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AS and A Level: Thomas Hardy

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Five key concepts for a discussion of Hardy's novels

  1. 1 Irony.
  2. 2 Fate.
  3. 3 The pathetic fallacy.
  4. 4 Pessimism.
  5. 5 Agnosticism.

  • Marked by Teachers essays 6
  • Peer Reviewed essays 2
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  1. Marked by a teacher

    In Tess of the DUrbervilles, how does Hardy present Tess and Angels relationship as one that is destined to fail?

    5 star(s)

    Hardy starkly emphasises Tess' virginal aspects through compound nominal phrases such as "white shape" and "pretty maiden", creating the lasting image of her as a perfect woman. However, when Angel leaves and "dismisses the subject from his mind", Hardy at once shows Angel's objectification of Tess and how easily he can put aside her hurt, hinting at their relationship to come. Even once Angel knows who Tess is, his initial impression of her as a "fresh and virginal daughter of Nature" does not change but only becomes deeper embedded in his and the reader's subconscious, painting a cruel contrast between his expectations and the real knowledge of Tess' past.

    • Word count: 1667
  2. Marked by a teacher

    Which Character in Hardy's "Tess Of The D'Urbervilles" Do You Have the Most Sympathy For: Alec or Angel?

    4 star(s)

    His appearance is stereotypical of a Victorian stage villain with a 'swarthy complexion', curling black moustache, and 'bold rolling eye'. Tess has been sent by her mother to claim kin and Alec does not 'regret her step'. Immediately his lustful attraction is apparent as his eyes rivet on her 'fullness of growth' and his dominance and forcefulness are evident when he continues to feed the strawberry directly into Tess's mouth, even though she shows 'slight distress'. Alec's obsessive nature emerges as he plans how he can 'find a berth for' Tess and bring her back to the Slopes permanently.

    • Word count: 1391
  3. Marked by a teacher

    Thomas Hardy - analysis of three poems. Afterwards, During wind and rain and After a journey.

    3 star(s)

    The poem opens with an image of the personified 'Present' that 'latches' behind the speaker. Hardy uses the word 'postern' which probably is associated to 'posterity' and to the succeeding generations. Hardy refers to his life as a 'tremulous stay', this image connotes to the word 'tremor'. Thus, he alludes to the fact that he was old, when he wrote this poem and is now concerned about what his reader will think of his work 'will the neighbours say'. Although, the dismal tone which is perceived at the beginning of the poem, the language used conveys visual imagery of nature, which is perceived 'Delicate' and positive.

    • Word count: 2171
  4. Marked by a teacher

    Tess says, Once victim, always victim thats the law. In the light of this remark, explore ways in which Hardy presents Tesss experiences in Tess of the DUrbervilles.

    3 star(s)

    As Anne Mickelson persuasively argues Tess is, "trained from childhood to fit herself for an inferior role, [and] she becomes early in life a prisoner to her sense of responsibility and duty to family."It is these family responsibilities that convince her to go and visit the D'Urbervilles which is the cause for the destruction for her life. She dedicates her whole life to her family by simply listening to her mother and visiting the D'Urbervilles, as the event that occurred there changes her whole life.

    • Word count: 2364
  5. Marked by a teacher

    Hardy's use of Pathetic Fallacy

    3 star(s)

    Hardy alludes to the idea that this is the beginning of something, commenting on the couple's forth coming relationship before it has begun: "The grey half-tones of daybreak are not the grey half-tones of the day's close, though their degree of shade may be the same." This seems to capture the feeling of warmth and contentment at the beginning of a love affair. This reappears as a sentiment later in the novel, in the fact that although before Tess' death the couple are brought closer together and feel passion for each other once again, the never seem to recapture the

    • Word count: 998
  6. Marked by a teacher

    The Mayor of Casterbridge - Henchard Vs Farfrae

    3 star(s)

    Farfrae on the other hand risks the weather hoping it'll be a good harvest. When the weather turns out good and Henchard has to sell his grain off for even less than he brought it for, he becomes bankrupt and looses everything. Whereas Farfrae makes a lot of money on the good harvest and ends up owning Henchard's manor house, furniture and even his business. This good fortune for Farfrae is a result of Henchard's ill luck because if Henchard risked the weather he wouldn't have lost his money, home or business which means Farfrae wouldn't have got any of it.

