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GCSE: Tess of the d'Urbervilles

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

    Tess takes place in rural southern England in an area called Wessex that roughly corresponds to present-day Dorset County. Wessex includes a variety of landscapes, from fertile valleys to arid limestone beds, bordered by heaths, sands, and the sea. The novel begins in Marlott, which in reality is a village of Dorset named Marnhull. Tess, the protagonist of the story, is born and raised in Marlott, an isolated village that differs greatly from the country beyond. By describing Tess's world as small and confined, Hardy is reinforcing the idea that Tess is a "pure woman," a simple country maiden protected from the world beyond Marlott.

    • Word count: 1550
  2. Explore Hardys presentation of the journey to Talbothys and the second introduction to Angel Clare.

    It is interesting to note that any major changes in Tess's life are echoed by change in nature. This further expresses Tess's ever-present and infamous link with nature. Tess's Journey alone is full of symbolic communications to the reader of Tess's parallel characterisation to nature. Tess's journey to Talbothys takes place in May: "A particularly fine spring came around, and the stir of germination was almost audible in the buds; it moved her, as it moved the wild animals, and made her passionate to go." Here Tess's link with nature is openly communicated and the natural events inspire her motivations.

    • Word count: 1046
  3. Tess of the D'urbervilles.

    Because John Durbeyfield is drunk, Tess takes it upon herself to go to Casterbridge with their horse Prince (the transportation for making the means of their living) who is impaled in his breast by a mail-cart coming from the opposite direction. Now that Prince is dead Tess is persuaded by her mother to go claim her kin from the Chase, which of course sets everything in motion for Tess' troubles. But to be more exact, it is the combination of Tess' obligation to her parents and Tess' pride that are her undoing.

    • Word count: 3809
  4. Look closely at the incident in the chase when Tess is raped/seduced by Alec D'Urberville. What do we learn here about the nature of Tess's fate in the novel? Consider Hardy's characterisation of Tess and his manipulation of the narrative.

    It shows that she needs someone to lean on, but Alec takes advantage. "I mean no harm, only to stop you from falling". Hardy tries to make the reader feel as though Alec is really genuine, as though for that moment he means no harm, as though he is there to comfort her, where as in actual fact is only trying to buy her trust so something will happen, but it doesn't so he decides to take advantage. "I don't know, I wish, how can I say yes or no when". Alec asks Tess if he can treat her as a lover, however Tess is disgusted, but before she can get her words

    • Word count: 758
  5. How isTess seen to suffer inTess of the D'urbervilles'?

    Her face was described as being 'dry and pale' and her little bother asked 'is he gone to heaven?' Tess regarded herself a murdereress. The next case of suffering occurs when Tess meets Alec D'urberville for the first time. Tess feels out place here, as she feels inferior to him. Hardy shows this by describing Tess's 'sense of ludicrousness in her errand' and he tells of how Tess is 'in awe' of Alec. This makes Tess feel very uncomfortable. Tess had gone to the D'urberville's house to claim kin, as she belonged to a poor family and were seeking financial support and a better way of life.

    • Word count: 1408
  6. 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?

    After an interlude in the countryside with Angel, Tess's flood of anguish and despondency is ended when she is arrested and then hanged, "The President of the Mortals...has ended his sport with Tess". For Tess, there was nowhere really for her to go. She couldn't have had a career to speak of, only to become a farmer's wife, nor could she have moved away from her village and family without a husband, as that would have been seen as inappropriate.

    • Word count: 3303
  7. To what extent do you agree with Hardy's assertion that Tess is a 'pure woman'?

    Tess replies " ," she says it in a motorized tone as though her mind belonged to Alec. This shows to me that if Tess felt like Alec forced the kiss upon her and she had to take it, he might have had the same affect on her that night, so I think Tess's spirit and intentions were pure. At the beginning of the book Hardy describes Tess as being "fine handsome girl" with "large innocent eyes," this suggests that she is a nice normal girl, possibly just as the others are, but then Hardy adds that Tess is wearing a red ribbon.

    • Word count: 551
  8. Explore Hardy's use of settings at Talbothays in phase the third and at Flintcomb-Ash in phase the fifth of "Tess Of The D'Urbervilles".

    Tess in Hardy's story experiences both good and bad during her life as a farm labourer. This mirrors the change in agricultural practices she witnesses. Hardy likes to in some of his books question the existence of god. And when Tess is finally hanged in his book he writs "The sun's rays smiled on pitilessly" The setting at Talbothays is happy. Hardy uses words which are very descriptive to make his sentences but one of the best are "The Froom waters were as clear as the pure river of life." To say that the Froom waters were clear as the pure river of life would mean that the waters were clear and pure so there fore a new beginning is promised.

    • Word count: 1065
  9. Why are there so many fallen women in Victorian literature?

