Day 2

Tess of the D'Urbervilles Lesson Plan

Discussion of Thought Questions

  1. 1

    Why do you think Tess remained at Trantridge and continued a relationship Alec, after the night that he assaulted?

    This question is likely to be somewhat controversial, given that questions like this are still raised about survivors of sexual assault today. Remind students that victims of trauma often have unpredictable reactions, and that it is entirely common for them to continue relationships with their abusers even today, when our cultural by and large recognizes the seriousness of rape as a crime and lays the blame on the perpetrator, not the victim. When the book was published, many people viewed the assault as a "seduction." As a result of both repressed Victorian...

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