Tess as a Kaleidoscope of Socially Constructed Images in Tess of the D'urbervilles

  • Romana Jabeen Bukhari Romana Jabeen Bukhari
  • Tahira Asgher Assistant Professor, Department of English Linguistics, Islamia University Bahawalpur, Pakistan
  • Safia Parveen MS Scholar, COMSATS University Islamabad, Lahore Campus
Keywords: Social Construction, Plight, Victorian England, Exploitation, Identity, Resistance, Existential Rights


This study aims to examine the Victorian novel Tess of the D'urbervilles to explore the general social construction of women which prescribes images and roles for them and moulds them accordingly. The researcher selected Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles, which portrays the plight of women in Victorian England. This qualitative study makes a thorough analysis of the female protagonist who is exploited by the social prescription of her identity and concludes that the female figure is no more than the kaleidoscopic images of hers drawn by others. The study applies the concept of social construction with feministic insight. It hints that women cannot attain full potential until they and society establish their existential rights as empowered and independent human beings. It points out that the resistance against the dominant patriarchal ideologies endows women with a new image and identity, and ensures the possibilities to break away from social prescription.