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Tess of the D'Urbervilles vs a Thousand Splendid Suns


Submitted By samic
Words 4291
Pages 18
The Power Within From the present day to thousands of years in the past, there has been controversy with women in society. They are stereotyped, judged and looked down upon in many places and times in the world. Whether it be their clothing, manner, beliefs or actions they have been scrutinized and analyzed far more than their male companions. Yet women have still stood tall and strong in the face of opposition. Nothing is more evident than in the novels Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. Though each book is written in a different era and continent from each other, both authors have taken a profound look into the lives of women who, in submission of the society they live in, persevere and carry on their lives no matter what. Though Hardy’s Victorian countryside and Hosseini’s war ridden Afghanistan have very different plot lines, both novels develop the theme of inner strength of women through the protagonist’s characteristics, the conflicts in the plot and setting. In 1891 Hardy wrote Tess of the d’Urbervilles. The novel received a public outcry and was criticized for its taboo topics and insight into a ruined woman’s private life. The passionate and intense Tess Durbeyfield, whom the novel is centralized around, faces more tragedy and injustice in her adolescent years than any women could bear and perseveres through out. Tess’s character, as well as the women around her, shows the true inner strength women possess. From the early days of Tess’s journey, the inner strength of her character is shown as she plays caretaker to her large family. Hardy presents Joan Durbeyfield, Tess’s mother: as superstitious, faintly childlike, and essentially harmless, and he had remarked that between her and Tess ‘there was a gap of two hundred years as ordinarily understood’...Hardy encourages us to be critical

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...Links between Tess of the d’Urbervilles and A Thousand Splendid Suns Catherine Ralph * The abuse of an older man Rasheed and Alec they both force themselves upon Mariam and Tess when they’re only 15/16 years old. * Consequences of the above both Tess and Mariam are pregnant and both of their babies die (Tess’s from illness just after he’s born and Mariam has a miscarriage) * Both novels have a contrast of the ‘good’ and ‘evil’ characters Tess: Alec and Angel – ATSS: Rasheed and Alec. Laila marries Rasheed (evil) and also marries Tariq (good). Tess is Alec’s mistress (evil) and marries Angel (good). * The death of the ‘main’ character Tess kills Alec and then gets hanged Mariam kills Rasheed then gets executed. * The ‘good’ love interest fleeing to another country Tariq flees to Afghanistan and Angel flees to Brazil. * A major death in the family Tess’s father and Mariam’s mother. * Conflict Tess: between classes in the same county – ATSS: same ethnic group of people * Class society Tess: Angel (upper class) and Tess (lower class) – ATSS: Jalil (upper class) and Mariam/Nana (lower class). * ‘Men’s society’ Tess: Angel with the prostitute in London – ATSS: Rasheed had several wives Similarities/comparisons with A Thousand Splendid Suns and Tess of the d’Urbervilles  * Women in society  * strong male characters * the loss of a baby * the loss of a parent * rape * young female characters...

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...In: English and Literature Tess of the D'Urbervilles Male Dominance Male Dominance in Tess of the D’urbervilles The Victorian era, as described by Professor of History and Women's & Gender Studies Nancy Reagin in her essay “Victorian Women: the Gender of Oppression”, witnessed the ideology of separate spheres in which society viewed men as independent and reasonable while viewing women as passive, dependent on men, emotional, and submissive. Men were given the governing role in which they would dominate society due to their ability to make rational decisions while women were expected to unquestionably fill the social roles that men decided for them, and those roles usually revolved around a woman’s duties as a mother and a wife. In marriage, a woman was expected to abide by the orders and views of her husband, and man and wife became one in terms of a woman’s rights, property, and identity. In Tess of the D’urbervilles, a book written in the Victorian Era, Hardy conveys this ideology of separate spheres in his portrayal of men and their dominance over women in society, primarily Tess. Their dominance is shown in how the men act as the masters of society, but it is also seen in how the women in Tess unquestionably view the men as the dominant gender. Often, the women are blindly influenced and act passively when interacting with male characters such as Alec and Angel. They are also seen to be very dependent on the men, and the men acknowledge that, for that is expected of...

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