GCSE: Tess of the d'Urbervilles

Browse by
Document length:
fewer than 1000 words (25)
1000-1999 words (37)
2000-2999 words (28)
3000+ words (20)

Meet our team of inspirational teachers

find out about the team

Get help from 80+ teachers and hundreds of thousands of student written documents

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  1. Tess of the D'Urbervilles: The Ultimate reason as to why readers are captivated by a novel is the interaction between characters

    Alec says to Tess, "..and you know that I love you, and think you the prettiest girl in the world. Mayn't I treat you as a lover?" Hardy uses the contrast between the phrases of "I love you" and "treat you as a lover?" to emphasise that Alec is lustful for Tess, rather than loving. The audience is clearly able to see that Alec "loves" Tess, founded on her appearance, as he told her she was the "prettiest girl in the world".

    • Length: 995 words
  2. How does Hardy portray Tess as a pure woman?

    However, Hardy disagreed with that way of defining purity in a woman. The way I think Hardy defines pure is pure minded and good hearted. There are several examples of this. One being that Sorrow was christened even though she was angry at the church and her religion. She did this because she was scared that her child was going to hell because of something she had not done. She felt guilt at something that wasn't her fault showing her complete love and worry for her baby. Before Tess even talks, Hardy describes her in a completely different way than all his characters.

    • Length: 1528 words
  3. How does Hardy interest and engage the reader of The Wessex Tales?

    It is vital for a cliffhanger ending to be successful; since we care about the characters we feel compelled to read on when the next issue was available. An example of a cliff-hanger used in Hardy's tales is clearly shown in The Withered Arm. Rhoda says: "O, can it be...that I exercise a malignant power over people against my own will?" This quotation leaves the reader under the impression that even Rhoda is questioning her own being of a witch; it also suggests that she has no control over the powers she possesses.

    • Length: 2815 words
  4. Examine how Hardy uses setting to explore related themes and issues.

    She then travels with Alec to Sandbourne, an artificial "fairy place", where Tess turns into a mere play-thing of Alec - and finally Stonehenge, the pagan "heathen" temple where she is finally captured. Hardy gives us clear indications and clues as to what's going on in the book, and helps us understand it on different levels. We can usually tell how happy Tess is going to be in a particular place, just by an introductory descriptive paragraph. For example, "On a thyme-scented, bird-hatching morning in May...she left home for the second time", Hardy writes when Tess sets out for Talbothays.

    • Length: 2212 words
  5. Tess of the d'urbervilles

    After a few months living with Alec, Angel returns to find Tess and tell her he still loves her. Tess murders Alec and runs after Angel and they run away together, however not long after they are caught and Tess is hanged for the murder of Alec. The story starts off by introducing Tess who's living in Marlott with her family and going to market with her horse. They have an accident on the way there and the horse is killed. So Tess leaves her home and goes to find her 'family' to borrow some money to help her family.

    • Length: 976 words
  6. Compare and contrast the ways in which Hardy and Fowles present Victorian morals and values.

    Hardy is highlighting the injustice of Victorian double standards on purity. "I forgive you Angel, but you do not forgive me" illustrates how Tess is willing to immediately forgive Angel for his sin out of her love for him. Victorian men are presented as being attracted to chastity in a woman above most other qualities. Sam in 'The French Lieutenant's Woman' dreams of Mary, whom he is courting, as being "prettily caged". This metaphor suggests that he too was magnetised by Mary's chastity by depicting her as being enclosed in an environment where no other man has ever been.

    • Length: 711 words
  7. How does Thomas Hardy portray a) Tess, b) Alec in Phase the First?

    This technique is used to enforce the theme of fate in the story. Usually Tess feels obliged to help out the family due to her own actions. This is how she ends up going to the D'Urberville estate to claim kin, as she felt guilty, since she blames herself for killing Prince. Throughout the first phase many connections are made between Tess and nature. This gives the idea that she is a pure earth child, at one with nature. Many descriptions compare her to the natural world or environment. This enforces the idea of her innocence and quality.

    • Length: 703 words
  8. How does Hardy use setting in "Tess Of The d'Urbervilles" in order to portray Tess' status in life?

