Playing devil's advocate for Alec
Posted by KathleenB on September 09, 1998 at 19:31:08:
In response to I dislike Alec D'Ubervilles exceedingly!, written by Constanza on September 07, 1998 at 10:23:14
] the arrogant, stupid, conceited, good-for-nothing, deceiving corruptor of minors!
Can one make a case in his defence? As someone has pointed out, little in his environment would have taught or encouraged him to behave right to Tess, or even think of her a a full human being. I've only read the first part, but might we be able to argue that he wasn't consciously scheming from the beginning, or was at least telling himself that he wouldn't behave badly, but in the situation at night when he found her in a vulnerable position he was just overcome by temptation? Giving him the benefit of the doubt??
BTW, I totally agree about Tess taking on a parental role and how this happens in dysfunctional families, and also about her mother being the one who deserves a lot of blame. Although... doesn't Hardy seem to describe her as an "innocent" in the sense of being retarded in some way?
Perhaps I'm just being too charitable all round. Just trying to inject a few thoughts...
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