    Also Harriet Taylor Mill, who in 1851 argued for women's suffrage, in the Westminster Review. Darwin's Origin of the Species in 1859 and later the Descent of Man, 1871, also challenged the Victorian's preconceptions. They suggested that men and women were sexually and mentally different and it was therefore unnatural for women to have sexual feelings. These rapid changes to beliefs customs and codes are reflected in the novelists as they questioned their own views and those around them, of women and their sexuality. Gaskell preached her humanitarian ideals through her books. In Mary Barton and later, Ruth, she opened up the debate on the fallen woman and her decline into prostitution.

    • Word count: 3059
  10. Thomas Hardy and His Works.

    In 1867, Hardy returned to Dorset and began his first novel, The Poor Man and the Lady, but it was rejected for publication. In 1869 John Hicks died and Hardy moved to Weymouth to work and began writing Desperate Remedies (which was published in 1871). While living in Dorset, Hardy became very attracted to his cousin Tryphena Sparks; their relationship and hers with Horace Moule had been the subject of much speculation ever since. It was on an architectural for writing, encouraged by Emma.

    • Word count: 3253
  11. Who was most to blame for the outcome of "On the Western Circuit?

    The story starts when Raye meets Anna at the steam fair, and they start to have a relationship together. Anna's older mistress, Edith Harnham, falls in love with Raye, without him realising, when their hands accidentally touch at the fair. Edith longs for Raye, although she knows that because she is married, and so much older than him, they could never be lovers. Raye returns to his work place in London wishing only to keep contact with Anna through letters, and the occasional visit to her when he is on the Western Circuit.

    • Word count: 2461
  12. Show how two authors, writing in two different centuries, deal with a similar theme - Thomas Hardy and Eudora Welty.

    Despite this people were more courteous to one another than in modern day era. Eudora Welty, on the other hand was born in 1909 some sixty years after Hardy was born. Welty was born in Jacksonville, Mississippi in the USA and is still alive now, she therefore lived in a totally different era and therefore approached the context of her story in a totally different way to that of someone like Thomas Hardy who died only a few years earlier. Another factor about the different contexts of the stories is where both stories are taking place.

    • Word count: 2365
  13. Comparative Study - Jane Eyre and Tess of the D'Urbervilles.

    Each situation is a catalyst for the next, with Tess becoming a victim of cruel fate: 'Tess had never before known a time in which the thread of her life was so distinctly twisted of two strands, positive pleasure and positive pain'. This theme of coincidence and idea of fate; that there is a greater power over humans that cannot be controlled, is echoed in 'Jane Eyre'. Jane is subject to ill-fated situations through no fault of her own. From the very beginning of the novel the reader discovers Jane's unfortunate circumstance of being orphaned, and having no choice but to live with her 'hard-hearted' aunt and vindictive cousins.

    • Word count: 1463
  14. Examine Hardy's narrative technique, taking note of imagery, symbolism, description and character portrayal.

    The way Hardy inserts 'devilish', when describing Tess is ironic I feel. From his very introduction in the novel, Alec has had satanic connotations, and this ensnaring of an innocent virgin only emphasises this. Alec immediately rotates the situation to place the blame on Tess, which highlights how masterful he is at seizing opportunities. He places a great deal of pressure on Tess to return his affections, and bullies Tess into feeling sorry for reacting in a way that any proper woman should.

    • Word count: 1057
  15. Analyse Hardy’s use of symbolism and rustic characters in Tess of the D’Urbervilles.

    He spent the rest of his career writing poetry; though he is remembered mostly for his novels today. In this novel, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy uses a lot of symbolism to add moods to the storyline. He uses colour, nature and metaphors to symbolise thoughts, feelings, past, present and future. He writes about the role of rustic characters and their influence on Tess. He maintained his influences as he grew up surrounded by nature and rustic life. Hardy makes Tess seem superior to the ordinary country folk, as everything Tess does is always slightly better than them, although Hardy makes the country folk seem very kind and friendly.

    • Word count: 2406
  16. Analyse and compare at least two of the media texts you have studied, for example, the video 'working girl' and the article 'Get yourself noticed'.

    Then media reflects woman's role in society. It is interesting to examine how woman are presented in two media texts. There has always been a stereo type of a woman with blonde woman being classed as an air head. There is an image of the Statue of Liberty which represents freedom, equality and justice. It was a gift of international friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States and is one of the most universal symbols of political freedom and democracy.

    • Word count: 1095
  17. Contrast the descriptions of Flintcomb Ash and Tolbothays, showing how Hardy uses the atmosphere of places to reflect different stages in Tess' life.

