Social Class or Something More: Relationships and Motivations in Rebecca and Tess of the d’Urbervilles

Both Tess of the d’Urbervilles and Rebecca are texts in which social class proves to be a factor in the relationships between lovers. Tess is born into a low class poor family, which significantly alters the outcome of events in her life. Contrastingly in Rebecca, the narrator marries into a different social class, which poses … Read more

Running from Destiny

In Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy primarily showcases man’s inability to elude fate. Society’s constraints highlight the futile nature of attempting to change the course of one’s life, for the inability to transcend one’s social classes mirrors the impossibility of transcending one’s destiny. Similarly, Hardy’s deft control of atmosphere and setting to provide omens … Read more

The Critical Role of Paganism in ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’

Upon reading Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles, one may notice that references to pagan goddesses and ancient religions of the past are strewn throughout the book. These allusions range from the affectionate names of endearment by which Angel Clare refers to Tess, such as “Artemis” and “Demeter,” to the climax leading to the end … Read more

Tess of D’Urbervilles: an Example of an Unconventional Heroine

In Thomas Hardy’s tendentious Victorian novel, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Hardy uses a format akin to that of a tragic hero to critique the double standards of Victorian society. His heroine, Tess, challenges Victorian standards by maintaining her innate purity and refusing to be defined by society even after committing acts that ought to both … Read more

Birds as a Symbol of Freedom in "Tess the d’Ubervilles;

Constituting one of the dominant symbols in Thomas Hardy’s classic work Tess of the D’Urbervilles are the continually reappearing birds. The birds symbolize varying degrees of freedom, foreshadowing the events of Tess’s life and frequently paralleling them as well. Tess encounters birds in the wild, birds in captivity, and birds that are fatally wounded, each … Read more

The Role of Surrounding in Tess of the D’Urbervilles

Thomas Hardy, in Tess of the D’Urbervilles, takes great pains to relate the characters to their surroundings, especially in the parallelism between Tess’ emotional disposition and her physical environment. It is not surprising, therefore, that the two interpersonal relationships which are the most important to Tess’ life have their origins in a fertile garden and … Read more

The Influence of Nature in "Far from the Madding Crowd"

In Far from the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy uses nature to influence the actions of his shepherd and shepherdess protagonists, Bathsheba Everdene and Gabriel Oak, in two separate episodes involving rain storms. The conflict of Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd centers upon Bathsheba Everdene’s battle with and between her three suitors, Gabriel Oak, William … Read more

Thomas Hardy’s Social Commentary in Tess of the D’Urbervilles

Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles provides social commentary on many issues prevalent in Victorian society. In particular, Hardy uses Tess’ submission to her parents, Alec d’Urberville, Angel Clare, and society as a whole to examine the sexual double standard prevalent in Victorian society. Tess is a strong character, enduring many hardships in her life; … Read more

Importance of Heredity in "Tess of the D’Urbervilles;

In Tess of the d’Urbervilles, heredity governs life. Through the narrative voice and the character’s responses, Thomas Hardy explains how Tess’ “slight incautiousness of character inherited from her race” (71) defines her life. More specifically, traits from her parents and her family legacy follow throughout her life. Tess’ mental and physical predisposition originates with her … Read more