The Innate Nature of Man as Portrayed by Thomas Hardy in Tess of the D’Ubervilles

Christy Paulina. J


The mystery of evil is a positive challenge to humanity. The world is a wrestling ground for good and evil. Man is confronted with evil in its varied forms physical, moral, social, natural, spiritual etc. We understand that man is naturally depraved and evils are the outcome of his depraved nature. Sufferings have their source in man’s wickedness. But what is so mysterious is why there should be so much unnecessary and unreasonable misery in the world. The uneven distribution of fortune and misfortune among God’s creatures, the prosperity of the wicked, the misery of the virtuous, the sufferings of the righteous for no fault of their own, the success and happiness of the cruel tyrants – all these point out a state of affairs that becomes enigmatic and puzzling for us. In The Bible during the meeting between Jesus and a blind man, the problem of evil was brought to the attention of Jesus. The question that was posed before Jesus by his disciples was not why there was evil in general but rather why there was a fellow creature suffering blindness from birth. This is what remains unresolved. As for the existentialists, man is condemned to be free and the problem of evil is part and parcel of the problem of freedom or of moral choice. And finally there is a theological view that evil is not a negative but a positive concept. It is regarded as a chastening and purifying agent, a detergent of the human soul. However, evil continuous to be viewed differently by different people but the mystery of evil abides.

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