    • Word count: 2139
  7. Peer reviewed

    Explore the role of nature in the first three sections of the novel "Tess of the d'Urbervilles"

    3 star(s)

    being an indication of this - whilst he seems more carefree and willing to interact. In this way, Tess and Angel are instantly connected for the reader, and nature appears to shelter and protect them. However, Angel chooses another girl to dance with, marring the experience and implying that there is more to the situation; perhaps they are not so perfect. It implys that where nature creates a situation, man can often disrupt it, through their actions and religion. It therefore acts as a device for dramatic irony and foreshadows further events in the book.

    • Word count: 1959
  8. Compare and contrast the characters of Alec DUrberville and Angel Clare in Tess of the DUrbervilles (Phase the First Phase the Third)

    Alec is rich, powerful and lazy, everything that Angel despises about the "old families". Even the names of the characters reflect their personalities. Alexander brings to mind great noblemen, such as Alexander the Great, but the fact that the diminutive, Alec, is almost always used, suggests that perhaps the man has not lived up to the name. His surname at least sounds impressive, and the fact that it contains some of the title of the book seems to bestow a degree of importance. However, as the reader finds out just before Alec is introduced, the D'Urberville family don't actually have a claim to their name: it was an old ancestor who simply annexed the surname 'D'Urberville' in order to sound more genteel and more impressive.

    • Word count: 2257
  9. Thomas Hardy "The Withered Arm" and "The Sons Veto".

    The boy also knows about his father as Rhoda does not hide the truth, the boy also knows of his father's ignorance. 'Took no notice of you?' 'None'Regardless, of the fact that the boy is illegitimate Rhoda is very close to him and makes him stay with her, she also shows deep love and affection towards him. 'The boy assisting her, for he hated going afield on the farms, and she indulged his reluctance' from this we see that she gave in to her son's wishes.Rhoda is treated differently to society than the other woman, this may be due to

    • Word count: 3487
  10. The of Power and Desire in Tess of the D'Urbervilles

    Additionally the image of him feeding her a strawberry has sexual undertones, he insists doing so even when at first Tess refuses, immediately he establishes his power over her. He uses his wealth and by showering Tess with fruits he puts her in a compromising position where she feels obliged to accept the strawberry. Tess in her naivety and politeness allows herself to be placed under his influence. Thus Alec's unstoppable desire for Tess leads him to assert his position as the dominating male in their relationship.

    • Word count: 1319
  11. Free essay

    Examine the statement Tesss life is damned from the start of 'Tess of The D'urbervilles' by Thomas Hardy'

    'Why didn't you tell me there was danger?' Tess blamed her mother for not teaching her about the world and her naivety towards men after her rape by Alec. In Victorian society, a girl was to learn about the world and its 'dangers' through their mothers and older sisters, as Tess did not have the latter, she relied on her mother, a job which Mrs.Durbeyfield did not complete. Surely leaving Tess with no other option than to fall into the traps of inconsiderate men, such as Alec, thus agreeing with the statement that her life was damned from the start.

    • Word count: 1248
  12. Compare how Hardy and Shaw present women. To what extent do they use this presentation to promote a feminist point of view?

    Hardy and Shaw's views refer form the Darwinian view of species which does not place men above woman which caused controversy within the Victorians. Hardy and Shaw give a sympathetic presentation of their female protagonist in order to make their hardships seem worse. Tess is descried as a simple country girl who is eager to learn about life "she has full zest of life willing to learn" she is continuously described by Hardy as beautiful "Holmberry lips", "Flower like mouth", "beautiful white hart "and "virginally white".

    • Word count: 1603
  13. Free essay

    Whether of High or low estate

    This therefore makes the statement agreeable, as it is clear, that women, despite their estate, are continued to be controlled by men, due to Victorian morality. Hardy further explores the patriarchal dominance that women have experienced, through the character of Lucetta. Henchard, as with Susan, attempts to control his relationship with Lucetta. Henchard is determined to force Lucetta to marry him, threatening to "reveal our intimacy-in common fairness to other men," and he speaks with a confident and controlled tone, making his threat more effective.

