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Thomas Hardy: Tess of the d´Urbervilles
Dátum pridania: 28.04.2006 Oznámkuj: 12345
Autor referátu: zuvik
Jazyk: Angličtina Počet slov: 3 235
Referát vhodný pre: Gymnázium Počet A4: 9.8
Priemerná známka: 2.93 Rýchle čítanie: 16m 20s
Pomalé čítanie: 24m 30s
narrator • Anonymous
point of view • The narrator speaks in the third person, and looks deep into the characters’ minds. The narrator is objective but has an omniscient understanding of future implications of characters’ actions as they happen.
tone • Realistic, pessimistic
tense • Past
setting (time) • The 1880s and 1890s
setting (place) • Wessex, the southwest of England
protagonist • Tess Durbeyfield
major conflict • Tess is seduced, impregnated, and abandoned by the son of her upper-class patroness, making her unacceptable to her true love Angel later in life.
rising action • Tess’s family’s discovery that they are ancient English aristocracy, giving them all fantasies of a higher station in life; Tess’s accidental killing of the family horse, which drives her to seek help from the d’Urbervilles, where she is seduced and dishonored.
climax • Tess’s new husband discovers her earlier seduction by Alec and decides to leave her, going off to Brazil and not answering her letters, and bringing Tess to despair.

falling action • Tess’s last-ditch decision to marry Alec, who claims to love her; Angel’s return from Brazil to discover Tess marriage to her former seducer, and his meeting with Tess; Tess’s murder of Alec and short-lived escape with Angel before being apprehended and executed
themes • The injustice of existence; changing ideas of social class in Victorian England; men dominating women
motifs • Birds; the Book of Genesis; variant names
symbols • Prince; the d’Urberville family vault; Brazil
foreshadowing • Tess’s killing of the pheasants foreshadows her own death by hanging; Alec’s assertion that he will “master” Tess again foreshadows his reemergence in her life

Study Questions
1. Discuss the character of Tess. To what extent is she a helpless victim? When is she strong and when is she weak?
Tess is a young woman who tends to find herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. She is a victim, but she is also, at times, irresponsible. She falls asleep while taking the beehives to market, which ends up killing the family horse, Prince. She decides to visit the d’Urbervilles in Trantridge, giving rise to all her future woes, partly out of the guilt and responsibility she feels toward her family. She wants to make good, but in trying to help her family she loses sight of her own safety and her own wants and wishes. She becomes Alec’s victim in the forest. She probably should have known not to put herself in such a situation, but she has few other options. Here, it seems as though she is destined to rely on others, even when they are unreliable.

But Tess is also a strong woman throughout the novel. She stands up for herself and refuses to crumble under pressure. She chastises herself for her weakness after her sexual escapade with Alec. If we agree with her claim that this indiscretion is a moment of weakness, we probably also feel that such weakness is not unlike that of most human beings. She is hard on herself for letting herself become a victim. At the burial of her child, Sorrow, she weeps but collects herself and moves on as a stronger woman. Overall, her determined attempts to escape her past primarily reflect her strength.

2. Discuss the role of landscape in the novel. How do descriptions of place match the development of the story? Does the passing of the seasons play any symbolic role?
The landscape always seems to inform us about the emotion and character of the event. Whjen the novel opens at the village dance, the sun is out and the day is beautiful. This celebration is where Tess and Angel meet, even if only briefly. The weather turns as Tess returns home, where the scene is less elegant. Throughout the novel, many of the bad events occur in a dark and deep forest, and Alec and Tess interact numerous times in such a forest.
The seasons bring changes to the story as well. At Talbothays Dairy, the summer is full of budding love between Tess and Angel. When they profess their love for each other, it begins to rain, but neither one cares: the weather cannot affect them. When they separate, Angel goes to Brazil and finds the farming extremely difficult, while Tess goes to work at the farm at Flintcomb-Ash, where the work in the rugged, depressing stubble fields is harsh and grueling.

3. Hardy rarely questions public morality openly in Tess of the d’Urbervilles. Nevertheless, the novel has been taken as a powerful critique of the social principles that were dominant in Tess’s time. How does Hardy achieve this effect? Why might we infer a level of social criticism beneath Tess’s story?
Our sense that Tess of the d’Urbervilles implicitly criticizes Hardy’s society owes much to Hardy’s use of a classical tragic plot ending in an undeserved punishment. Tess’s story contains many features of Greek tragedy, as Hardy’s reference at the end of the novel to Aeschylus’s Prometheus Bound reminds us. The classical tragic hero, according to Aristotle, is noble and dignified, and is punished on a far greater scale than his small sins warrant, with death.

Tess too is highborn and honorable, and her momentary submission to Alec brings her a far greater suffering than she deserves, as even Alec comes to realize. In addition, as is usual with the demise of tragic heroes, Tess’s execution feels more significant than a mere death—it feels like a great and noble sacrifice to some higher power’s will. But in her case, the higher power is not the gods, but Victorian social forces. It is the Victorian cult of aristocratic lineage that drives Tess to seek the patronage of Mrs. d’Urberville and meet her seducer Alec. It is the unfair class system that allows a rich nobleman to impregnate and abandon a lower-class girl without consequences. It is also the Victorian myth of the pure virginal bride that unfairly keeps Angel from accepting Tess as his wife, despite his own besmirched sexual history. These social injustices bring undeserved suffering to Tess, as the ancient gods brought undeserved suffering to the tragic hero. It is thus the tragic structure of Tess of the d’Urbervilles that causes us feel indignation at the unfairness of Victorian society, without the need for any outright denunciations by the author.

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), English poet and novelist, famous for his depictions of the imaginary county "Wessex" . Hardy's work reflected his stoical pessimism and sense of tragedy in human life.

Thomas Hardy was born on Egdon Heath, in Dorset, near Dorchester on June 2, 1840. His father was a master mason and building contractor. Hardy's mother, whose tastes included Latin poets and French romances, provided for his education. After schooling in Dorchester, Hardy was apprenticed to an architect. He worked in an office, which specialized in restoration of churches. In 1874 Hardy married Emma Lavinia Gifford.

At the age of 22 Hardy moved to London and started to write poems, which idealized the rural life. In 1867 Hardy left London for the family home in Dorset, and resumed work briefly with Hicks in Dorchester. His first novel, The Poor Man And The Lady, was written in 1867.Tess Of The D'urbervilles(1891) came into conflict with Victorian morality. Hardy's next novel, Jude The Obscure (1895) aroused even more debate. His gigantic panorama of the Napoleonic Wars, The Dynasts composed between 1903 and 1908, was mostly in blank verse. Hardy succeeded on the death of his friend George Meredith to the presidency of the Society of Authors in 1909. King George V conferred on him the Order of Merit and he received in 1912 the gold medal of the Royal Society of Literature.In 1914 Hardy married his secretary, Florence Emily Dugdale. Hardy's last book published in his lifetime was Human Shows (1925).

Hardy died in Dorchester, Dorset, on January 11, 1928. His ashes were cremated in Dorchester and buried with impressive ceremonies in the Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey. Hardy's Winter Words appeared posthumously in 1928.
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