Analysis of Tess of the DUrbervilles by Thomas Hardy Essay examples

Analysis of Tess of the DUrbervilles by Thomas Hardy Essay examples

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Tess of the D’Urbervilles is set in the late 19th century England, in an area called Wessex. Tess and her family live in a village named Marlott. Tess Durbeyfield, the protagonist, is an innocent girl who suffers throughout the novel and never seems to find lasting happiness. The first phase of the book is called The Maiden. The novel begins with her father, Jack Durbeyfield, discovering that he is descended from the ancient family, the D’Urbervilles, and he goes off to celebrate at a nearby pub. Tess, contrastingly, is participating in the May Dance, a dance by walking-club females to celebrate the hundreds of years of walking. The walking club is like a sisterhood of sorts. Tess is introduced to the readers as a pure girl with a “mobile peony mouth and large innocent eyes”. She is depicted as child-like in beauty with her “twelfth year in her cheeks or her ninth year sparkling from her eyes and even her fifth year would flit over the curves of her mouth now and then”. To further exaggerate their innocence, all the girls participating in the May Dance are wearing white frocks and carrying white flowers. White is the color of purity and it emphasizes the theme of innocence. Among the spectators of the dance are three boys, one of whom dances with some of the girls and as he’s leaving, catches the eye of Tess. This boy, we later come to discover, is Angel Clare.
When Tess returns home, her mother runs to gather her father from the pub. Tess is left to manage the household with her younger siblings and as the night grows darker, and her parents still have not returned, she goes to retrieve them. Her father has a delivery in the morning and it cannot be late. Seeing as her father is drunk and nowhere near sober, she volunteers to go...


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...urity. Her hardships impact her but not always negatively. She becomes stronger as she deals with them. Thomas Hardy makes it really easy to sympathize with her, to see her point of view, to see the injustices she suffers, and I applaud him for that because he was writing in a society that was too conservative to see this radical view. I feel like I fell in love with Angel Clare just as Tess did and I felt betrayed when he did not forgive her for a rape that wasn’t her fault, especially since he had voluntary slept with another woman. It is understandable though, seeing as Angel plays the part of how someone in their situation would react to such news. The reconciliation at the end however, really demonstrates how Thomas Hardy felt about how the sexual morality double standard should not exist. If Angel could get past Tess’s past, then a society could be more open.


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Analysis of Tess of the DUrbervilles by Thomas Hardy Essay examples

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