Tess of the D'Urbervilles Paper

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  • Topic: Love
  • Pages : 3 (1167 words )
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  • Published : March 5, 2008
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Love is a prevalent and pervasive theme in Tess of the D'Urbervilles. Many aspects of love are explored in the novel, and they show the complexity of Hardy's attitude towards love. The intertwined stories of Tess, Angel and Alec explore the effect that events have on their feelings, and show, in time, the true qualities of their love. The other relationships of friends, parents, and family describe and contrast other aspects of love in the novel. The main relationship in the novel is between Tess and Angel. At certain points in the novel, they do have true feelings of love for each other; however, their feelings are undermined by each of their pasts. Angel thinks Tess is a "fresh and virginal daughter of Nature." (158) He then discovers about her relationship with Alec, and he rejects her. His rejection demonstrates his double standards, because he has just told Tess that he has had a relationship with a woman in London, which he believes is acceptable behavior. Tess does not reject him for this, but Angel, when told about Tess's past, rejects her completely for many years. Angel's choosing Tess to be his wife is a cruel irony, because he chooses her, based on a quality in her that he later believes she does not have. When he finds she is not the innocent girl he imagined, his love is not strong enough to overcome his judgment of her sin. "He could regard her in no other light than that of one who had practiced gross deceit upon him." (297) In the end, after the passing of time, Angel finds he is able to forgive Tess because he does love her deeply. He says, when he hears she has killed Alec, "‘I will not desert you! I will protect you by every means in my power, dearest love; whatever you may have done or not have done!'" (437) But by then, it is too late to enjoy a life together, because Tess has already committed a real sin in murdering Alec and is condemned to hang. The relationship between Tess and Alec is not "real love", because they both have ulterior...
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