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Mind Limitations of Hardy Revealed in Tess of the D'Urbervilles Abstract: In Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy shows his sympathy to the contemporary peasant and the pure and kind spirit of the heroine, Tess. However, the author’s belief that one’s fate is unchangeable and unavoidable is much due to author’s mind limitation, considering the time period and geographical environment restriction. Key words:

Thomas Hardy was a famous writer in the nineteenth century. He was born in a county where people mainly lived on farming, so he was quite familiar with village life and the life style of peasants. He saw how the bourgeoisie exploited and oppressed the peasants and he showed his sympathy to them. He wrote several novels based on his life experiences and Tess of the D'Urbervilles is one of this kind. In this story, Hardy expressed his dissatisfaction to the society through Tess's tragedy and had great sympathy with Tess. However we can also found Hardy’s limitations of mind in this work. In Tess of the D'Urbervilles, the idea of fatalism penetrated the whole work. Hardy thought Tess’s tragedies were given by fate, and hence unchangeable and unavoidable. This point of view originated from his mind limitations and also showed his limitations evidently. In Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Hardy arranged in a way that all misfortunes of the heroin Tess happened out of fortuitousness. At the very beginning, Tess’s father had been told that his family was a noble one by chance. Thrilled by the news, her father got so drunk and could not go to the fair. When Tess and her brother drove the carriage to the fair instead, their mainstay of income, an old horse, was struck to death by an accident. That was the beginning of Tess’s tragedy. In order to buy a new horse, Tess followed her mother’s suggestion and found a job working in one relative’s home where Tess was defiled by Alec d’Urbervilles. As the story went on, Tess met Angel and fell in love with him. Before their wedding, she decided to wrote a letter and tell him everything about her past, including what had happen between her and Alec d’Urberville. However, the letter was accidently dropped on the carpet and covered by the rug. So when she told Angel the truth after they got married, she was abandoned by her husband. After Angel left, Tess’s life became even harder to bear that she had to ask Angel’s family for help. But by the time she arrived at the house, Angel’s families were out to church and Tess did not get any help from them at last. Helpless and desperate, she met Alec again. Believed in his promise to help her family, Tess got back together with him. Therefore, by the time Angel finally forgave her and came back, Tess lost all the hope for life and killed Alec which in turn brought an end to her life too. All of these tragedies happened so coincidently that it seemed Tess’s misfortune was determined by fate. To understand this idea, we have to consider author Hardy’s living environment back then. Hardy lived in a small village where he grew great sympathy for the laboring people. He witnessed how poor and misery the villager’s life was and he believed that it was the capitalism that had brought all these sufferings. Limited by the time and his rank of class, he could not realize that all these tragedies were constituted by the basis contradiction of the society. So he blamed all these miseries on fate, an unexplainable power of nature. In Tess, Tess represented those impoverished peasants Hardy familiarized with. She was so pure and kind in compared with the evil world. However, the good nature of her didn’t bring any help or luck to her life. No matter how hard she tried, she seemed to have trapped on a preset one-way route without other choice. Since Hardy spent quite a long time living in the village, inevitably there were still some remnants of feudal moralities left in his mind. This was showed in Tess, too. In the story, when Tess was...
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