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

Compare and contrast the depictions of financial insecurity and its effects in Tess of the D'Urbervilles and at least one other novel that you have studied.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Victorian Novels often explore the pressures exerted on characters and social structures by lack of money. Compare and contrast the depictions of financial insecurity and its effects in Tess of the D'Urbervilles and at least one other novel that you have studied. Financial insecurity is a major theme in both Tess of the D'Urbervilles and in The Mill on the Floss with the consequences of it severe in both cases. In the former it causes the protagonist of the novel, Tess, to seek help from her wealthy ancestors - causing the tragedy of the story to unfold - and in the later, it results ultimately in the death of Mr Tulliver and the pressures on family relations that ensue. The differences in the depiction of financial insecurity in both novels are, at times, obvious, yet each book successfully portrays the financial struggles of the characters as having a significant impact on their lives. In both plots, the family is thrown into economic ruin by key events; these act as catalysts for future hardships and give the reader an idea of how quickly one can descend into a life of poverty. However, whilst the effects of this financial descent may be depicted as equally devastating in both novels, the attitude to it is often very different. ...read more.

Middle

In The Mill on the Floss the issue of finance hangs on two events rather than on one as in Tess of the D'Urbervilles with the death of Prince. In the former book Mr Tulliver is firstly involved in an argument with Mrs Glegg about Tom's education and this results in him promising to reimburse the five hundred pounds she lent him. Secondly he becomes involved in a lawsuit against Mr Pivart over waterpower.This he loses and is subsequently bankrupt. The two events are linked in a cruel fashion as in order to repay the loan, Mr Tulliver must go outside his family structure and borrow the money from a client of Lawyer Wakem - the man representing Mr Pivart in the case. When compared to Tess of the D'Urbervilles, the way in which this financial insecurity is depicted has important differences. There is a sense that, unlike the Durbeyfields, the Tullivers are economically stable at the opening of the novel. This is enhanced when we look at the socio-economic differences portrayed in the landscape - the Tullivers live at Dorlcote Mill, a secure establishment providing a regular income. When this is compared to other areas such as Basset (where the Mosses live) ...read more.

Conclusion

Relations among the Dodsons also suffer. Mrs Glegg, on hearing of Tulliver's bankruptcy, now has the ammunition with which to launch a damning attack. She blames Tulliver entirely and criticises Mrs Tulliver for having married him and allowing herself to enter into this situation. The bankruptcy has tainted the Dodson family name and in a society where status is everything, this will not do. Mrs Tulliver even begins to blame her husband and is dramatically pessimistic about their future: "we shall be beggars...we must to the workhouse." In Tess of the D'Urbervilles, the conflicts that arise are not within the family but are with the new people that Tess meets in trying to ease the financial problems - Alec and Angel. Financial insecurity and its consequences are key to the plotline of both novels - in Mill because it acts as a catalyst for changing relations and in Tess because it maps out Tess's life and introduces her to the people and places that will shape it for the worst. However, as we have seen, there are significant differences in the portrayal of these financial predicaments and, whilst there is no difference in their importance in comparison to each other, they offer a different outlook into the effects that poverty has in the Victorian age and the attitude taken to combat it. ...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. Tess of the D'Urbervilles- A Pure Woman.' Who or what does Hardy blame for ...

    even more so for he betrays Tess in a way which is much more destructive then anything Alec could have conceived. With his double personality- the projection of himself he wanted to be, and his real self, Tess had been led to believe that his reaction to her past would

  2. 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

  1. Symbolism in Tess of the D'urbervilles

    is there she has an encounter with "Car" another worker on the fowl farm. On Saturdays all the workers travel to Chaseborough , and socialise and drink and dance. On one occasion they were travelling home to Trantridge, and Car placed a wicker basket on her head, treacle leaked all

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

    Yet he is more slippery than a grand conqueror. His full last name, Stoke-d'Urberville, symbolizes the split character of his family, whose origins are simpler than their pretensions to grandeur. After all, Stokes is a blunt and inelegant name. Indeed, the divided and duplicitous character of Alec is evident to the very end of the novel, when he quickly abandons his newfound Christian faith upon remeeting Tess.

  1. Hardy's skill in creating mood through the use of nature in his novel 'Tess ...

    It was a pagan festival to rejoice in for spring, growth and replenishment. We rejoin the novel at chapter XVI, ' The Rally', where Tess is leaving her home for the second time, to work at Talbothays dairy. Hardy again sets the scene in the season of spring "On a

  2. How isTess seen to suffer inTess of the D'urbervilles'?

    Tess feels very uneasy and uncomfortable when facing that situation, as she thinks that Alec D'urberville will look down on her because she is of a different class to him. Tess was not too keen to go in the first instance and she was embarrassed to be telling him the reason that she had come.

  1. Compare and Contras the presentation of Tess Durbeyfield in "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" and ...

    What at first appears to be a similarity between the two characters later turns out to be their biggest difference. Tess and Sarah both appear to be victims; of men, society and the universe in general. However this is not true Sarah is a strange character; at first we see

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

    When Tess's father finds out about his lineage. 'D'Urbervilles accordingly was annexed to his own name for himself and his heirs eternally'. This tells us that the theme of fate is explored when Thomas Hardy writes about the history of the D'Urbervilles. Fate also plays a role in Tess's life.

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