Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

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Why did Thomas Hardy write the novel Tess of The D'urbervilles?

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By the time Hardy wrote Tess of the D'Urbervilles, he was a successful novelist with an established reputation. Earlier in his career, under the advice of such mentors as Leslie Stephen, Virginia Woolf's father, he moderated his criticism of repressive Victorian social restrictions and Victorian hypocrisy. By the 1890s, however, he was secure enough as a literary figure to write a novel that expressed his true feelings about the double sexual standards applied to men and women in his society. It bothered him that men got a pass in his culture for being sexually promiscuous, while a woman who "strayed" in the slightest way, even if it was not her fault, was severely condemned and often had her life ruined.

Hardy portrays the injustice of what happens to the innocent and pure-hearted Tess, whose life is ripped apart because she is raped and impregnated by a predatory man when she is only a teenager. Even after she "buries" her past by moving to the...

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