Female Oppositional Gaze in Scopic Regime: A Case Study of Tess of the d’Urbervilles


  • Fangyun Guo Southwest University




Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Scopic Regime, Oppositional Gaze


In the conventional scholarship surrounding Thomas Hardy’s works, Tess is commonly perceived as an object of desire for the male gaze, as well as a victim of the sexual politics of her time. This research addresses this critical issue from a (post-)feminist perspective, with a particular focus on the dimension of the female oppositional gaze. The aim is to explore the defiant gaze strategy that Tess employs when confronted with Alec, a representative of the male Scopic Regime, and to elucidate its profound implications. Through an inquiry into Tess’s use of both external anti-gaze techniques and spiritual insight as means of resistance against the abuser’s attempts at alienation, this essay argues that Tess effectively dissolves, impedes, and ultimately thwarts the abuser’s will to conquer, thus inducing a sense of counter-alienation regarding sexual politics. Consequently, Tess’s oppositional gaze not only contributes to the development of a unique Scopic Regime among British women but also assists in constructing a special visual poetics in the Victorian era.




How to Cite

Guo, F. (2024). Female Oppositional Gaze in Scopic Regime: A Case Study of Tess of the d’Urbervilles. International Journal of English and Comparative Literary Studies , 4(6), 10-21. https://doi.org/10.47631/ijecls.v4i6.678