Comparative Analysis on a Jest of God by Margaret Laurence and Tess of the D'Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy

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In literature, an author's narrative technique is often essential to the reader's understanding of the characters. The method in which an author conveys the setting, society, and feelings is crucial in the attempt to impart an idea to the readers. In both A Jest of God by Margaret Laurence and Tess of the D'Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy, the authors use techniques to convey their own ideas of society through the main characters. In Hardy's novel, we see him use several means to demonstrate the rigours of the society in which both he and Tess lived. Similarly in Laurence's novel, we are exposed to various techniques meant to convey a societal and psychological portrayal of women through Rachael. Hardy's use of the all knowing third person omniscient narrator, contributes to Tess' vulnerability, where as Laurence's use of the first person limited narrative contributes to Rachael's repressed, and self-obsessed character. Hardy's methods include the use of dialogue, setting and religion to convey his message to his readers. On the contrary, Laurence's method to convey her message to the readers is a narrow perspective of the characters in the novel, forcing the readers to focus solely on Rachael. While both types of point of view used by the authors have their disadvantages, they are also advantageous in the sense that they provide a better insight and understanding of certain characters in both novels.

In the novel Tess of the D'Ubervilles, Thomas Hardy uses the all knowing third person omniscient point of view to present his material so that we know the thoughts of many characters, namely Tess Dubeyfield, Angel Clare, and Alec D'Uberville. Hardy's strong narrative voice allows us to see what Tess and Angel are thinking, and sometimes why they are feeling it, even when they themselves don't know. Unlike both Tess and Angel, Alec's point of view is not as in-depth, which helps him to be portrayed as the bad guy. However, Hardy sometimes hints at Alec's thoughts and...
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