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“the Minister’s Son in His Conceited Impotence Violates Tess More Cruelly Than Her Sensual Lover” Discuss.

In: English and Literature

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“The minister’s son in his conceited impotence violates Tess more cruelly than her sensual lover” Discuss.
In Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d’Urbervilles (published in 1891), Hardy portrays his heroine, Tess, as an innocent and poor country girl; a symbolic version of the rural women of the era who were mercilessly down-trodden in a male-dominated world, and who, when abused, were blamed for it. This novel has evoked generations of readers’ sympathy because of Hardy's portrayal of Tess’s tragic fate and her life journey as a victim of both individuals and the society she was born into. Since the first publication of this novel many critics have analyzed the source of Tess’ tragedy and downfall.
This essay intends to analyze the novel to evaluate whether the evidence supports the title statement or not. Is it the ministers’ son ‘Angel’ or Tess’ sensual lover ‘Alec’ who violates her in a more cruel way? It will compare the ways in which Tess was treated badly by both men, and how the machinations of both tragedies combined led to the tragedy that was Tess’ death. It will primarily focus on the comparison of the behaviour of both men, specifically:
Alec's sexual need and desire to have Tess versus the pedestal of “a visionary essence of woman—a whole sex condensed into one typical form” upon which Angel placed Tess.
The meaning behind the title;
The “double moral standard” applied to sexual endeavours;
A conclusion of whether the title statement is correct and if so to what extent.
The title states that Angel is conceited and impotent “in his conceited impotence”. To fully understand this statement, it can be broken down into two. When the title says he is conceited; it suggests that Angel believes himself to be better than others, his arrogance leads him to think that he is better than Tess “I will educate her” and his family. He is self righteous in what he…...

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