Tess of the D'Urbervilles Angel vs Alec and exchange of roles

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Many readers of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles believe that Alec, logically, is Tess's opposition throughout the novel. Often, readers lose perspective of not only the negative impact Angel has on Tess's life, but also the positive effort put forth by Alec. It seems that in the later portion of the novel, Angel and Alec exchange roles. Regardless of this trend, one must recognize the fact that both men add to the turmoil in …

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…perspective. She is crushed when Alec rapes her. However, it is much harder for Tess to recover when Angel helps her to heal the pain of the past, only to tell her he loved a fantasy that she could never live up to. The constant betrayal of trust in her life causes Tess to lose faith in her fellow man. This, in turn, pushes her to commit the crime, which is the end of her.