Literature Is a Reflection of the Society

736 Words3 Pages
Literature is a reflection of the society Literature has long been a reflection of the society in which it is written. In Tess of the D’Urbervilles, written by Thomas Hardy in 1889, he reflects key ideas and values of the society of the Victorian era and shows the injustice of this time. He challenges the ideas of the ideal women, sexual double standards and religious hypocrisy through his characters and the events within the novel. A main idea conveyed in the novel is the ideal women in the Victorian Era. The ideal woman is the woman Victorian people only want as a wife. When Angel Clare’s parents talk about what they want in a good wife, we know that an ideal woman has purity, innocence and chastity. By using the technique of characters of symbols, Hardy shows us that Angel’s parent represent the general society in the Victorian Era, with the thought that a wife must be pure. The idea of the ideal women makes readers feel sceptical, while the society may not value Tess, the readers value her. We question that whether or not this is a true idea. The subtitle of the text is ‘a pure woman’, referring to Tess. Tess’s the letter of confession shows her honesty and purity because she wants to be honest with Angel even though it will ruin his idea of her as an ‘ideal woman’. Hardy presents Tess as a pure woman but this contrast with other character’s opinions and ideas. However we still agree with Hardy’s version of a ‘pure woman’. Different opinions and views of the ideal woman is reflected in the book, and by presenting Tess as the true ideal women, Hardy is challenges the value of the ideal women. Tess of the D’Urbervilles also focuses on sexual hypocrisy and double standards – men being allowed to have sex before marriage while condemning women for doing the same. In the wedding night before Tess and Angel’s marriage, he reveals that he had had an affair with an
Open Document