Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles: Analysis

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  • Topic: Religion, Ace, Playing card
  • Pages : 3 (885 words )
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  • Published : May 1, 2013
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Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles allows one to both enter and explore the world of Tess who possess little to no autonomy, which ultimately leads to her downfall. This poignant tragedy portrays that one must take control of their destiny and be assertive. Hardy ploughs deeper into the society of Tess’ time to take a critical stance on the hypocrisy of organized religion and the ironically judgmental nature of it. He furthermore explores the notion of ‘conversion’, and questions its sincerity. Through Hardy’s novel, one is able to enter a new world, and learn about the factors and experiences that shape one’s life.

Through the study of Tess’ tragic life, Hardy enables the reader to learn about the importance of free will, and taking charge. Though Tess is often perceived as a victim of her malevolent society, her selflessness, pride and extreme sense of duty, unravel themselves to be one of the major underlying factors that contribute to her destruction. Tess’ extreme sense of duty pushed her to make the delivery, when her father was too drunk. “Oh no, I wouldn’t have it for the world… I could go”, the high modality in Tess’ language, conveys the responsibility she feels to make things right, when her family isn’t capable of such. Tess’ selflessness and overbearing sense of responsibility is seen when she kills prince, and hysterically begins to overwhelm herself with rhetorical questions “What will father and mother live on now?” She can only think of her family and this emotionally tortures her as she feels extremely guilty. Hardy further emphasizes the notion of Tess’ guilt through metaphorically comparing her to a murderess “Her face was dry and pale, as though she regarded herself in the light of a murderess”. Though the death of prince was not of Tess’ fault she took on the full responsibility and this tortured her. By selecting the word ‘murderess’, Hardy negatively and violently connotes the burden this his placed on Tess’ shoulders. It was these...
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