TESS OF THE D'URBERVILLES
The greatest representative of the late Victorian literature, Thomas Hardy, was among the novelists who marked the transition to XXth century English and American fiction. He wrote many novels such as: 'Far from the Madding Crowd', 'Jude the Obscure', The Mayor of Casterbridge', etc.
Tess of the D'Urbervilles' is regarded as Hardy's tragic masterpiece. It is the story of innocence, of Man and Nature, of history and its relation to the present, concentrated on the fate of a simple young girl.
Summary of the novel
Durbeyfield is the daughter of a poor farmer, whose life is troubled by a
minister who once told him he was a descendant of the ancient noble and rich
family of the D'Urberville. In order to acquire favorable relationshipps he
sends his daughter as a maid to the house of a family who bears the surname
D'Urberville with doubtful right to it. Seduced by Alec, the heir of the
family, Tess gives birth to an illegitimate child who dies in infancy, after an
improvised midnight baptism of its mother. Some time later, while working as a
dairy-maid on a large farm, Tess becomes engaged to Angel Clare, a clergyman's
son. But Tess is pressed by her fault, and on their wedding night confesses to
him her affair with Alec. Angel, who thought of himself as being free of
prejudices, proves to be their slave. He abandons Tess going to seek his
fortune somewhere in Brasil. Misfortunes and hardships come upon her and her
family. An accident throws her once more in the path of Alec and she accepts to
continue her relationship with him. Returning from Brasil, Angel finds her in
this situation. Maddened by this second wrong Alec had done to her, Tess murders him to liberate herself. After a brief
period of concealment with Angel Clare, Tess is arrested at
The conflict of the novel: the Blind Destiny, the conflict between Man and Nature.
Hardy, man and woman are condemned to live in a world that is ruled by
universal pitiless laws, predetermined by Nature itself. Fatal chance is an
invisible force in all the relationships of human being, there is the Blind
Destiny, the sin which is to revenge some day, the merciless laws ignored by
the characters who, ultimately, will be crushed by them.
Man does not accept these rules and becomes a desperate fighter. Hence, the
tragic fight between man's aspirations and his possibilities. The fragment
presenting Tess and Angel at
Tess is an elementary nature, with powerful instincts, capable of violent passions and infinite devotion. Throughout the novel she is presented as passive, obedient and submissive to the laws of nature, of society and of her own temperament. She shows a complete acceptance of whatever comes upon her, understanding destiny as a law of Universe. That is why she faces Destiny with dignity, resignation and grace. She knows that she had disrupted the equilibrium in Universe, the code of laws and she accepts her fate, feeling that order has been re-established.
The scenery - Stonehenge As soon as they arrive in the presence of
The chromatic element
plays a major part in the creation of the dramatic atmosphere. The images
connected with darkness, light and wind have a definite position in the
picture. Time gradually passes from mere chronology - midday, afternoon, 8
o'clock - to duration and symbolic time: night march, midnight, the night wind.
Nature is concordant with Tess's state of mind: dark, with an impress of
reserve, taciturnity and hesitation, cold as the stones. The coming of light is
the coming of death. The figures of the soldiers appear at the first break of
dawn. On the other hand, Nature seems to anticipate the events that are to
come: 'Presently the night wind died out, and the quivering little pools
in the cup like hollows of the stones lay still.' The dialogue is reduced
to the minimum, the emphasis lying on the description of the scenery. We notice
metaphors, chromatic epithets, visual images, gradation - from night towards
dawn, alongside with the gradation of the torments within Tess's heart from
despair to resignation. In the end,
The novel may be considered both a psychologic one (because it draws a few years in the evolution of the heroine) and a social novel at the same time (it is described the condition of peasantry as well as the contrast between the latter's life and aristocracy), and perhaps even a love story (the story of unhappy love tormented by the absurdities of life.
Haunted by fatalism and determinism, Hardy is a tragic writer and illustrates his unique humanitarian attitude towards the dramatic struggle between man and evil.
Ultimele referate adaugate
- Mihai beniuc - „poezii"
- Mihai eminescu - student la berlin
- Mircea Eliade - Mioara Nazdravana (mioriţa)
- Chirita in provintie de Vasile Alecsandri -expunerea subiectului
- Dragoste de viata de Jack London
|Ion Luca Caragiale
- Triumful talentului… (reproducere) de Ion Luca Caragiale
- Fantasticul in proza lui Mircea Eliade - La tiganci
- „Personalitate creatoare” si „figura a spiritului creator” eminescian
- Enigma Otiliei de George Calinescu - geneza, subiectul si tema romanului
- Arta literara in romanul Ion, - Liviu Rebreanu