Nineteenth-century women’s place in George Eliot’s Middlemarch and Thomas Hardy’s the return of the native and tess of the d’urbervilles

Sünbül, Çiçek
This thesis proposes to demonstrate the representation of women in the 19th-century fiction through an analysis of the characters in George Eliot’s Middlemarch and Thomas Hardy’s The Return of the Native and Tess of the D’Urbervilles. The study starts with an outline of the intellectual and industrial transformations shaping women’s position in the 19th century in addition to the already existing prejudices about men’s and women’s roles in the society. The decision of marriage and its consequences are placed earlier in these novels, which helps to lay bare the women’s predicaments and the authors’ treatment of the female characters better. Therefore, because of marriage’s centrality to the novels as a theme, the analysis focuses on the female subordination with its educational, vocational and social extensions, the women’s expectations from marriage, their disappointments, and their differing responses respectively. Finally, the analogous and different aspects of the attitudes of the two writers are discussed as regards their portrayal of the characters and the endings they create for the women in their novels.


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Citation Formats
Ç. Sünbül, “Nineteenth-century women’s place in George Eliot’s Middlemarch and Thomas Hardy’s the return of the native and tess of the d’urbervilles,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2011.