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

Comment on setting in both "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" and Disraeli's "Sybil"

Extracts from this document...


Comment on setting in both Tess of the D'Urbervilles and another Victorian novel In any novel, the setting is vital, and often reflects the situation in either the plot or the characters feelings. In the Victorian novels setting was often either in the country side, surrounded by nature, in a world that was soon to change, an idealistic look back at the naturalistic world the author looked back to. Otherwise it would be set in the newly industrializing towns, such as London, providing an opinion on the evolution of towns and industry. Whilst there were exceptions to this, such as Disraeli's 'Sybil', in which the country is depicted in an entirely ghastly place, the tendencies of novels of the time were to use the nature around them to show exactly how the character was feeling, or what was going on. A prime example of this is Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles, where not only does Hardy babble on like some idyllic stream about rural life, but he also utilises his setting to depict and dictate the mood to be experienced by Tess. Other books of the period also use setting to great effect, and I will also discuss these in accordance and in comparison to Tess. ...read more.


It is a barren cruel and unforgiving landscape, and this is reflected in the novel, with Tess feeling abandoned and desperate, shunned by everyone around her. The society has treated her cruelly, and now in turn so does the land, Hardy piles on misery upon Tess in every way, the land around her including. It is evident throughout the novel how nature also reflects the characters' emotions and fortunes. For example, when Tess is happy, the sky is blue and birds sing. When events turn out badly the earth appears harsh and coldly indifferent to her agony. Nature is also depicted in the many journeys that take place in Tess. Both traveling and the rhythms of nature are seen as causing fatigue. You'll notice that as Tess nears the end of her life she doesn't want to move at all. At the same time the natural rhythms of growth and seasonal change are vital to earthly continuity. We see Hardy's belief in the constant movement of human feeling between pain and pleasure is also reflected in the seasonal nature of life. As you read Tess is aware that Tess' life begins and ends in the spring, that she falls in love during the fecund summer months, and that she marries, ominously, in the dead of winter. ...read more.


It mirrors the roughness of those who live there: Wuthering Heights is firmly planted in its location and could not exist anywhere else. Knowing Emily Bronte's passionate fondness for her homeland, we can expect the same bleakness which Lockwood finds so disagreeable to take on a wild beauty. Its danger cannot be forgotten, though: a stranger to those parts could easily lose his way and die of exposure. Heathcliff and the wind are similar in that they have no pity for weakness. The somewhat menacing presence of the natural world can also be seen in the large number of dogs who inhabit Wuthering Heights: they are not kept for pets. So we see how setting plays a huge part in establishing not only characters and plots, but most especially the mood of these novels. When we are meant to feel low, both authors condemn us to dark and cruel places, accentuating the dire circumstances of the characters we are meant to sympathise with, and yet when all is going well, we are returned to beautiful places, awe-inspiring, showing us that characters are on the up. Both novels employ this tactic, and both place a large amount of sentiment towards nature, as if ruing the industrialization, they see nature as fragile, just like the characters they have become or go on to portray. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Tess of the d'Urbervilles 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 GCSE Tess of the d'Urbervilles essays

  1. Contrast the descriptions of Flint comb - Ash and Talbothays, showing How Hardy uses ...

    Alec also makes a lot of other comments and goes to kiss Tess. Tess being a weak character doesn't say no strongly enough to Alec when all of these comments and actions are happening, so he keeps trying and trying.

  2. Tess of the D'Urbervilles- A Pure Woman.' Who or what does Hardy blame for ...

    Tess is no match for Alec. Whereas she is naive, inexperienced and innocent, he is worldly, sophisticated and cunning. While she is burdened with the responsibility of providing for her family, he feels an obligation to no one but himself.

  1. Tess Of The D'Urbervilles - review

    This is why Tess has to defend her family as she has seen how much class can have an adverse affect on her and people around her. At this point the girls go to the village green where 3 brothers of a higher class are on a walking holiday; and

  2. Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891) by Thomas Hardy.

    They are all in love with Angel and are devastated when he chooses Tess over them: Marian turns to drink, Retty attempts suicide, and Izz nearly runs off to Brazil with Angel when he leaves Tess. Nevertheless, they remain helpful to Tess.

  1. Examine how Hardy uses setting to explore related themes and issues.

    Many try to prolong their life or live under false expectations, but Tess seems to be very grounded and accepting of her fate. Also, the pattern made by the reapers in the field is circular. This instance highlights that nature is not benevolent - it is indifferent, as the conclusion

  2. Thomas Hardy said His Subtitle 'Pure Women' Caused more Debate Than Anything Else In ...

    'Imparted to her developed figure....belied her age. This shows us that Tess looks physically developed and it puts her in to a very dangerous position and Alec is only interested in her appearance. Tess is very shy and has never had any attention from any men before and she doesn't now how to behave in front of them.

  1. Compare the ways in which the Writers of 'The Handmaid's Tale' and 'Tess of ...

    are accompanied by "laughter" and "applause" and that not a single voice is raised in objection. Nobody, not even the female academics demonstrably present, speaks up to counter Pieixoto's "unrepentantly sexist"2 comments. The misogyny of the new regime suggests that Gilead has in fact not "ended", at least not in

  2. Analyse Hardy's intentions in the way he presents the themes of innocence and rural ...

    When given the news about his newly discovered heritage by Parson Tringham, John Durbeyfield believes himself changed by the idea that he may be the descendant of the noble Pagan d'Urberville; 'Don't you really know, Durbeyfield, that you are the lineal representative of the ancient and knightly family of the d'Urbervilles?'

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