    Flintcomb Ash is a farm, She is forced to find work as a result of her husband (Angle) leaving her and going to Brazil. When Tess arrives at Talbothays she is feeling that there is great optimism and hope for the future. She has now recovered from her recent tragic experiences and feels stronger and healed. "Her hopes mingled with the Sunshine." This shows that she is happy and the colour yellow from the sun represents this. Hardy uses pathetic fallacy to represent the season and the greatness of the place in the narrate. It shows images of fertilely, a new start and a new life for Tess, this is a happy time for Tess.

    • Word count: 1810
  18. How important is the use of irony in Thomas Hardy's poetry and in his novel 'The Mayor of Casterbridge'?

    Trevor Johnson has described Hardy as believing "Life... was a walk on a razor-edge, love and happiness were accordingly infinitely precarious yet infinitely worthwhile"3. There is irony in that to lead a secure life, free from danger, one also has to live without happiness; Hardy's The Darkling Thrush can be interpreted in a way reflecting this belief. The "full-hearted evensong of joy" is something Hardy cannot appreciate, being "unaware" of the "hope" the thrush sings of. The poem seems to imply that the only way to avoid pain is to live in a state of 'unhope'.

    • Word count: 2202
  19. An analysis of the ways in which Thomas Hardy creates suspense in Chapter 56 of “Tess of the D’Urbervilles” with reference to Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell Tale Heart”.

    Chapter 56 begins with Alec and Tess staying in a hotel. Having persuaded to Tess to live with Alec again, Tess seems forced into being with Alec, She knows he's an evil person and his character is portrayed as a stereotypical bad person or evil person in the story. Although she knows she can have a respectable life if she stays with him. This section starts in a 3rd person view because instead of getting the main characters we get to find out what the landlady of the hotel, Mrs Brooks is doing.

    • Word count: 2046
  20. Tess of the D'urbervilles - How far do you agree that Tess is responsible for herown suffering?

    Tess helps out a lot around the house, as Tess's parents seem to be quite careless and unrealistic so she is left with all of the responsibility "Monday washing which had now as always lingered on to the end of the week". I think that Tess's family and where she lives could also make an impact on whether Tess is responsible for her own suffering as she lives in a very small community where everyone relies on each other so she hasn't really ever been out in the world on her own.

    • Word count: 1422
  21. Tess Of the D`urbervilles - "Once victim, Always victim, that`s the law "Discuss this quotation in relation to Tess.

    Alec tries it on again when Tess goes with him after Angel leaves, but she has learned from the past to stop it from happening, and she kills him, stabbing him in the torso once. She leaves, terrified, and finds Angel on the wharf, waiting for her and tells him what happened.

    • Word count: 513
  22. 'In Tess of the D'Urbervilles Tess's passive temperament and fatalistic view of life make her, to a large extent the author of her own misfortunes.'How far do you agree with this statement about Tess's character and role in the novel?

    If Tess had a responsible father he would have been able to take the beehives to Casterbridge and Tess wouldn't have been obliged to. Joan is also partly to blame for Tess's first misfortune. When Joan goes to get Jack from Rolliver's she has no intention of bringing him home early so he would be able to take the beehives: "To discover him at Rolliver's, to sit there for an hour or two by his side an dismiss all thought and care of her children during the interval, made her happy."

    • Word count: 2059
  23. Tess of the d'Urbevilles: by Thomas Hardy

    Hardy is leading us to feel sympathy for Tess by using her attractiveness and personal qualities. From the first scene in which we meet Tess, Hardy leads us to feel sympathy for her by giving the impression that we (as readers) are slightly overlooking Tess; a place in which this technique is used is whilst Hardy is describing the effects of her appearance on others. Hardy describes the more extraordinary features of Tess' appearance: 'Phases of her childhood lurked in her aspect still...you could sometimes see her twelfth year in her cheeks, or her ninth sparkling from her eyes)

    • Word count: 2057
  24. For many years, much of society has been sexist and today there are still individuals, certain religions and races who discriminate against women and other females in general. "A women's place is in the home."

    These groups of people travelled to America to escape oppression and harsh governments. When they arrived, they believed America was the New Jerusalem, the 'Promised Land'. In Greek mythology, there was a myth that a land like this existed in the West. It was said to immense wealth, peace and prosperity. When the pilgrims and puritans arrived in America, they wanted to ensure that it was a hyric system, where everyone was equal. The Statue of Liberty was presented to the USA in 1884 by France to celebrate the alliance between the two countries over 100 years.

    • Word count: 2347
  25. Explore the ways in which Hardy has tried to make You sympathetic for these two female Characters

    'The fragment of lawn in front', I think is saying how much control she's got left in the world. When it says 'she's looking through the railings at the ever flowing traffic ', to me is saying that her home is like a prison she cant go any where, the railings symbolising bars, and all she can do is look onto the present world. Compared to the description of her old life its hell. The move from country to the drabness of the town is done to idealise the countryside. This makes you sympathetic towards Sophy as she makes one mistake in her life and everything goes wrong, you know she's going to have a very bad life.

    • Word count: 2580

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