The depth of artistic unity found in Thomas Hardy's Tess of the
D'Urbervilles pervades every chapter of the novel. No one chapter is
less important than another because each is essential in order to tell
the tragic tale of Tess Durbeyfield. There is never an instance in
Hardy's prose that suggests frill or excess. Themes of the Industrial
Revolution in England, the status of women during Victorian England,
Christianity vs. Paganism, matters of nobility, and the role that
fatalism plays in life weave together with various symbols to create
an amazing flow to his novel.
At the beginning of chapter thirty-one, Joan Durbeyfield has just sent
a letter with her advice to Tess. She tells Tess to keep her past from
Angel a secret. Tess' mother is a practical woman who knows that Angel
will be like most men and will reject Tess once he discovers the
truth. It is important that Joan makes an appearance in this chapter
because Tess' parents' influence on their daughter is integral to the
plot of the novel from the beginning. In fact, a line can be traced
from Tess to her parents to the effect of the Industrial Revolution on
the peasantry of England.
At the beginning of the novel, Tess offers to go Casterbridge to
deliver the beehives that her father was supposed to deliver. John
Durbeyfield is unable to make this delivery because he has yet again
inebriated after having made a visit to Rolliver's Inn. Tess' father
is just one example of the many victims of the Industrial Revolution.
He and Joan are "representatives of the disaffected and drunken
villagers whose houses will soon fall to larger farms mass-producing
crops for mass consumption."The villagers...
... middle of paper ...
...By Thomas Hardy.
N.p.: Unversity of Michigan, n.d. 417-427.
Shaw, Bernard. Man and Superman. Cambridge, Mass.: The University
Press, 1903; Bartleby.com, 1999. www.bartleby.com/157/.
Tess of the D'Urbervilles. 37th ed. New York : Penguin Group, 1980.
Tess of the D'urbervilles/ HARDY. Masterplots. N.p.: n.p., n.d.
Thomas Hardy." Critical Survey of Long Fiction. N.p.: n.p., n.d.
 Bishnupriya Ghosh, "Critical Evaluation" Tess of the
 Charles E. May, "Thomas Hardy," Critical Survey of Long Fiction
 May 1509
 George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, August 1999, November 10,
 Donald Hall, Afterword on Tess of the D'urbervilles, Tess of the
D'urbervilles, Peguin 1980 ed.
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