmasked. From the beginning, the writer succeeds in showing us great attraction and impact of Tess on man through Alec D’Urbervilles eyes. So it is very easy for her to become the victim of the other sex. Maybe this is one of the reasons for her tragedy. Alec made use of her purity and then seduced her. When his plot became the fact, he felt no shame at all. When Tess told him that she would never take anything more from him, he jeered: “One would think you were a princess… I am a bad fellow… a damn bad fellow. I was born badly, and I have lived bad, and I shall die bad in all probability...”① Facing poor and grief-stricken Tess, he didn’t feel bitter remorseful at all. He destroyed her purity and virginity as easily as he broke a cup carelessly. He even never thought of the tragedy and sufferings he imposed to Tess. He was an extremely dissolute bad chap in every sense who lived comfortably on others’ sufferings. When they met for the second time, Alec had become a convert. It was less a reform than a transfiguration. His animalism had become fanaticism. He who had wrought her undoing was now on the side of the spirit, while she remained unregenerate. He, as an excellent fiery Christian man was preaching in a village. When Alec and Tess passed a spot named “Cross-in-Hand”, he asked her to put her hand upon a stone pillar and swear not to temper him any more. He said all the faults had been done by...
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