Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 13:6 June 2013
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.
         G. Baskaran, Ph.D.
         L. Ramamoorthy, Ph.D.
Assistant Managing Editor: Swarna Thirumalai, M.A.


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Impact of Class on Life
A Marxist Study of Thomas Hardy’s Novel
Tess of the D’Urbervilles

Farkhanda Nazir, M.A. English, M.Phil. (English Literature) Scholar


Class has central role in Hardy’s works, specially in the novel Tess of the D’Urbervilles. Tess, the protagonist and the representative of 19th century social class is exploited in this novel by the members of elite class. In spite of all other themes the novel is about the experiences that a working class does in order to hide or shift its class and to minimize the gap that has become a source of exploitation.

In class shifting process Tess’s mother, her father and Tess herself plays a vital role that will become part of discussion later in this paper. However, major source of exploitation is economy, which acts as a venomous tool not only for Tess’s destruction but for her whole family also. Tess throughout the novel is struggling between intractable material satisfaction and self.

Further, it is essential to highlight that Hardy has told the story of Tess in the same socioeconomic background in which he himself was living and experiencing such types of bitter realities. There lies vivid comparison between his world and in Tess’s world. The only difference is that, Tess being a female is a double standard of exploitation. It is worth mentioning that, Hardy was producing class literature by choosing his protagonists from working classes because he was of the view, if there does not exist any literature for working class, it will be diminished from the history and become a permanent source of exploitation. Further there is a great influence of Marx’s philosophy with the dominant aspect of “each according to his abilities to each according to his needs”, and that “ whole hitherto history is the history of working class”, and above all “philosophers have interpreted the world; our aim is to change it”.

In this way this research paper is going to highlight in overall, the issue of class. It will take Marxist literary theory as a lense to analyse this work. Paper will also highlight the factors that are responsible in class making process and purposes or motives of these different classes.

Key Terms: Marxism, Class, Dialectical Model of History, Ideology, Alienation


Karl Marx, a German Philosopher, and Friedrich Engels, a German sociologist, were the joint founder of this school of thought .They forwarded their economic theory and gave it the name of Communism. Marx and Engels announced the advent of communism in their jointly-written Communist Manifesto of 1848.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Farkhanda Nazir, M.A English, M.Phil. (English Literature) Scholar
Government College University

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