The Tragic Sense of Passivity, Docility and Marriage Conventionality in Hardy’s The Woodlanders

Noorbakhsh Hooti, Masoud Ahmadi Mousaabad


Hardy was consistently interested in women despite the enormous pressures of the Victorian society of his time. His great compassion towards them and issues related to their lives are reflected in all his works. This is an area in which considerable work has been done but it still offers immense scope for further study. Through a close critical analysis this study tries to bring to light the tragic sense of passivity, docility and biased marriage laws, which have entrapped his female characters in the selected novel. It tries to give a vivid picture to the sufferings and injustice meted out to them in a society that frustrated individual abilities and crushed their natural and human impulses. It further tries to show the helpless female characters whose identity and the nature of existence is decided by the male characters who believe that ‘‘Might is Right.’’ Finally the study tries to conclude that the only way for the women to save themselves from the shackles of the arrogant colony of men is to start believing in themselves and breaking the fetters of slavery and establishing their own identity.

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International Journal of English Linguistics   ISSN 1923-869X (Print)   ISSN 1923-8703 (Online)   E-mail:

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