Tess of the d'urbervilles
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Explore the ways in which Thomas Hardy uses setting to help portray Tess' feelings. In 1891 Thomas Hardy published the novel 'Tess of the D'Urbervilles' which is a story based on the life and times of a farm girl named Tess. Tess is a 17 year old girl of lower class whose family horse dies in an accident and her family are struggling for money so Tess goes to visit distant relatives to ask to borrow money to help support her family. While with her relatives she meets her cousin Alec. She leaves the D'Urbervilles home pregnant with Alec's baby and goes back to live with her parents. She gives birth to a baby boy and names him Sorrow who later becomes ill and dies. Three years later Tess falls in love with a man called Angel, they get married however Tess confesses to what happened with Alec and Angel leaves her. Tess meets Alec who is a supposed changed man and he has become a preacher. Tess tells him about Sorrow and he convinces Tess that Angel is never coming back and she goes back to live with him.
For example in the opening sentence of chapter 14 the scenery is described as 'a hazy sunrise in August.' August is the season when all the plants begin to die and all leaves fall off the trees, also it is the season just before winter which is described as the most miserable season portraying that things to come are going to get worse for Tess. At the end of chapter 14 when Tess buries Sorrow in 'the churchyard that night'. The darkness is another way of showing Tess' feelings that her life is dark and empty now without her baby and she is ashamed but she has no reason to be. Also her burying her child at night shows Hardy's feelings about the situation as that he disagrees with what Tess had to go through. Chapter 16 starts with Tess leaving her home to get away from her past and start a new life. Seasons are used again to show the feelings of Tess as 'spring after her winter'. Spring is the season of new life and re-growth relating to the plants and animals.
Hardy can also do this by using techniques such as pathetic fallacy and similes the weather 'intentness of youth' gives life 'attacked' takes it away. . Hardy's descriptions also shows you how he felt about the way Tess was treated and how he feels about how life was back like how he disagrees with the way that women we treated and how they had no rights. This has a big effect on today's audience and also the audience of back when the novel was written. It would make the audience realise how unfair the way women were treated was and maybe make them think more about the rights women should have. For today's audience it makes you see how much society has changed and the views on women have improved and how both sexes are treated equally now in comparison with in the 1890's when the novel was published. I feel that without Hardy's descriptions of setting the novel would not be interesting and as gripping and you wouldn't feel so close and involved with the characters. His descriptions really make the story more intense and interesting. Emily Heath ?? ?? ?? ?? Emily Heath Wednesday 4th December 2007
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