Tess of the d'Urbervilles Essay Topics & Writing Assignments

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Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Thomas Hardy's subtitle refers to a 'pure' woman. Discuss this idea of 'purity' with respect to the main character. Is Tess a 'pure woman' - why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

It is often said that a "punishment should fit the crime." Discuss this statement in connection with either Tess or Alec. Does this saying hold true in their cases? Why or why not? Make sure that you clearly describe both the crime and the punishment.

Essay Topic 3

Compare and contrast the characters of Alec and Angel. As archetypes, what do these two characters contribute to Hardy's overall message or theme?

Essay Topic 4

Some people read Hardy's work as a commentary on forms of oppression (religious, political, racial, social). Discuss, using at least three different examples from the text to back up your opinion.

Essay Topic 5

When the three dairymaids who are in love with Angel...

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