“A Pure Woman”. How Does Hardy Justify This Sub-Ti

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“A pure woman”. How does Hardy justify this sub-title? In your answer show how Hardy’s use of language, form and structure influence you view of Tess in “Tess of the D’Urbervilles”. Hardy presents Tess in a controversial way, the argument to whether or not Tess is a ‘pure woman’ is the most disputed subject of the book, You could interpret that Hardy knew this would be the most disputed subject so he set his beliefs straight from the beginning by subtitling the book with ‘A Pure Woman’. It is obvious that Hardy shows a different view to what he feels makes a woman pure in comparison to what Christianity and society thought in the 19th century. Hardy displays a lot of modern thinking in Tess of the D’Urbervilles involving Tess which some people may even find revolutionary for the time. The fact that an adulterer, murderer, fornicator, bearer of an illegitimate child and a religious sceptic could be seen as a pure women is preposterous from a religious point of view, which makes you contemplate the reason why Hardy presented her as a pure woman could be because Hardy had his own definition of purity. Tess is presented throughout the book to being a ‘child of nature’ Hardy tries to make this clear to readers so he can explain his view point on purity. In the novel, Tess changes and matures which is shown through ambiguity of ‘the season developed and matured’ the seasons maturing symbolise when she moves to the dairy farm and further develops her relationship with nature, as well as the seasons literally maturing too. This also sets an atmosphere of change as the fact that the seasons are developing emphasizes the idea that Tess is developing. As Hardy shows his interest in personifying Tess as nature, he also shows ambivalence towards industrialisation, which is in contrast to nature. How Hardy shows his dislike towards industrialisation is through “...wheat fell
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