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Changing feelings about the heroine in the books Bridget Jones's Diary and Tess of the D'Urbervilles

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Introduction

Changing feelings about the heroine in the books Bridget Jones's Diary and Tess of the D'Urbervilles I will be comparing how feelings and views on the main character change in two books, Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy and Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding. The main characters in each of the books are female. The characters seem lead contrasting lives. Other characters in the books view them entirely differently, and the reader will distinguish between them in various ways. This could be due to a number of reasons, for example the books were written in different times, and views and roles of women have changed significantly since the time when 'Tess of the D'Urbervilles' was written. A woman wrote 'Bridget Jones Diary' and 'Tess of the D'Urbervilles' was written by a man, which may affect the way that the characters are portrayed. At the beginning of the book, Tess Durbeyfield is introduced as a simple, rustic girl. She lives with her parents and younger siblings, and is sixteen years old. She is also described as quite pretty, in fact, at the beginning of the book '...To almost everybody she was a fine and picturesque country girl, and no more...'. Tess appears to be quite caring at the start of the story, when she defends her father whilst the other girls in the group are mocking him, and she is quite confused and anxious when this happens. She helps her mother to care for her siblings and the house, and her siblings seem to look up to her. ...read more.

Middle

At this point, the reader feels happy for Tess, as it seems as if she will lead a normal life once again. She meets Angel Clare while she is working at the dairy and is immediately attracted to him, and is happier than ever. When Angel Clare falls in love with Tess, he is under the impression that she is very pure and innocent, and this is part of the reason that he is attracted to her. Eventually, Tess and Angel get married, but Tess does not tell Angel about her history, and the incident with Alec D'Urberville. Once again, the reader empathises with Tess, because she knows that she should tell Angel about her past, but is worried about ruining her relationship with him. She is torn between being honest with Angel and risking losing him or not telling him and keeping the relationship but having to hide something from him. Tess almost tells Angel, but cannot resist marrying him and doesn't tell him. 'She dismissed the past-trod upon it and put it out, as one treads on a coal that is smouldering and dangerous.' In this part of the book, Tess appears to be much more grown up, although she is still described as a simple girl. When Tess tells Angel, he gets very angry and seems quite harsh on Tess. Bridget Jones appears almost immature in some ways compared to Tess, as she does not have very serious views on things such as relationships. Nothing as serious or tragic as the episodes in the life of Tess have happened to Bridget, and although Bridget sometimes has depressing thoughts and feelings, they are mostly over quite trivial things, such as her appearance. ...read more.

Conclusion

her throughout the book together with a sense of hopelessness, from the very beginning, when she is introduced, to when she is executed. The readers view on Bridget Jones does not change very dramatically in any part of the book, although as you read more of her diary entries, more is found out about her character and with that the reader will understand her sense of humour to a greater extent. Bridget appears to the reader as quite a funny character, and most of the diary entries illustrate this. She also seems quite weak, and gives in to things very easily which serves to make her more human to the reader. Personally, I prefer Bridget Jones to Tess, as I can relate to her more than I can relate to Tess. Bridget goes through more realistic situations and her life is more realistic compared to that of Tess's. I also prefer the more humorous situations in Bridget Jones's diary. The diary style of the book makes it interesting as the reader can see what Bridget is feeling and get a better insight on what is happening to her. In summary, out of the two characters compared, the reader is made to feel a wider range of emotions concerning Tess than Bridget. These range from delight at her innocence and prettiness, grief for her tragic life and horror for her uncharacteristic violent action and consequent execution. On the other hand, the reader feels a light-hearted empathy throughout the Diary for Bridget who takes a comic view of modern life, which prevents the reader from becoming too concerned for her emotionally. ...read more.

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