An Ecofeminist Reading of Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’urbervilles and its Movie Adaptation by Roman Polanski: A Comparative Study

Authors

  • Djouher Benyoucef School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.46521/pjws.028.01.0089

Keywords:

Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Ecofeminism, Thomas Hardy, environment, women and nature, patriarchal oppression, comparative analysis

Abstract

Ecofeminist examination of audio-visual and textual narratives is the central concern of this article. At the core of my study is a comparative analysis of Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles (1891) and its movie adaptation by Roman Polanski (1979), with an aim to explore convergent and divergent ecofeminist imperatives. I argue that the novel highlights the intersection between the oppression of women and exploitation of nature. By contrast, the movie adopts an ambiguous stance that undermines the potential of an ethical ecofeminist critique. This is clearly reflected through scenes that represent the encounter between Alec and Tess as a pastoral romance taking place against the backdrop of nature, that ultimately serve to cast their association as the result of natural instinct rather than a crime. This reworking of the novel seems to suggest that the movie’s thrust as a whole is towards exonerating Alec, which undermines the novels’ ecofeminist overtones.

Published

2021-07-30

How to Cite

Benyoucef, D. . (2021). An Ecofeminist Reading of Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’urbervilles and its Movie Adaptation by Roman Polanski: A Comparative Study. Pakistan Journal of Women’s Studies: Alam-E-Niswan, 28(1), 61-71. https://doi.org/10.46521/pjws.028.01.0089