    For example, in the beginning of chapter two of phase the 1st, The Maiden, Hardy had began the chapter by, firstly, describing the area around Tess before her and Angel were introduced to the setting. It may not seem clear at first why Hardy would do so in such a descriptive manner without making it obvious to how the area is related in any way to Tess or what is happening (or going to happen) - other than the fact that Tess is surrounded by the describing scenery - but as the reader goes further in the story, they will find that every event which takes place around Tess is portrayed in that one description of the Vale of Blackmoor.

    • Length: 1685 words
  9. Tess od The D'urbervilles

    This would have been different for each class, with women from the high classes doing little or no work while lower class women would have still had to work. Legal rights of married women were not much different to children as they could not vote or even own property; they were often seen as the property of their husbands. Women could not hold jobs unless it was that of a teacher or a domestic servant, or lower working class jobs mainly because of the idea that women were unequal in the working environment and at an educational aspect, they were

    • Length: 5019 words
  10. Compare 'Tony Kytes:Arch-deceiver(TM) with Tess of the d(TM)Urbervilles(TM) and Tickets Please(TM)

    "I almost wish you had not, yes, I almost wish it". (Tess of the d'Urbervilles : Chapter 11). Tess is shocked at what Alec has done for her but at the same time is disgusted and wishes he had not. "It hampers me so" which Alec answers "Tessy, don't you love me ever so little now?" (Tess of the d'Urbervilles: Chapter 11). Tess reluctantly claims that she is grateful "I'm grateful" but tells Alec she does not love him for his efforts. "I fear I do not". This chapter of Tess of the d'Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy shows how society disadvantages women; Tess is literally forced into her relationship with Alec.

    • Length: 843 words
  11. Tess of the d'urbervilles

    The main character, Tess, is the daughter of the poor John Durbeyfield who learns from the village parson that his family is related to ancient aristocracy, being the last of the family the 'D'Urbervilles'. In trying to make use of this connection, Joan (John's wife) suggests that Tess pursue the son of the local family of Mrs D'Urberville and due to the death of the needy family's horse while under her control, Tess obliges and ends up being employed as the poultry keeper for her wealthy old relation.

    • Length: 535 words
  12. In many respects Tess is a victim of society, but what other factors contribute to her position at the end of the novel?

    This demonstrates the views of society at that time and the strict social hierarchy that existed. The fact that Tess has an illegitimate child, was heavily frowned upon in Victorian society. Most people at the time were devout Christians and women who became pregnant outside of marriage became social outcasts.In those days being a woman was harder than being a man. For example, if a man had sex outside marriage, it was generally accepted. However if a woman did the same thing, it was not accepted and would be a "black mark" on her.

    • Length: 2053 words
  13. Consider the idea that, in Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Hardy explores the tension and conflict between tradition and innovation. So far, do you think that the latter is the cause of Tess' suffering?

    Thomas Hardy is also always making comments about how Tess and nature and intrinsically linked, comparing Tess to nature and bringing her out as one that lives a pure and simplistic life, she is always conceived as beautiful, innocent, pure, "as blank as snow" and sensitive. There are also many references to how other people view her as pure. In particular, Hardy himself expresses through language just how much he feels for the character of Tess " a mere vessel of emotion untinctured by experience". This carries through her seduction and rape, when he describes her as "blank as snow".

    • Length: 847 words
  14. Treatment of nature in Tess.

    For the next time, we trace such a community in Talbothays Dairy. Nature has blessed the Dairy with its components in abundance. The inhabitants are in close contact with Nature and they lead a prosperous life. tess and angel for the very first time, come close to each other in this Dairy. This impulses of Nature are corresponding also to the instincts of the human body and the human mind. It is in Talbothays Dairy that Tess and Angel, in close contact with Nature, engage themselves in "Pagan" pleasures. But this organic community which is nurtured by Nature cannot exist forever, it is at stake.

