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

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

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Examine how Hardy uses setting to explore related themes and issues. Setting plays a very important role in Hardy's "Tess of the D'urbervilles", and acts as a literary device that Hardy uses to further plot and reveal characters. The novel is set in Hardy's Wessex, a region that represents the southern English county of Dorset. However, the setting consists of more than just a location and becomes an essential element to understanding the novel and any underlying themes or social issues that Hardy raises. Tess is often compared to a pilgrim, constantly moving from place to place hoping to find contentment, but being sadly unsuccessful. This book is a compilation of all these different journeys that Tess embarks on. With each movement, Tess' personality and well-being seem to change, and various traits in each place seem to reflect these changes. Tess moves from a world that begins in the beautiful regions around Marlott. She goes to The Slopes to "claim kin" and the environment is lovely and formal, but also contrived. The setting at Talbothays, where Tess experiences her greatest happiness, is lush, green, and fertile. Flintcomb-Ash, on the other hand, is a barren region, reflecting the harshness of the work and the desolation of Tess' life. ...read more.

Middle

Hardy provides a strong argument against the urban movement by showing the reader its harsh effects on the rural lifestyle. The overpowering and eventual destruction of Tess parallels the Industrial Revolution's negative results on the landscape of England. Hardy uses many opposites in the book - Old vs. New being one of them. Tess is an example of old - she has a prestigious genealogy and background, and seems to represent values of a previous existence. Tess herself was a compilation of everything Hardy loved. She was a woman of nature and she represented a lot of pagan values, a pure woman who was selfless, caring and independent. She opposes industrialisation and man-made, artificial machinery in every way. Tess almost acts as a device for Hardy to indirectly voice his own concerns about society, and Hardy speaks about the machines and the railways as if they were a beast, devouring the beautiful landscape and the people within it. "The engine which was to act as the primum mobile of this little world. By the engine stood a dark motionless being, a sooty and grimy embodiment of tallness, in a sort of trance." The machine is an omnipotent presence, demanding to be tended to at all times. ...read more.

Conclusion

All these subtle threads of paganism woven into the novel are drawn together in a melodramatic climax to the novel at Stonehenge. Stonehenge is the ultimate pagan symbol, and Hardy describes it as a "heathen temple". It is here where Tess throws herself down in tiredness onto the sacrificial altar, and wakes up surrounded by police, ready to take her off to her execution. To conclude, setting is extremely important in "Tess of the D'urbervilles". Hardy writes very effective descriptions of each place, and uses very strong and powerful imagery. Setting is a device that Hardy uses for various purposes, and through it he reveals a lot of different themes. He also voices some of his own opinions on some of the social issues of the time and some other historical concerns, for example industrialisation and religion. Hardy has a very nostalgic attitude and this is shown through his choice of the anachronistic word "Wessex", in which the entire novel is set. Hardy also created Tess with similar nostalgic thoughts in mind, and she seems to represent values of a previous existence. This works against her and could be seen as her downfall in the novel. ?? ?? ?? ?? Suzanne Hornsby 10H ...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 ...

    It is the death of the horse, Prince, the Durbeyfield's main source of livelihood that commences the horrible circumstances that Tess will later face. Tess views herself as the cause of her family's economic downfall, however she also believes she is a "murderess".

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

    that the pure perfect Tess he had constructed in his mind did not exist. Angel referred to Tess as a Goddess. "A visionary essence of woman - a whole sex condensed into one typical form". He called her Artemis, Demeter, Artemis was the virgin goddess of hunting, and Demeter was goddess of crops and vegetation.

  1. "The president of the Immortals had done his sport with Tess"

    Angel, on the other hand, has changed from a moral son of a minister into a successful businessman, which could be perceived as having fewer morals in order for him to be triumphant in this field. The author writes in such a way that the reader is not completely convinced of the change in Alec.

  2. Why are there so many fallen women in Victorian literature?

    men's behaviour and it's acceptance of one and ostracism of the other. It is only when under intense pressure, when she feels that all hope has gone, that she yields to Alec the second time. This time she truly is the fallen woman.

  1. Tess and the color red. (Hardy)

    Tess took place in rural England in the 1800's. Think about what you know about birds already. They are generally a symbol of freedom. (They can take wing and fly away.) When she is at the mansion she is tending to caged birds.

  2. Set in Wessex, "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" is a novel, which disregards the conventions ...

    There she falls in love with Angel but is uncertain of telling him about her past. Hardy uses the description of Tess's background to suggest that something more positive is going to happen to Tess, in the near future. He suggests that this is a new beginning for Tess by

  1. Analyse Hardy’s use of symbolism and rustic characters in Tess of the D’Urbervilles.

    "...a little more than persuading had to do wi' the coming o't, I reckon. There were they that heard a sobbing one night last year in the chase; and it mid ha' gone hard wi' a certain party if folks had come along.'

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

    He is a secularist who yearns to work for the "honor and glory of man," as he tells his father in Chapter XVIII, rather than for the honor and glory of God in a more distant world.

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