How T. Hardy shows the inner strength of the main heroine of Tess of the d’Urbervilles?
Hardy depicts Tess as a woman who suffers through many horrible events but still finds the strength to rise above it all and carry on. However, he also shows that the implications of her loss of “purity” are lasting, as although Tess tries to start a new life with Angel Clare, she never fully escapes from her past with Alec and what he did to her. When Tess tells Angel of her rape, she is devastated to learn that he sees her as sullied and impure. Angel states ‘Forgiveness does not apply to the case! You were one person; now you are another… the woman I have been loving is not you… another woman in your shape’. She is reminded of her loss of “purity” but eventually overcomes these feelings of self-doubt. Rosemarie Morgan states that ‘Far from being a passive victim, Tess embodies a fierce impulse to self-determination against daunting, and ultimately insurmountable, odds’. Therefore, Hardy can be said to have established a character whose inner strength allows her to overcome her image as a ‘fallen woman’.