    • Length: 1005 words
  15. Discuss "Tess of the d'Urbervilles" as a Tragedy

    An interesting speculation might be whether these concepts - in humanistic terms so admirable and desirable - might not be ultimately responsible for the suffering of such people as Tess, who are not able to incorporate such complexities into the mundane ness of their conceptions and ambitions. First of all, the course events Tess undergoes may be considered. Tess is the eldest daughter of John Durbyfield. But later on it is discovered that they are actually descendents of the once famous knight D'Urbervilles.

    • Length: 1723 words
  16. Tess Of The Du'rbervilles

    John D'Urbeyfield was then unaware by this news that the Parson had told him. For i.e. the Parson states "Don't you really know that you are the lineal representative of the ancient knightly family of the D'Urbervilles?" This suggests the unawareness of John D'Urbeyfield not knowing of his wealthy family fortunes. This meeting also had an impact on Tess as this was a chance for her to find out more about her wealthy history heritage, however at the same time a chance for fate due to her fathers' decision to send her to the D'Urbervilles due to the father at Victorian times were to be seen as the main person of the house at that particular period of time.

    • Length: 1798 words
  17. In this sequence, how is Alec D'Urberville made to seem like a villain?

    Tess assumes that he is a distant cousin, little does Tess know that Alec's family simply bought the title and had no connection with the name D'Urberville whatsoever. Alec is portrayed as a womaniser; Ian Sharp has decided to express this in a very particular way. (In 1998), when the film was made, the film makers were limited concerning technology, so Ian Sharp has used special techniques to make Jason Flemyng (who plays Alec) seem as he does. Ian Sharp has used a number of techniques to make this sequence what it is.

    • Length: 2240 words
  18. Compare and Contras the presentation of Tess Durbeyfield in "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" and Sarah Woodruff in "The French Lieutenant's Woman"

    Sarah prefers to be a visible social pariah rather than one who attempts to reform and assimilate into society. It is evident to the reader that Fowles had obviously studies a lot of Victorian text to get an understanding of writing techniques of the time. For instance he packs as much detail of the landscape into the opening chapter as possible, with use of references to historical findings in the places; which is not his usual writing style, "redolent of seven hundred years of English history". Fowles uses incredibly long, tumbling sentences with as much detail to the setting as possible, "being that largest bite from the underside of England's outstretched south-western leg".

    • Length: 2367 words
  19. Set in Wessex, "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" is a novel, which disregards the conventions of sexual morality on women. Hardy produced a very sensitive view of women

    The novel explores through Tess's relationship with two different men, Angel and Alec D'Urberville. She has an illegitimate child with Alec, after he raped her. Tess went to Alec D'Urbervilles house because she believed that they were her relatives, who could give her family some money, after their horse had died. Alec D'Urberville had been flirting with her, throughout her visit to his house. One night in the woods, Alec rapes her, which leads to her having a baby. Society back then would have seen Tess as a repulsive unethical woman, if she had a child without being married.

    • Length: 1585 words
  20. Tess of the Durbervilles

    Women were not supposed to lead life as Tess did in that time. Tess was forced to work, and her journey through rape, motherhood, working, travelling, marriage, break up, friendship and even murder, created a complicated, yet expressive plot. It seems people were not ready to handle a storyline like this in the 19th century. All of Thomas Hardy's modern views were put into the book, yet they were not accepted by others. People did not see Tess as a 'pure woman', as Hardy did.

    • Length: 3154 words
  21. Hardy uses the setting in "Tess of the d'Urbervilles" to give a bigger impact on other issues raised in the novel.

    At that time when Hardy wrote this novel, the society was stereotypical about women. There was an image in their minds that women had to be perfect, gentle and harmless and had minds, which worked very simply. Hardy shows the readers that this is the case, occasionally but not always. Tess is raped because she is just a simple country girl and men are able to over-power her and make her do what they want. Later, the people of her village talk about her and judge her by her misfortune. Hardy shows how narrow-minded people are to think such thoughts.

