Give examples of how both Angel AND Alec show an elitist approach to the poor/have pre-conceived notions of those socially and financially lesser than themselves.

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The most glaring example, which dominates the entire novel, is Alec’s attitude toward Tess and her family. Secure in his position as an elite Stokes-d’Urberville, Alec assumes that he is entitled to sexual access to any female on his family’s estate. In later years, when Tess is a social outcast,...

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The most glaring example, which dominates the entire novel, is Alec’s attitude toward Tess and her family. Secure in his position as an elite Stokes-d’Urberville, Alec assumes that he is entitled to sexual access to any female on his family’s estate. In later years, when Tess is a social outcast, he offers to help her and her family, at the cost of her sexual subordination. His contempt for her family is shown by his blatant exploitation of her sexuality.

Angel Clare, in contrast, is shown to be basically a good man whose virtues include the determination to work hard and make his way in his chosen vocation. In being impressed by Tess’ alleged heritage as a d’Urberville, however, he reveals his class snobbery. In addition, while he holds himself superior to Tess when she tells him of her lost virtue, he also shows his hypocrisy by confessing of his own earlier sexual activity.

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