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

Tess of the d'Urbevilles: by Thomas Hardy

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

GCSE Coursework: pre1914 prose study: Tess of the d'Urbevilles: by Thomas Hardy "How does Hardy lead us to feel sympathy for Tess?" I think that throughout the novel Thomas Hardy uses many different techniques that lead his readers to feel sympathy for Tess. Through reading Hardy's 'Tess of the D'Urbevilles' I have realised that it is invaluable that the readers of any novel sympathise with and feel compassion for the main character. In writing 'Tess of the D'Urbevilles' Thomas Hardy is very successful in grabbing the attention and sentiments of the reader and then steering their emotions so that they feel empathy and understanding for the character Tess. Hardy does this from the very first time we are introduced to Tess. The first time we see Tess is at the Woman's Walking Club Festival, Hardy describes her as 'a fine and handsome girl, with a mobile peony mouth and large innocent eyes' (Chapter II), 'a small minority would look long at her in casually passing and grow momentarily fascinated by her freshness...' (Chapter II). This description of pure beauty and innocence captures the imagination of the readers and we begin to build a relationship with the character. The beauty and goodness that we see in Tess draws us to her, and engenders a feeling of affection for her, in this way Hardy is preparing us for later in the book when we see Tess suffering, and feel sympathy for her. ...read more.

Middle

Hardy believed that the natural world equalled goodness and simplicity and that industrialisation and technology were the world's evils. This was an interesting and controversial attitude for a man of Hardy's class, and it is surprising that he uses it in this book, which was written for an educated, upper-class audience. Hardy portrays Tess as a perfect personification of nature, and of rural life, and therefore according to the pastoral attitude she is goodness and simplicity. By highlighting the good and beautiful aspects of Tess' character Hardy, again, leads his readers to believe that Tess does not deserve the hardship she suffers. One such reference to this era of pastural perfection that enforces this idea is in Chapter III when Hardy describes Tess' house to have been 'laid out before inches of land had value, before it was necessary to rush anywhere, and when one-handed clocks sufficiently sub-divided the day'. This musing, almost bitter style of writing suggests that Hardy would have preferred life in these previous times. In some ways, Tess still seems to be living in this 'golden-era' of pastoral perfection. She is very trusting and believes all others to be as altruistic and philanthropic as herself, she is very na�ve to the evils of the world: "I was a child when I left this house four months ago, why did you not warn me there was danger I men-folk?" ...read more.

Conclusion

One could also argue that the stubble of harvest signifies Tess' child, as he has come from Alec as the stubble has from the corn, however, I prefer the notion that the stubble represents the consequences of her actions-that is, the common revulsion at Tess' 'offence against society' in bringing the baby into the world. The image of Tess at work in the fields and the corn wounding her arm, represents Tess as a victim of social standards. The acknowledgement of this symbolism makes a strong impact on the reader, allowing us (the readers) to understand Tess' emotions and actions and ultimately leading us to feel sympathetic towards Tess because we see her as a victim of social standards. Hardy builds on this point of Tess as a victim of social standards by often displaying to the reader that regardless of her noble-blood, Tess often falls foul of the colossal class-divide, which was in place at this time. It is partly the divide between classes which 'allows' Alec to rape Tess: 'Doubtless some of Tess d'Urbeville's mailed ancestors rollicking home from a fray had dealt the same measure even more ruthlessly towards peasant girls of their time' (Chapter XX). Throughout the book, the Hardy clarifies the divide between classes with the differences in language used by different characters; for example when Tess is speaking, she speaks frankly and openly: "It would be better to do it now I think" (Chapter XXXIII. ...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. Comparative Study - Jane Eyre and Tess of the D'Urbervilles.

    In Hardy's work of fiction coincidence is abundant, taking advantage of Tess in the majority of situations. Coincidence is present in 'Jane Eyre' but only to the extent that it happens in real life, Bront� wanted to write about what was true, sincere and deeply felt.

  2. How does Hardy portray Tess as a pure woman?

    In our eyes (and in Hardy's) Tess' pregnancy is not at all her fault and she is still pure because she feels a guilt, which she should not feel. Religion was important to the Victorians and not many authors would dare write against it, but the way Hardy presents the church suggests he doesn't agree with it's beliefs.

  1. Compare the ways in which the Writers of 'The Handmaid's Tale' and 'Tess of ...

    stuffed rabbit, mangy with age and love...I can't think about the rabbit too much though, I can't start to cry". Rather than Offred, it is the character of Moira that epitomizes the real theme of 'The Handmaid's Tale' - failure of control by society.

  2. Symbolism in Tess of the D'urbervilles

    They are captives in a boat that could take them through hard times, but they have no escape, their lives are in the hands of their parents. Hardy uses the passing of seasons in this novel very effectively, they are very important in the book, and to some extent can predict what is going to happen.

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

    But she is also more than a distinctive individual: Hardy makes her into somewhat of a mythic heroine. Her name, formally Theresa, recalls St. Teresa of Avila, another martyr whose vision of a higher reality cost her her life. Other characters often refer to Tess in mythical terms, as when

  2. Tess Of The D'Urbervilles - review

    to get another one, so Tess realised how severely this had affected the family's income, so she feels incredibly guilty. Remember, she is in a lower class family, so money is tight, so they need all the support they can get, and the horse dying is not something that will help them along.

  1. Is Tess a victim of society? Thomas Hardy wrote "Tess of the D'Urbevilles" in ...

    Alec can tell that Tess is subject to the social guiding of looking after yourself and he abuses his power over her with money. He gets her to fall for his kindness and therefore feel in debt to him. Alec understands the society and realises that even though Tess is stubborn in nature, her nurture has taught her some passivity.

  2. Tess and the color red. (Hardy)

    Similarly, civilisation itself (as Hardy portrays it) callously consumes nature as free resource only to further itself. An example of this is a scene at Flintcomb-Ash in which a tractor, a product and symbol of the mechanised and industrialised civilisation of Hardy's time, ploughs a field, destroying florae and faunae that dwelt therein without any degree of empathy for life.

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