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Tess of the d'Urbervilles

The following collection of thematically related readings is available in Tess of the d'Urbervilles and Related Readings in McDougal Littell's Literature Connections series.

"Life's Tragedy" by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Summary: In this poem by a turn-of-the-century African-American poet, the speaker examines life's deepest misfortunes.

"Disappointment Is the Lot of Woman" by Lucy Stone
Summary: A noted American feminist gave this fiery speech at the National Woman's Rights Convention in 1855.

"The Paris Gown" by Estela Portillo Trambley
(from Rain of Scorpions and Other Stories, ©1993)
Summary: In this contemporary short story, the main character recounts her defiance of a society that enforces the double standard.

"The Ruined Maid" by Thomas Hardy
Summary: This satirical poem offers a different perspective on the loss of one's maidenly reputation in Victorian England.

"Yesterday He Still Looked in My Eyes" by Marina Tsvetayeva, translated by Elaine Feinstein
(from The Selected Poems of Marina Tsvetayeva, © 1971)

"A Complaint" by Lady Chwang K'ang, translated by James Legge and revised by Helen Waddell
Summary: In each of these poems--one by a 20-century Russian poet, the other by a Chinese poet of the 8th century B.C.--the speakers are abandoned women trying to cope with their loss.

The Royal Family by Garrison Keillor
(from Leaving Home © 1987)
Summary: The popular humorist tells a bittersweet tale about the joys and pitfalls of genealogical pride.

"Design" by Robert Frost
(from The Poetry of Robert Frost, © 1936)
Summary: This poem questions the role of fate in the smallest events.