Tess of the D'Urbervilles Throughout the novel, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Hardy focuses on the life of Tess Durbeyfield. Starting out as a young, innocent girl, Tess matures throughout the book to become a powerful woman who was capable of thinking for herself. Furthermore, she was also intelligent enough to realize her importance as an individual.
At the beginning of the novel, Tess was portrayed as a young girl with too much responsibility for her age. She was sent out into the world at a very young age, and was unable to see the danger in life around her. Tess was the one who had to fetch her parents from the inn because they stayed out too late. In addition to that, she was forced to do her father's work because he was too drunk to realize what the current situation was. Neither parent cared much about Tess: her mother was always thinking about getting Tess married, and her father was thinking of ways to restore their social order.
Due to the negligence from her parents, Alec was able to take advantage of her physically and mentally. By giving Tess's father a horse, Alec was able to exert mental control over Tess in such a way that Tess was obliged to obey.
Yet, Tess was able to overcome her affair with Alec because she possessed a keen sense of justice and morality. She realized that she had sinned, but also came to the conclusion that she should not be punished eternally for one mistake. This realization also reflects upon Tess's maturation mentally. Moreover, because her affair with Alec also resulted in a child, she was forced to mature much more quickly than she would have liked. Tess also had the habit of blaming herself for everything that would not...