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One of Hardy’s early titles for 'Tess of the d’Urbervilles' was 'The Body and Soul of Sue'. The novel pushes the “deadly war waged between flesh and spirit” to the centre stage. Each of the main characters is in some way caught between these polarities, and between world-views which can broadly be defined as ‘Christian’/‘Pauline’ and ‘Pagan’. Hardy subverts the sexual stereotypes of nineteenth-century popular fiction and exposes the damage wreaked upon women and men alike by ‘Christian’ morality and its hostility towards human sexuality. The characters struggle to resolve the physical/spiritual schism as individuals and in their relationships. This dualism lies deep within Western culture, tearing it and the characters’ lives apart.
|Keywords:||Thomas Hardy, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Tess Durbeyfield, Angel Clare, Alec D'Urberville, Paganism, Christianity, religion, sexuality, body/soul, dualism, James Reeves, folksong, Cerne Abbas, symbollism, ballads|
|Glasgow Author(s):||Gilchrist, Dr Marianne|
|Subjects:||G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GR Folklore|
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
|College/School:||College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature|
|Journal Name:||Thomas Hardy Yearbook|
|Copyright Holders:||G Stevens Cox|