Hardy as a Pessimist

Topics: Tragedy, Philosophy of life, Meaning of life Pages: 4 (1042 words) Published: June 4, 2013
The fact that Hardy resented being called a pessimist is no reason why he should not be thus described.

Hardy was the painter of darker side of life as it was no wonder if people charged him of “pessimist”. The opinion is both right and wrong in this context. Infact, there are some factors that compels us to believe him a pessimist. He was hypersensitive; his own life was tragic and gloomy. For a speculative soul, this world is a thorny field.

The gloomy effect of his age plays an important role in his writings. Doubts, despair, disbelief, frustration, industrial revolution, disintegration of old social and economic structure, Darwin’s theory of evolution were the chief characteristics of that age. All these factors probe deep into his writings and heighten its somber, melancholic and tragic vision.

His pessimism is also the outcome of the impressions that he receives from villager’s life. They were plenty of tragedies in the life of the poverty stricken Wessex folk.

Hardy’s philosophy of the human condition is determined by his natural temper and disposition. He says:

“A man’s philosophy of life is an instinctive, temperamental matter.”

Hardy, practically, excludes from his writings the sense of splendor and beauty of human life completely. Tess’ life is totally devoid of even a single moment of happiness. He is of the opinion:

“Happiness is but an occasional episode in a general drama of pain.”

Hardy’s conception of life is essentially tragic. He is one of those who believe that life is boom. His novels concentrate on human sufferings and show that there is no escape for human beings.

Tess is worst fated to the sufferings of life. She tries her best to come out of her fated circle of misfortunes but remains fail. Throughout the novel she keeps on revolving around the predetermined circles of her cruel fate. Being the eldest child she has to go to D’Urbervilles for earning. Her seduction plays a vital role in her destruction. She is...
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