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The shadow of the past hangs equally over Tess and the second Mrs. D’Winter. Show how this is true with close reference to the novels, Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy and Rebecca by Daphne Dumaurier.

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Introduction

The shadow of the past hangs equally over Tess and the second Mrs. D'Winter. Show how this is true with close reference to the novels, Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy and Rebecca by Daphne Dumaurier. I am going to write my essay about the shadow of the past by comparing the two novels, an old classic, Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy and Rebecca, a more modern novel by Daphne Dumaurier. Hardy's novels are generally pessimistic and Tess of the D'Urbervilles is no exception. The novel is about a girl named Tess Durbeyfield, as the title of the book suggests. The book is set out in seven stages, which reflect her life. Basically the story is that Tess father finds out about the family name; that it is not Durbeyfield but D'Urberville and they are direct descendants of this name. This new realization leads to Tess being seduced by her 'supposed' cousin and later she has a child which dies due to ill health. This wrecks her later marriage and eventually leads to murder. Rebecca, by Daphne Dumaurier is a novel again about a young girl, who remains nameless throughout the whole of the book except the title given to her when she is married, 'the second Mrs. D'Winter'. The novel shows how she meets an older man and they fall in love, however, she is never sure of his true love for her, until she finds out the secret about his past, one of the facts that links the two novels together; a murder. I aim to show that the shadow of the past, that is, the difficulties and experiences that Tess has to face and which ultimately she is unable to overcome are equal to those of the second Mrs. D'Winter. The shadow for Tess contains a collection of experiences that Tess's personality encounters, which leads ultimately to her death. ...read more.

Middle

This is ironic, as it can be perceived as Tess loved Sorrow, but sorrow was a shadow of Tess's past therefore is that not saying that Tess loved a part of her past? 'Observing her they whispered to each other. She knew what the whispers were about, grew sick at heart, and felt that she could come to church no more.' 'She looked upon herself as a figure of guilt' Finally Tess accepts but the story showed that their wedding was doomed from the start with a bad omen, a cock crowing as they left. Angel left Tess on their wedding night because she told him of her secret. Angel had a secret to tell Tess also, which was not different from Tess story. Angel was not a virgin either and Tess forgave him for this, however, Angel saw Tess's impurity as a worse situation than how he perceived his and left Tess to live in Brazil on his own. Tess's life went in a downward spiral from then on. She had a terrible time, coping on her own without Angel. The shadow of the past had been cast upon the marriage and destroyed it for the time being but Angel refused to divorce her. When Angel came back from Brazil, Tess was living with Alec. Tess murders Alec with passion, because it was Alec that had prevented her from being with her true love. ' He is upstairs. I hate him now because he told me a lie --- that you would not come again; and you have come!' ' I feared long ago, when I struck him with my glove that I might do it someday for the trap he set for me in my simple youth' Tess and Clare got back together and ran away together to escape the consequences that the murder would bring. The law finally caught up with Tess and she was hanged, leaving Angel with Liza-Lu, Tess's younger sister. ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows that the shadow of the relationship was still hanging over maxim, and it had done for the duration of the novel. 'And if you had my memories you would not want to go there either, or talk about it, or even think about it.' The shadow that hung over the second Mrs. D'Winter was also partly the shadow that hung over Maxim. He was her husband and didn't like to see him troubled. She shows this by describing her thoughts and feelings about Maxim whenever the subject of 'Rebecca' was raised. The other problem that the second Mrs. D'Winter had to deal with was the fact that maxim had murdered Rebecca. The murder is part of the shadow that hangs over the second Mrs. D'Winter and causes much worry and anxiety for the couple. She now had to deal with the facts that her husband was a murderer and that he might have been going to prison for the rest of his life. In some ways Rebecca did take revenge because her servant, Danny, burned down Manderly at the end of the book. Danny was a great admirer of Rebecca and her death hurt her to the extent that she became angry with grief. It was a combination of events leading in a downward spiral that created the shadow in Rebecca. Rebecca lay the foundations of the shadow and the shadow was made larger by the inaccurate perception of the second Mrs. D'Winter. She was affected by a murder as in Tess of the D'Urbervilles and had to deal with a relationship where one person was hiding a past that the other person knew existed but did not know anything about. The shadow affected them in different ways. The shadow in Tess of the D'Urbervilles ended up killing Tess and the shadow in Rebecca ended up with the second Mrs. D'Winter and Maxim's home burning down. After comparing each shadow, I would say that they are both equal to each other in the respects of changing lives. ...read more.

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