    • Length: 620 words
  22. Tess of the D'urbevilles

    moment on this day is nearly as essential as it is him telling John that he is from a Noble family with the title of " D'Urberville" . John's self esteem and pride rises as it is encouraged by the parson "well, its true, throw up your chin a moment so that I may catch the profile of your face better"... " yes that is the D'urbeville nose and chin" .. this description shows that he knows of this noble family features even in the face , although he may not be a 100% correct and to rely on just

    • Length: 1508 words
  23. One character I feel sympathy for is Miss Ada Moss from 'Pictures' by Katherine Mansfield

    The show of self confidence and stability she puts on in public and often in private makes me feel further sympathy for her as she is a very unstable character. Two of the main events that have caused me to think this are: when she lies to her landlord about her getting a job, and the fact that she is desperate enough to audition for acting jobs although she is a contralto singer. I feel the utmost sympathy for the character of Eveline who is created by James Joyce.

    • Length: 784 words
  24. Hardy's objective was simple; to show the treatment of women at the time of release. Hardy uses Tess as the main character motivating the theme. She has a troublesome time trying to socialise with men

    These are two places that play a major part in Tess's life. Before going to Talbathoys Tess's life has been a calamity. Tess was in emotional crisis as well as economical ones. In the Victorian era a women with such a life would have been looked down upon as if she was an outcast. Tess becomes pregnant due to being raped by Alec'durbville who tricked her into believing that he was related to her. Due to this the society has a lowly view on Tess and other "women who have been gifted this curse".

    • Length: 1508 words
  25. Is Tess a victim of society? Thomas Hardy wrote "Tess of the D'Urbevilles" in 1891in the height of the Victorian ideals and a social constraint

    Her proud character prevents her from accepting gifts, from Alec in particular which is what gets Tess into more trouble. Tess has grown up in relative poverty compared with Alec and so feels that she has to repay him in some way for the gifts in which he gives to her family. It is only after Alec tells Tess that he has provided a horse for her family and toys for her siblings that she falls into despair and her ultimate ending.

    • Length: 1092 words

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?
  • Discuss how the two writers engage the Reader’s interest in their short stories.

    "In conclusion both Hardy and Lively use a variety of techniques to engage the reader into their short stories. I found both very good and thoroughly enjoyed them. The first time I read them both, I preferred The Darkness Out There. However, after reading them more thoroughly, I preferred Old Mrs Chundle. I loved the way Hardy threw in little words and sentences that didn't seem like much but really had great impact on the story. For example "brushed the knees of his trousers, and walked off." Both authors are very effective in engaging the reader."

  • Compare and contrast the novels

    "In conclusion, coming from different eras, one might not expect Hardy and Doherty's main moral messages to be the same. Most are however, and the two writers are in agreement as they say that both mother could have and would have survived with a baby in their worlds, had it not been for the attitudes of the people close to them. Indeed, Helen does survive, with Amy becoming "a fine thread being drawn through a garment, mending tears." Hardy also makes it clear that Tess would have had a wonderful new life with Angel, had his timing been different. So, although both pointing out the sometimes terrible consequences of having a baby without a husband, neither writer condemns it. Rather they condemn society for exacerbating the inevitable struggle of being a single mother."

  • To what extent are the outcomes of 'Tess of the d'Urbervilles' and Anouilh's 'Antigone' attributable in each case to the personality of the heroine?

    "In conclusion, I think that the personalities of the eponymous heroines contributed intensely to their outcome as in the case of Tess, she was too proud to make Angel to stay so she had to return to Alec, and in desperation ended up murdering him. Whereas in the case of Antigone, she defied an edict laid down by the king in belief that she was doing the right thing and even when offered a way out, she refused out of pride, proving she was willing to die for what she believed in. If these characters weren't so proud or independent, then it is most likely that neither of them would have had to face death so early on. If Tess hadn't been so proud, she might never have needed to tell Angel of her seduction and so could have lived a long happy life with him. If Antigone hadn't had been so haughty in the thought that she must die for burying her brother, instead of being willing to brush it under the carpet she could have lived a contented life with her fiancée. Overall, I think that although the characters had their differences, the traits in their personalities of being too proud definitely caused their downfall. Joanna Lowe Page 1 5/4/2007"

Marked by a teacher

This essay has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the essay.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the essay page.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review under the essay preview on this page.