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

Expert Answers
ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Thomas Hardy was a popular writer during his era. One reason he wrote “Tess of the D'Urbervilles” was to support himself and his family.  “Tess brought him notoriety—it was considered quite scandalous—and fortune.” Another reason for the novel was to through a light and questions on society's sexual mores by compassionately portraying a heroine, Tess, who is seduced by the son of her employer, Angel, and who thus is not considered a pure and chaste woman by the rest of society.  She was considered “fallen.”  Hardy criticized the social mores of his own late-Victorian era and considered not only the “rights of men, but also the rights of women”  in his criticism of what he saw as stifling aspects of the institution of marriage and conventional views of sexuality,  This novel is often said to be a “bridge” between 19th century and 20th century literature.   Hardy also wrote “Tess” because he found himself often torn between different social spheres with which he could not fully align himself. Tess of the d'Urbervilles reflects that divide.  Hardy was very aware and condemning of the class system in Victorian England.  He tried to voice his dislike for this through his novel.   

Read the study guide:
Tess of the d'Urbervilles

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question