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Thomas Hardy and His Works.

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Introduction

Thomas Hardy and His Works When I was a senior high school student, I read the novels Tess of the D'urbervilles, the Chinese edition, and Far from the Maddening Crowd, the simplified edition. I was so attracted by the protagonists in the novels that I read many other novels and short stories written by Thomas Hardy, including the original edition of Tess of the D'urbervilles. Though not all the original ones, I got a main idea of almost each of Thomas Hardy's great works. So I'd like to talk about Thomas Hardy's life, his great works, and my opinion on Tess of the D'urbervilles. 1. Thomas Hardy and his life Thomas Hardy, one of the few writers to succeed as both major novelist and poet. He is best known for his beautiful but often harsh portrayal of rural England set on and around his beloved Wessex. Thomas Hardy was born at Higher Bockhampton, near Dorchester on Dorset, on June 2,1840, the first child of a master stonemason. He attended various schools, including the National School (church of England), in Lower Bockhampton; the British School on Greyhound yard, Dorchester. During his period, his mother harbored intellectual ambitions for him and encouraged him to read widely. At the age of 16, However, he was apprenticed to John Hicks, a Dorchester architect, where he was trained in the architecture of Gothic revival for four years, and then he was employed by Hicks as an architect's clerk. In 1862, Hardy moved to London to follow his profession, working for the architect Arthur Blomfield, who designed and restored churches. In 1863, he was awarded a prize for architecture, bit denied a cash prize. It was during his busy years in London that Hardy began to write, greatly encouraged by his close friend Horace Moule. He published a prose sketch in Chamber's Journal, How I Built Myself a House, winning his first money as writer. ...read more.

Middle

Soon Henchard's business is ruined, the story of the sale of his wife is revealed, and he takes again to heavy drinking. Farfrae now has Henchard's business, his house and Lucetta, while Henchard works as a laborer in his yard. Eventually Farfrae becomes mayor. Henchard's stepdaughter is his only comfort, then Newson returns and claims her and after Lucetta's death Farfrae marries her. Henchard becomes lonelier and more desolate, and dies wretchedly in a hut on Edgon Heath. Jude the Obscure: it's a story of a deadly war between flesh and spirit. Jude Fawley, a young Wessex villager of exceptional intellectual promise, is encouraged by the schoolmaster Phillotson. He is trapped into marriage by the barmaid Arabella Donn, who shortly afterwards deserts him. He moves to Christminster (which represents Oxford), hoping one day to be admitted to the university. He meets his cousin, Sue Bridehead, an unconventional young woman who works in a shop selling ecclesiastical ornaments: they fall in love. Sue, in what appears to be a fit of desperate masochism, suddenly marries Phillotson. She is driven from him by physical revulsion and flies to Jude; they live together but do not consummate their love until Arabella reappears on the scene. Jude, who had been planning to enter the priesthood as licentiate, as a substitute for his thwarted intellectual ambitions, Is now doubly defeated. He and Sue become free to marry, but Sue shrinks from the step. Under the pressure of poverty and social disapproval their relationship deteriorates, and tragedy overtakes them in the death of their children: the eldest, Old Father Time, son of Jude and Arabella, hangs the two babies and himself, leaving a note saying "Done because we are too menny". In an agony of remorse and self-abasement, Sue returns to Phillotson and the church, and Jude, deeply shocked by her abandoning of her free-thinking principles, begins drinking heavily and is trapped back by Arabella. ...read more.

Conclusion

That is, Clare's love to Tess is real and pure. What he thinks is what he sees and what he sees is what he thinks. Therefore, immersed I his sweet love affair, Clare cannot accept the bolt from the blue that Tess is seduced. When Tess confesses, he can hardly believe that Tess is saying some mad words: "Tess" "Yes, dearest!" "Am I to believe this? From your manner I am to take it as true. Oh you cannot be out of your mind! You ought to be! Yet you are not ...... My wife, my Tess-nothing in your warrants such a supposition as that?" Chapter "The Woman Pays" XXXV At that time, Angel Clare thinks nothing of Tess's suffering. He even doesn't think about comparing Tess's tortures with his absurd thing. He only believes that there will be no such perfect Tess in the world. He feels Tess's past ruins his life and the whole world. "She remained mute, not knowing that he was smothering his affection for her. She hardly observed that a teat descended slowly upon his cheek, a tear so large that it magnified the pores of the skin over which it rolled, like the object lens of a microscope."(XXXV) Evidently, Clare is experiencing great frustration and sorrow. Thus, we should not criticize Clare for his reaction to Tess's confession, thinking that a man neglects his own fault while blames others with a high standard. No, we should not do so. On the contrary, we should understand what Hardy has written: "The cruelty of fooled honesty is often great after enlightment, and is mighty in Clare now. " (XXXV) That is to say, Clare not only feels hurt but also feels he s fooled by fate. So he, unable to control himself, treats harshly on Tess, abandoning her and leading her to Alec's side. After long time of introspection, he at last changes his attitude and restores his love to Tess. The protagonists'characters force them to the inevitable reaction in certain circumstance, which pushes them into trouble and have tragic ends. ??? ??012 2? ...read more.

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