• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Tess of The DUrbervilles. Explore Hardy's presentation of Angel Clare

Extracts from this document...


Lara Groves Explore Hardy?s presentation of Angel The character of Angel Clare is one that is central not only to Thomas Hardy?s nineteenth century novel Tess of The D?Urbervilles1, but to the character of Tess herself. Angel is presented and developed by Hardy as a many sided character, and he can be seen as responsible for a great part of Tess?s actions through the novel, good and bad. Superficially, it is easy to see how Hardy wishes Angel to be seen by the reader. The fact that he is named ?Angel? bares significance as it?s shown that he will be portrayed as a man of good morals and heart and perhaps ?saviour? like. His surname also indicates this ? ?Clare? is similar to the French ?clair? , meaning clarity or light. Hardy?s immediate, obvious manipulation of his name suggests that there may be more to his character than the reader?s first impressions, and this is maintained by Hardy?s development of him throughout the novel. When Angel is first presented in Chapter 2 in the May Dance, his importance is not made immediately clear. It is not until later on, when Tess begins her time at Talbothay?s Dairy in Phase the Third, fate ensures they meet again, and Angel is fully introduced. Hardy does not present Angel as a strong character here ? he is depicted as somewhat ?preoccupied, vague?. ...read more.


Hardy makes the reader aware that Angel?s ideas on marriage are shown to have little flexibility, although this would not have been unusual in Victorian society, where matters of innocence and virginity held rigid rules. The quote ?Clare?s love was doubtless ethereal to a fault, imaginative to impractibility? in Chapter 36 shows that Angel?s love for Tess is far from practical and is idealistic. Angel believes Tess is the essence of purity and sees her as a perfect being, a ?visionary essence of a woman?. ?Visionary? here is important ? Angel has a certain vision of Tess which differs from whom she really is. It could be these flaws in character including stubbornness that prevent his forgiveness to Tess after her confession. He is also not shown to be a wholly religious man, unlike his parson father. Hardy says he preferred sermons in ?stones? to ?churches? ? similar to Hardy himself, as thought by scholar Pamela Dalziel who believes Hardy was ??more social that religious, and fundamentally different from the Evangelical?? 2. It is often thought that he weaves his own Agnostic ideas of religion into Angel, and that this is a main intentional fallacy for Angel. Hardy?s presentation of Angel is important as it helps to progress the story and show how his decisions have a direct effect on the eponymous Tess , and the worst of them show a different side to his character. ...read more.


faults that left a lasting mark on his wife, therefore it could be argued that in some ways Angel is the villain or the antagonist. His mistakes and wrongdoing throughout the novel help add depth to the story of Tess and help us form opinions of not only Angel but the other characters too, and make the reader consider Hardy?s motives behind depicting him like this, and why Tess?s misconceptions of Angel are not shown as much ? some critics argue that Hardy was actually in love with Tess, as he wrote in a letter ?"I have not been able to put on paper all that she is, or was, to me.? 4However, in spite of this Hardy seems eager to show the reader that Angel is a good and worthy man and often sides and finds refuge in Angel, for example sharing detest of organised Christianity. Overall, while Tess is somewhat idolised by Hardy, Angel is presented to show the good and bad humans always display; Angel in the end is not an ?Angel? and has his imperfections like all of us Word count not including quotes: 1159 Total word count: 1273 1. Hardy, Thomas. Tess of The D?Urbervilles , London: Penguin, 1994 2. Dalziel, Pamela. "Strange Sermon: The Gospel According to Thomas Hardy." Times Literary Supplement, 17 March 2006 3. Hardy, Thomas. The Ruined Maid, 1901 4. Woods, Rupert, Thomas Hardy, We Field-Woman Special Collections, University of Reading, May 2008 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Thomas Hardy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Thomas Hardy essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    In Tess of the DUrbervilles, how does Hardy present Tess and Angels relationship as ...

    5 star(s)

    When Angel first notices Tess at the breakfast table, Hardy subtly hints about his idiosyncratic tendency to see what he wants to see to the reader, saying that he "was ever in the habit of neglecting the particulars of an outward scene for the general impression".

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Which Character in Hardy's "Tess Of The D'Urbervilles" Do You Have the Most Sympathy ...

    4 star(s)

    not forgiving Tess; even though he knew she was 'more sinned against' than sinner and had forgiven him for the 'same'. This shattered his illusion of Tess 'you were one person', 'now you are another' led to Angels ultimate rejection of her.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Tess says, Once victim, always victim thats the law. In the light ...

    3 star(s)

    The symbolic fact that Tess 'regarded herself in the light of a murderess' is an insight into the murder that she will eventually commit and is also a reference to the level of guilt that now consumes her. We see how fate plays a major role in the tragic downfall

  2. Peer reviewed

    Explore the role of nature in the first three sections of the novel "Tess ...

    3 star(s)

    work for an old family (although Tess was against this - when her younger brother questioned her on it she burst out "never mind that now!") but this new factor makes Tess think that she is responsible and must therefore help her family in their time of need.

  1. Compare and contrast the characters of Alec DUrberville and Angel Clare in Tess of ...

    He joins in the country girls' dance and partners everyone but Tess, who then stares reproachfully after him. During this encounter, we find out nothing about this young man except that he has not chosen a path like his brothers, yet when Angel is 'officially' introduced in Chapter Seventeen, the

  2. The of Power and Desire in Tess of the D'Urbervilles

    I'll never do it anymore against your will'' .This is a result of his desire to retain her, because he wishes to keep her , he obliges and considers her wishes. Tess could use his desire to her advantage and gain the upper hand , however it is not within

  1. Tess of the D'Urbervilles - the role of Chance

    The coincidence of times and the tragedy of the narrowness of the interval is unrealistic and even clich�d. Existing merely to heighten the suspence and tragedy. Many of the unreasonable jumps and coincidences in Tess serve to hurt the heroine and emphasise her position as a victim both of society and a cruel fate.

  2. Tess of the D'Urbervilles Analytical Essay

    It had troubled her mind occasionally, till her companions had said that it was a fault which time would cure.? (p. 45) The ?luxuriance of aspect? and ?fullness of growth? is Hardy?s way of saying that Tess is surprisingly developed for her age.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work