• 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. Thomas Hardy Said His Subtitle 'A Pure Woman' Caused More Debate Than Anything Else. ...

    Tess is now pregnant and as we all know Alec is the father. "I am ready to pay the uttermost farthing. You know you need not to work in the fields or the dairies again. You know you may clothe yourself with the best ..."

  2. Compare how Shakespeare and Hardy present the role of their tragic heroines within society ...

    These passionate heroines possessed personal traits which had previously been primarily associated with male characters. These heroines, such as Charlotte Bront�'s 'Jayne Eyre', Louisa May Alcott's 'Little Women' (in particularly the character of Jo) and also Thomas Hardy's 'Tess of the D'Urbervilles' were much more easily related to by their

  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 ...

    the carriage towards Trantridge and he purposely went fast forcing her to "clutch d'Urberville's rein-arm." This affection by Tess was not enough for him and he told Tess to "Hold on around my waist, or we shall be thrown out."

  1. Tess Of The D'Urbervilles - review

    He thought this would please her but he was wrong. This again shows class very well. Hardy is trying to (and successfully does) paint a picture where you see the higher class people really showing their stuff to the lower class people.

  2. 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.

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

    Mercy Chant - The daughter of a friend of the Reverend Clare. Mr. Clare hopes Angel will marry Mercy, but after Angel marries Tess, Mercy becomes engaged to his brother Cuthbert instead. Tess Durbeyfield Intelligent, strikingly attractive, and distinguished by her deep moral sensitivity and passionate intensity, Tess is indisputably the central character of the novel that bears her name.

  2. How does Hardy interest and engage the reader of The Wessex Tales?

    An example of this is taken from the end of a chapter:"...and she was braced to the obvious risks of the voyage by her confidence in him." Phyllis is planning to escape with Matthaus, but the quotation questions this motion and whether Phyllis really would leave both her father and Humphrey Gould to take the risk with Matthaus.

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