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

Examine Hardy's narrative technique, taking note of imagery, symbolism, description and character portrayal.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Examine Hardy's narrative technique, taking note of imagery, symbolism, description and character portrayal. The 'rape scene', towards the end of Chapter XI is an interesting passage, and provides a pivotal moment in the novel, one which Tess will always refer back to. After an exhausting night of dancing with her friends, Tess is saved by Alec after tittering at her workmate covered in treacle. On the journey home with Alex, after the 'triumph' of her escape wares off, the fatigue of the week's work sets in and Tess becomes drowsy. Throughout the journey Alec pesters her with his 'love-making', playing on her 'inexpressible weariness'. Hardy creates a languid mood along the early-morning country road, which is conveyed by the 'drowsiness' that 'overcomes' Tess. When she first slips into slumber, a 'moment of oblivion', and leans on his shoulder, Alec interprets it as a sexual advance, even though it is just a fatigue-induced weakness. Hardy describes Alec's attempt to embrace her as 'enclosing her waist', which creates an image of capture and incarceration, and Tess' ensuing reaction is one of defence and disgust. ...read more.

Middle

Already Alec has used a variety of methods in an attempt to woo Tess; he has imposed himself upon her, enticed her and got her lost. Even though she shivers, Tess does not want to show a vulnerability to Alec, and tells him she is 'not very' cold when he asks. However, Alec imposes the contents of the druggist's bottle upon her. Hardy allures to Alec's impending unwanted sexual urges when he describes how his fingers 'sank into her as into a billow'. This penetrating act portrays her softness, delicacy and pliability, and shows Alec's sexual pressurising of Tess. Hardy uses verbs such as 'plunged' and 'pushed' to portray the forcefulness with which Alec goes out his task and suggest the his barbaric nature. I feel that in this passage Tess is likened to the moon; both are pale and innocent, and Hardy mentions the 'moonlit person' of Tess. Also, the lunar sequence has long been soon associated with the menstrual cycle, and hardy mentions that as soon as the 'moon had quite gone down', Tess becomes entombed in darkness, as the night itself becomes pitch black. ...read more.

Conclusion

He suggests that there is no goodness in the world if a pure woman can be robbed of her dignity in such a way. Hardy uses a number of metaphors to describe Tess, whilst in the 'hands of the spoiler', describing Tess as 'blank as snow', and questions how such 'beautiful feminine tissue' could be blemished in such a way. The fact that the rape took place in The Chase is interesting, as it the ancient forest over which her ancestors once presided, but Hardy emphasises the fact that there are no chivalrous knights to protect her. Hardy deals with the actual rape itself in a detached and ambiguous manner, with a lingering sense of fatalism attached. With a rare authorial intrusion, he cites that 'it was to be'. The human in Hardy reacts that the human tissue should be so 'coarsely' imprinted upon, and contemplatively underlines the pity that the purity and beauty of Tess has been forever tainted, and that she is indeed a 'maiden no more'. 1,047 Words ...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 ...

    However Alec and Angel are not the only ones blamed for Tess's downfall. After Alec's attack of her in The Chase, Tess blames her mother for her naivety regarding men's power and intentions. "How could I be expected to know?" "Why didn't you tell me there was danger in men-folk?

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

    use his large fortune to purchase a lustrous family name and transform his clan into the Stoke-d'Urbervilles. The d'Urbervilles pass for what the Durbeyfields truly are-authentic nobility-simply because definitions of class have changed. The issue of class confusion even affects the Clare clan, whose most promising son, Angel, is intent

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

    " The district is of historic, no less than of topographical interest". "In those days, and till comparatively recent times, the country was densely wooded. Even now, traces of its earlier conditions are to be found in the old oak copses and irregular belts of timber that yet survives upon

  2. Tess of the D'urbervilles.

    Tess, at the moment, is living off an imagination. She has not yet alighted upon the solid ground of reality. She is lost in Angel's false love for her. Later in the chapter Hardy describes Tess as a "simple girl of life, not yet one-and-twenty, who had been caught in

  1. Tess od The D'urbervilles

    Conversely, the wearing of white could also relate to the purity of her intentions. Hardy elevates Tess to a heroine status when she takes the baptism into her own hands. She is portrayed as 'a divine personage with whom they had nothing in common' and 'her high enthusiasm having a

  2. In this sequence, how is Alec D'Urberville made to seem like a villain?

    Smoking shows a sign of evil as it is a vice, or at least an indulgence; this represents a man with bad inner character. The spectators can clearly see that before Alec reveals himself to her, he is 'eyeing her up' as one would say in slang, and thinking dodgy thoughts, as it were, clandestinely in his head.

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

    After them, there were the Nouveaux riches. They earned their money by working in the factories in the city. The money that they earned was regarded as the 'new money'. The Landed gentry also use to hate them because they were almost the same status as them.

  2. Tess Of The D'Urbervilles - review

    Tess's father has always seen touch times as he has always been trapped in his lower class social status, and by fate he was there and will be stuck there, so he finds this incredible news that he had rich ancestors hence he starts celebrating and thinking highly of himself.

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