VERISIMILTUDE – Difficulties in the lives of women (Tess of the D’Urbervilles and A Thousand Splendid Suns).

Topic sentence/argument:

Both authors present the difficulties in the lives of women as fully grounded in reality. Through impactful and convincing verisimilitude, the fictional women in Tess and Splendid Sun’s are used to present the real-life hardships of women in Victorian England and modern-day Afghanistan.



  • Uses real life events to make the events in the novel more believable and personal to the readers.
  • Mirrors difficulties in Mariam and Laila’s lives with the on-going war in Afghanistan.
  • ‘When the fighting subsided’, ‘Mariam was relieved’ as ‘they no longer had to be cooped up with Rasheed’.
  • The comparison between the difficulties in the lives of these women with the warfare in Afghanistan shows the affects on real life women.
  • This use of verisimilitude suggests that Hosseini intended on sparking sympathy and spreading awareness of how tough the effects of war were on all women of all backgrounds (like Mariam and Laila).



  • Hardy used verisimilitude in a slightly different way to Hosseini as the novel has a fictional setting.
  • However, the use of real locations, such as Stonehenge creates a connection between the novel and the real world.
  • The way that Hardy states that ‘every Wintoncestrian knows’ makes the reader feel as if this is real and something that they should know about.
  • Hardy’s intention was to make the Victorians realise that the things that happened to Tess, can easily happen to real women.
  • Verisimilitude brings the story to life, hence the expose of sexism and the negative effects of societal rules on women in the novel would be an insult to the way Victorians behaved towards women.

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