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On Hardy’s Ecofeminist Consciousness in Tess of the D’Urbervilles

Author YangYang
Tutor NingPing
School Liaoning Normal University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Hardy Ecofeminism Human and Nature Men and Women Harmony
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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Thomas Hardy is one of the most prominent writers in the history of English literature. Throughout his writing career, he has given much attention to the relations between human and nature, men and women. With his keen insight, he not only sees the intimacy between women and nature, but also makes them together, and nature is served as a foil for women’s inner emotional world and change of their fate. In addition, he considers women and nature as an integral whole. As far as their fate is concerned, they are both trampled and torn by the cruel patriarchy. Therefore, he appeals to rebuild the respect for both women and nature, through which the ideal of his concept of ecofeminism is fully embodied. This thesis just attempts to apply the theory of ecofeminism to reinterpret and analyze Tess of the D’Urbervilles, namely, one of the masterpieces representing his highest achievements. Moreover, Hardy’s ecofeminist consciousness and his ideal concerning ecofeminism and the significance of this theory to nowadays are explored. First of all, this thesis starts from analyzing the source of Hardy’s ecofeminist consciousness in terms of his personal experiences. Secondly, a detailed combination is made between the theory of ecofeminism and the literary text. By doing so, not only the affinity between women and nature is exposed, Hardy’s condemnation of damage caused by the male-dominated industrial civilization to nature and the patriarchal oppression on women are also highlighted. Thus, Hardy’s ecofeminist consciousness is completely displayed. Thirdly, this thesis makes an analysis of the relation between the creature living in nature and characters in the novel, through which Hardy’s longing for harmonious relation between human and nature is reflected. Besides, the analysis of the awakening of Tess’s female consciousness, Angel’s moral penitence and the fulfillment ending all reveal Hardy’s hope for equal and harmonious relation between men and women. Finally, from the contemporary perspective, the thesis explores the significance of ecofeminist ideal concept in reality, calling on people to form a harmonious coexistence between human and nature and establish a human society in which gender equality and harmony are realized.

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