Tess of the d'Urbervilles Questions and Answers
by Thomas Hardy

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Can you explain the theme of MORALITY in Tess of the d'Urbervilles ?

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In more modern criticisms of Hardy's novel, there are those who perceive Tess Duberyfield as a true Humanist,

...a human being free of supernaturalism...a part of nature [who] holds that values-be they religious, ethical, social, or political-have their source in human experience and culture.

Since Humanism derives the goals of life from need and takes responsibility for its own destiny, in this respect then, Hardy's full title, Tess of the D'Ubervilles: A Pure Woman is explicable. Tess is a young woman whose innate sensations are naturally good, but she comes into conflict with the "parochial conventions and superstition" of her mother and Christian dogma and fate. As a humanist, then, all that truly exists for Tess or is real is nature.

The ambiguous circumstances of the copulation of Alec D'Uberville with Tess can, perhaps, be best...

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