Is Tess a victim?

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  • Tess as a victim?
    • Tess IS a victim
      • She is subject to the conventions and prejudice of society
        • e.g. "She knew what their whispers were about, she grew sick at heart and felt that she could come to church no more
      • Tess is sacrificed - is it a requisite that the sacrifice must be pure.
        • "A pure woman"
      • Tess accepts her fate when she allows herself to be sacrificed for the sake of her family
      • Tess  is victim of Alec's ruthless pursuit
      • Alec calls her "my pretty" just before the rape = possessive
    • Tess IS NOT a victim
      • She makes the choice to go with Alec and become the "mistress of her seducer"
      • A03: Victorian critics argued that Tess was seduced not raped. In the 1890s "luckless maiden seduced"
        • A03: In the 1960s the view changed. "Luckless victim of rape"
          • Some modern critics stick with the belief that Tess was cunningly seduced - Margaret Drabble/ David Lodge
        • Mrs Oliphant: she is not forced into becoming the "mistress of her seducer" by any stress of poverty as she is a skilled labourer - so it would be rare for her not to find work
      • In the fruit garden she gives in to Alec. "in a slight distress she parted her lips and took it in" she could have resisted.

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