An Honourable Mention by The Thomas Hardy Society | St Helen's
An Honourable Mention by The Thomas Hardy Society

We are delighted to announce that Simi in Year 12 has been awarded an Honourable Mention in The Thomas Hardy Society Schools Writing Competition for her paper on Thomas Hardy’s advocacy of Tess Durbeyfield in ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’. Simi explains her approach:

I wrote about how Hardy himself, advocates for Tess throughout his novel, portraying her as a ‘pure’ woman despite her being rendered a ‘fallen’ woman by society, and brings to light her true virtue. I really enjoyed writing about how Hardy’s voice translates through his characters, and how he uses this novel to question the connection between a woman’s virginity and virtue, in a way that is still relevant to discussion today.

The Thomas Hardy Society judges were impressed with Simi’s analysis. One judge commented:

This is a clearly structured and perceptive discussion of Hardy’s advocacy of Tess Durbeyfield within the context of ‘an unjust and myopic world’ of Victorian moral double standards. I am impressed with the way that textual analysis is deepened through engagement with historical context such as the critical reception of the novel and the pressures on Hardy to censor his treatment of sexuality.

The results of the competition will be announced on the Society’s website and in their Journal. Congratulations Simi, this is an incredible achievement!