    • Word count: 1141
  14. Through Lucetta, Hardy reveals his dissatisfaction with patriarchal Victorian morality, but ultimately fails to overcome its ideology To what extent do you agree?

    and the imagery created through words such as "mourning" is important, as we see that Lucetta identifies the tragic circumstances of the life of a Victorian woman, therefore, Hardy is bringing into question Victorian Patriarchal morality. Hardy further brings into question Victorian patriarchal morality, by Lucetta's opprobrium in Jersey, and evoking to the reader how she has changed through that experience. Through Elizabeth's eyes, the reader sees that Lucetta has a public persona of sophistication which is false. For example, upon first seeing Lucetta, Elizabeth "allowed herself the pleasure of feeling fascinated", the omniscient narrator further commenting that "The stumpy

    • Word count: 997
  15. Analysis of Jude the Obscure

    After a few alcoholic binges to relieve his frustration, Jude eventually accepts his place in the world. He then falls in love with his cousin, Sue Bridehead and they have children. Society fails to accept their reltionship as legitimate, their children are killed in a shocking murder-suicide and the pair separate. His hopes and passions thwarted, Jude slips into a rapid decline and dies an early death. Cheery stuff! A summary does little to identify the underlying intentions of the novel.

    • Word count: 878
  16. Thomas Hardy

    These changes were becoming more and more apparent and Hardy was seeing characters such as 'old Andrey' die out so he keeps their memories alive in these short stories. As rural life began to die out industrialisation began to expand and Hardy himself was beginning to get sucked into it. When Hardy was a child he moved away to the city were he attended a grammar school. After grammar school he went onto in-role himself in a university. Hardy then went on to become an architect but soon began to despise the city.

    • Word count: 955
  17. How does Hardy portray his grief and loss in The Voice?

    The title summarizes the poem by telling us what it might be about. It makes us wonder about what "The Voice" is and how it could relate to the poem. The Victorian's used to believe a lot about ghosts and afterlife. Thomas hardy is a prime example as he believes that his late wife had come down from heaven to talk to him. It shows how the Victorians have come to believe in ghosts otherwise he would never have believed that he was talking to his late wife.

    • Word count: 2003
  18. 'It is not a character, it is not alive, it is just a vast barren landscape - yet it has an important influence on the behaviour of its inhabitants'.

    Therefore, the heath's importance cannot be ignored by the reader as Hardy presents the heath as powerful and dominating in the lives of the inhabitants as it is Eustacia's position on the heath that prevents her from escaping. The heath does have an important influence on the behaviour of its inhabitants. The heath provides 'furze' which sustains the heathfolk as it provides food and nourishes them. Therefore, the lives of the heathfolk depend on the fertility of the heath. The occupation of the heathfolk is 'furze cutting'. The basic crop that is the only one that grows on the heath.

    • Word count: 849
  19. Tess of the D'Urbervilles - the role of Chance

    However, she does not see this - she accepts his rejection. If Tess had suggested that no one could 'know or care about' her 'misfortunes' or 'reproach' the couple for them, Angel would have had to admit the thought 'arose in...[his] own mind'. From Angel's departure to his return, Tess manages to retain her devotion to him despite his treatment of her, the hardships she endures in his absence, his lack of communication and the torment of Alec D'Urberville's pursuit.

    • Word count: 1343
  20. Deception is a Driving Factor in the development of the narrative. Discuss this suggestion with particular reference to Act 1 Scene 2 and Act 4 Scene 4.

    Shakespeare's use of reflection is another theme which runs through out. The two kings have been companions for many years and have a strong friendship: "They were trained together in their childhoods; and there rooted betwixt them then such an affection": their bond is strong and contented. However, both kings are destructive and quick tempered; reacting with anger and to certain situations, as might be perceived by the audience, to be irrational. For example the way Leontes rants about the supposed affair between Hermione and Polixenes: "Too hot, too hot! To mingle friendship far is mingling bloods.

    • Word count: 2275
  21. How women are portrayed in the Wessex Tales

    Farmer Lodge sonly after he had neglected Rhoda for the beautiful Gertrude as a good replacement. This suggests that women need men just for survival and in order to blossom. Thomas Hardy portrays women in all different kinds of ways throughout his Wessex Tales. Rhoda Brook and Gertrude Lodge are heavily portrayed during the tale "The Withered Arm". Hardy gives all women throughout his tales a fully descriptive description which helps the reader understand what women were like in the 19th century. Most of Hardy's tales are about very young and beautiful women throwing themselves at men and marrying them at a young age.

    • Word count: 1106
  22. The Withered Arm

    Then we have the second relationship of Rhoda, which is between Rhoda and Gertrude. Rhoda first heard about Gertrude Farmer Lodges new wife through her fellow "milkers" who were gossiping at work. When Rhoda heard this she was shocked. So for her selfish reasons she sends her son several times to go and "give her a look". She was mainly interested in Gertrude's looks; she was always trying to make herself look better than her, for example she sends The Boy to find out how tall Gertrude is Rhoda asks the boy "is she tall" The Boy replies "she is not tall" "aah, said the mother with satisfaction".

