Show how belief or faith is represented in Tess of the D 'Urbervilles and discuss how this aspect might be interpreted or understood in different historical, cultural, or social contexts.  

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coachingcorner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the novel 'Tess of the Durbevilles' by Thomas Hardy, the novelist presents a young man, the reader at first believes, of sound morals and strong Christian beliefs. Yet, as so often (even in the time of Jesus) people listen but do not hear about what it really means to be a Christian. He said that following him was not just a matter of following rules slavishly for the sake of it, looking good in public and reading the bible 24/7. He criticised those in his time who did just that, yet failed to show love and forgiveness to their fellow man. Here we see Angel doing the same to the naive Tess, who believes that if she is honest with him, forgives him past misdemeanours, that he will show the same forbearance to her. Instead, like the hard-hearted people in the Bible, Angel acts all judgemental and is in a mood to punish her. The faith Tess had in his true morals and good nature was unfounded because he hadn't taken in the first goal of Christianity 'to love one another' in the same way Jesus did. 

Angel had belief, but his beliefs were flawed and hadn't been tested as he hadn't suffered or had much experience of the world. Later, sicker, older and tireder he thinks differently, but it is too late. When the list of being a good Christian was laid out by Christ he hadn't been listening to the bit 'but the greatest of these is Charity.'

RafaelCarillos | Student

I agree with coaching corner " 

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Tess of the d'Urbervilles

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