What do you think of Alec's shifting beliefs? Do you think he actually believes what he preaches? When he is dissuaded from his beliefs by Tess repeating a syllogism she heard from Angel, what does that make you think about his "conversion?"
Alec's investment in his beliefs is dubious. Hardy never lets the reader know what the syllogism actually is, so how powerful an argument it is is up for debate, but the fact that Alec's belief utterly crushed by three sentences from Tess seems to indicate that they were never that strong to begin with. Alec is ultimately motivated by greed and lust regardless of his religious standing at any given moment. Alec's conversion seems to...
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