    • Word count: 1464
  23. Good women- Bad men?

    He cannot drive the cart as he had a few too many the night before. If he had not drunken any alcohol then he would have got up early and delivered the beehives to the retailers in Casterbridge. Also because of Jack Durbeyfield not being able to work his young child Abraham is awakened in the middle of the night to accompany Tess in her travels, yet another reason to label him a bad man. On the other hand Tess's father is only trying to do what's best for his family and by sending Tess to live with relatives he thinks that she may become something more than what he has.

    • Word count: 2201
  24. Who suffers most in 'The Withered Arm'?

    surface of which had been washed by many rains...' One of the reasons for which Farmer Lodge had left Rhoda was because she had aged, which made her less attractive from her early life. '...dark eyes...once been handsome, seem handsome anew.' In those years men based all aspects of a relationship on the appearance of a woman; here Farmer Lodge leaves Rhoda because of the change in her appearance and some time later moves on to Gertrude, his young wife.

    • Word count: 1051
  25. On The Western Circuit by Thomas Hardy

    The cathedral is empty and the man turns and walks from the Close into the noise of the city streets. Perhaps in this paragraph Hardy is reflecting again on his own situation and turns his back on the grandeur of the church and seeks to mingle with people of his own standing. Hardy goes on to describe the scenes within the city in particular the noise of the market square on which is a mechanical fare. Men, women and children are described as "gnats against a sunset," and the fare as "swings, see-saws, flying-leaps, above all of the three steam roundabouts".

    • Word count: 2409

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Compare and contrast the way that Rhoda Brook and Mrs. Marroner deal with the ‘the other woman’ in their lives.

    "To conclude, Mrs. Marroner is an overall stronger woman than Rhoda, and is able to manage much more easily with the situation because she has an education, a job, money, and her own house. All these factors help Mrs. Marroner to cope, whilst Rhoda cannot deal with the situation so she leaves the town, where she used to live. Mrs. Marroner makes a totally new life for her self and lives with the other woman. Rhoda's experiences are the complete opposite, and no matter where she goes, her problems will follow her and it will all begin again. As Rhoda having so many problems with no education, jealousy, being an outsider, she is unable to cope with 'the other woman' Gertrude, whether as Mrs. Marroner is able to cope with 'the other woman' Gerta. Mrs. Marroner at the end puts her husband in the spotlight and challenges him what he wants, "What have you to say to us?" Rhoda returns to her old town and everybody remembers who she is and what has happened, "Here, sometimes those who knew her experiences would stand and observe her, and wonder what sombre thoughts were beating inside that impassive, wrinkled brow, to the rhythm of the alternating milk-streams.""

  • Read the Short Stories the Three Strangers By Thomas Hardy, and a Vendetta By Guy De Maupassant. Compare and Contrast the Way the Authors Develop a Sense of Mystery In These Stories.

    "I can now say that I immensely enjoyed reading both of these stories. They had both contrasts and comparisons, but more contrasts. The two stories built up mystery very well, but they built it up in completely different ways. I think this is because both authors were not setting out to write the same kind of story. I personally preferred Hardy's story. I think this is because it built up mystery in a very shrewd way so that I was guessing what the answer would be right until the very end. One part that I did enjoy greatly, however, was the red herring. I found this to be a very clever way of putting readers off course from the real answer, as it did to me. I did enjoy Maupassant's story as well, but I didn't find it as mysterious as Hardy's. In conclusion, I would like to say that I think both stories built up mystery well, but I think Hardy's built it up to a greater effect. Dale Caffull 11 - 4"

  • Compare two mystery stories; 'The Superstitious Man's Story' by Tomas Hardy and 'Night-Fears' by L.P.Hartley.

    "As a conclusion, I find 'Night-Fears' more mysterious and easy to believe. This might be because I don't believe in much superstition and 'The Superstitious Man's Story' is all about superstition and people who believe in it. 'Night-Fears' seems more realistic, because even in our days, there are people who die committing suicide, just as a cause of what they believe in. If people are easy to brake (spiritually) these days, then seventy years ago it would have had been even easier. The mystery in the story about the night watchman, crosses with reality, at some point. It is perfectly possible, that the night watchman committed suicide for his own reasons, where as William in 'The Superstitious Man's Story" just died because of a superstition people believed in."

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