Psycho-sexual Ambivalence in Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles: A Freudian Interpretation


  • Muhammad Mahmood Ahmad Shaheen
  • Shahzad Karim


Psychic ambivalence; sexual and ego instincts; id; ego; super-ego; taboo; intellectual idealism; inhibitions.


Human existence is subject to intrinsic instinctive thingamajig, socio-cultural norms and interpersonal relativity. Human personality remains in a conflicting relationship with these variables which shape human lot in this indifferent human and natural cosmos. Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles (subsequently referred to as T.D.) offers a cycloramic view of various conflicts resulting from psychosexual drives and cultural values. These conflicts allude to psychic turmoil which the characters of Hardy’s fictional world undergo to manifest the failure of man-made system. Hardy brings to light the psychic ambivalence in the representation of sexuality as a cultural taboo and intellectual idealization of essential human emotions. Psychologically, the psychosexual conflicts are the display of the instinctive skirmish of sexual and ego instincts. This paper analyses Hardy’s representation of these conflicts in the light of Sigmund Freud’s theories of sexuality and vicissitudes of ego and sexual instincts. This paper foregrounds that conflicts between the claims of sexuality and the ego instincts goad psychic ambivalence and conceive tragic downfall.




How to Cite

Shaheen, M. M. A. ., & Karim, S. . (2021). Psycho-sexual Ambivalence in Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles: A Freudian Interpretation. Pakistan Journal of Social Sciences, 41(4), 731-741. Retrieved from