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Compare and Contrast Wilde’s Presentation of the Fallen Woman in a Woman of No Importance with Hardy’s Presentation of the Same Issue in Tess of the D’urbervilles. Say How Far You Agree with the View That Hardy Provokes

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Compare and contrast Wilde’s presentation of the fallen woman in A Woman of No Importance with Hardy’s presentation of the same issue in Tess of the D’Urbervilles. Say how far you agree with the view that Hardy provokes more sympathy through his portrayal than Wilde.
Wilde and Hardy both present their heroines as the ‘fallen woman’ against the backdrop of Victorian society. This portrayal by the authors of their heroines and the contrasting ways in which each character deals with their own situation leads us to empathise with their burdens and gain a deeper insight into their thoughts and emotions. As we witness the deepening punishments and tragedies unfolding for each character, both authors also succeed in eliciting our sympathy for these women as they enable us to experience the unfairness and injustice of the world as it was then.
Wilde demonstrates the sheer devastation for a woman, of becoming ‘ruined’ through his character Mrs Arbuthnot as she expresses her demoralising thoughts and deep feelings that she has not spoken of before. We witness the destruction foisted upon her state of mind by the label of ‘fallen woman’ that was bestowed upon Mrs Arbuthnot, through the way that she scrutinises herself and expresses that she is a “tainted thing”. This metaphor implies that she believes her actions are so horrendous that she has been de-humanised and should be regarded as something impure. When describing her emotional burdens she states “I will bear them alone”. This simple declarative suggests that she has command over her own feelings and is deciding upon her own punishment. However she continues to affirm that she “must bear them alone”, where through the addition of the modal verb “must” we are brought back to the sad truth that, in Victorian society, a fallen woman would have had no choice as to her fate or punishment and she would have been excluded from…...

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