e-ISSN 2231-8542
ISSN 1511-3701

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Investigating Thomas Hardy's Reaction to Victorian Religious Forces through Reading Tess of the D'Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure

Faezeh Sivandipour and Rosli Talif

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 22, Issue 3, September 2014

Keywords: Thomas Hardy, Christianity, Victorian era, Evangelicalism, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Jude the Obscure

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The Victorian era during the nineteenth century was marked by the Church of England and was greatly associated with "Victorian values," strict rules, formal manners, rigidly defined roles and highly moralistic standards of behaviour. Considering the main religious thoughts of that period, this study examines the basic religious notions of the time which had an effect on Thomas Hardy and provoked him to question the existing religious and social forces of the time through Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1891) and Jude the Obscure (1895). Due to his many bitter and tragic stories, most readers consider him a pessimist writer-a description that he himself does not agree. Rather, Hardy considers himself a 'meliorist'; therefore, he cannot accept being a pessimist. It is significant to note the religious clues in his two mentioned novels, which help the reader to see a reflection of his inner beliefs and his religious outlook on his characters as well. This article, based for the most part on several quotations of the two novels, attempts to extrapolate religious and social problems of the Victorian age and the way Thomas Hardy responds to the so-called Victorian notions through considering his emphasis on repeating the consequences of these forces in the selected novels.

ISSN 1511-3701

e-ISSN 2231-8542

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