La femme en palimpseste: Tess of the D’Urbervilles (1891) de Thomas Hardy et The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1969) de John Fowles


  • Issaga Ndiaye Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar, Senegal



palimpsest, feminine condition, Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, John Fowles, The French Lieutenant’s Woman.


The purpose of this article is to highlight an intertextual relationship between Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D’Ubervilles and John Fowles's The French Lieutenant's Woman. This intertextual relationship revolves mainly around the representation of women. In Hardy just as in Fowles, the image of women reveals a chiasm between tradition and modernity. Also, the study shows that the description of female characters in Tess of the D'Urbervilles and The French Lieutenant's Woman is essentially based on stereotypes. Hardy and Fowles respect the representational norms of the patriarchal society as to the image of women. They do that, however, to deconstruct that very image. If the representation of the female characters in the two novels is a commonplace, the fact remains that two characters, Sarah and Tess, stand out from the others. They stand out from the others in that they challenge Victorian social conventions; and in so doing, they move from the center to the margins of society.

Author Biography

  • Issaga Ndiaye, Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar, Senegal
    I am an Assistant professor in the Department of English Studies of Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal.


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