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Literature Study GuidesTess Of The DUrbervilles

Tess of the d'Urbervilles | Study Guide

Thomas Hardy

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Course Hero. "Tess of the d'Urbervilles Study Guide." August 23, 2017. Accessed June 9, 2023.


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Thomas Hardy

Year Published






Perspective and Narrator

Tess of the d'Urbervilles is told by a third-person limited omniscient narrator, who focuses on the thoughts and feelings of Tess, Angel, and occasionally Alec. This point of view presents the characters, even at times the antagonist Alec, sympathetically, and causes readers to withhold judgment.


Tess of the d'Urbervilles is written in the past tense.

About the Title

Tess Durbeyfield, the protagonist of Tess of the d'Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented, learns her family name was originally d'Urberville—the name of an ancient noble family long extinct. The subtitle—A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented—is a social comment indicating the author's belief that Tess, a rape victim, is "pure" despite being a fallen woman by the standards of the day.


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