Olive Schreiner`s The Story of an African Farm and Thomas Hardy`s Jude the Obscure explore the shifting condition of women living in fin-de-siecle Victorian England through foregrounding a New Woman character. Despite their apparent affinity, the two authors show noticeable differences in their approaches to the failure of the New Woman character. While Schreiner`s criticism puts more weight on social restrictions and fixed gender roles as the causes of Lyndall`s agony, Hardy underscores human nature as the main reason for Sue`s unsuccessful attempt at liberation. The two authors also differ in their views of social transformation and the possibilities for future progress. In satirizing Victorian society, Schreiner suggests a utopian vision of social progress with her protagonist`s death symbolizing a new beginning. Hardy`s naturalist pessimism portrays his characters ultimately defeated by human nature, leaving no room for a hopeful future. This contrast originates from the two authors` disparate gender politics and their different worldviews. Yet, by creating a complex, neurotic, and inconsistent heroine, Schreiner and Hardy equally depart from the angel-in-the-house character embodying the Victorian feminine ideal and docile womanhood in the previous realist novels, and produce a new literary model for future generations.