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Word Count: 935
The ability of traumatic or hurtful experiences to shape the malleable human spirit is unlimited the potential a powerful force that can be used for betterment of self or for the casting down into a abysmal chasm of emotional turmoil that forever mars ones personality Tess Durbeyfield and Edna Pontellier in Tess of the DUrbervilles by Thomas Hardy and The Awakening by Kate Chopin embody this theme of growth by tribulation Each is caught in a society rigid in its moral and social framework unyielding to change By the end of their respective novels each had decided on their own identity brushing aside their feelings of dependency to find a new self worth Each has chosen her own path Tess pushed into impulsive animalism and then into submissiveness Edna into a action full of strength but encouraged by a fantastic illusion of reality Tesss predicaments are dictated by chance a clash of random events that bring her ultimately to her end The first major change in Tess as evidenced by the phase titles is from a maiden to not a maiden This physical change brings about a metal revolution also Before she is nave she refuses to believe in the evil of the world she thinks that she will always be protected from harm Afterwards however she realizes what the real world is like Her innocence corrupted it is as if she had eaten fruit from the forbidden tree gaining knowledge but acquiring with it sin When she finally realizes her love for Angel her veneer applied so thickly after her seduction to protect against further intrusion washes away easily and she gives herself up completely It is in this phase that she is self-punishing rebuking herself for her folly She sees only Angel and lives only for him Her own body her own self she abandons In his absence she wavers first longing for his companionship then lashing at him refusing to forgive
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