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Women in the Novels of Thomas Hardy


The social and political ethos in the Victorian period makes it clear that the lives of women were insecure unlike men. Their role was always considered to be subsidiary and they were more often than not oppressed and denied their fundamental rights. Though it was an age of progress, women were omitted from these progressive stages. Women were expected to be the machines of producing children and rearing them up and look after the home and the hearth. They were even kept away from the educational development. In the period when all the doors were closed on the woman by the conventions, it was quite difficult for a writer like Thomas Hardy to swim against the current to glorify the women in his novels. But having deep sympathy about women in his mind Hardy portrayed his women with great skill showing them bold, courageous, loving, socially and psychologically conscious.

The present book aims at studying Hardy’s daring of portrayal of his women characters with different qualities which were restricted to women in the Victorian age. It also aims to show his portrayal of their suffering due to the conventions and orthodox social laws along with his presentation of his women as rebel and New Women. The focus is also on his women characterization and their struggle for existence in the patriarchal society. Though he cannot be called a complete feminist writer, he had deep sympathy and sensibilities for them. The attempt is also made to show Hardy’s heroines of feminist qualities though ultimately they have to yield before the society. Nevertheless their efforts to become free and independent are noteworthy.

  1. Introduction
  2. Feminism: Nature and Development
  3. Social and Political Ethos and The State of Women in Victorian England
  4. Thomas Hardy’s Art of Women Characterization
  5. Social and Psychological Awareness of Hardy’s Women Characters
  6. The Feeling of Love and Boldness in Hardy’s Female Characters
  7. Conclusions
  • Bibliography
  • Articles And Websites


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