The Downfall of Tess in Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles

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The Downfall of Tess in Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Tess of the D'Urbervilles is considered to be a tragedy due to the

catastrophic downfall of the protaganist Tess. From the early days in

her life, her father John had begun to destroy her, which then led to

Alex D'Urbervill and eventually finished with Angel Clare. Each

dominant male figure in her life cocntributed to her tragic downfall

which the reader encounters at the end of the novel. It is unfortunate

how one woman can be ruined by the three most important and dominant

people in her life.

Tess's downfall began with her experiences with her father. She grew

up with a father who drank excessively and did not give her

any type of guidance or support. His characteristics are revealed when

he sends Tess to Tantridge to dliver the beehives, due to the fact

that he is too drunk to do it himself.

Rather than taking responsibility for the dreadful accident Tess had

with the family's horse, he sends her to the D'Urbervilles mansion to

seek their name and fortune. Following this, when Tess delivers her

baby upon returning from Tantridge, the reader once again sees John's

true sides of how horrible he is and how he destroys his daughter, by

not letting the parson come and baptize her child, Sorrow, yet he is

on the verge of dying. Her son's name reflects just how miserable she

is and how much pain she is going through, because of Alec.

Throughout these incidents the reader can see just how Tess is

selfless andl oyal to her family and is focused on helping them, so

she goes and seeks help from her family members. The outcome of this

is unfortunately useable, her downfall.

Tess's journey to Tantridge and her introduction to Alex is the


... middle of paper ... she could trust and rely on, but this had not occurred.

Even though it was not intentional, Angel himself had driven Tess into

Alec's arms, when he had left her. She was forced to go back to him,

because of poverty and because of her family. When Tess found out

Angel had returned from Brazil, she found the the only way out of her

recently started relationship with Alec was by murdering him.

It is distressing how all three dominant male figures in her life had

chosen to hurt her so immensely. Unfortunetly Tess is very influence

by people, whihc leads her to face many horrible incidents throughout

her life. She is selfless, loyal and weak which makes it easy for her

father John, Alec and Angel to hurt her and cause her pain, which

eventually caused her downfall. Therefore it is correct; the

catastrophic downfall of Tess is due to the men in her life.
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