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Biblical Allusions In Tess Of The D’ubervilles

1186 words - 5 pages

Are Adam and Eve the most famous and exemplary couple that ever lived? Whether or not one believes the religious theories of Adam and Eve, this question remains a mystery. In truth, they may be considerably famous, but they are, above all, significantly controversial. No two religions bear the same interpretation of the story of evolution, but some do believe that Adam and Eve were the creators of all humankind. Although this issue is completely debatable, legend has it that Adam and Eve resided in the Garden of Eden and this allusion is constantly referred to throughout various types of literary works. Thomas Hardy, author of Tess of the D'Ubervilles, is one of the many writers that utilizes numerous scenes, descriptions, and images to illustrate specific characters as Adam and Eve, the place in which they dwell as the Garden of Eden, and the antagonist as the serpent. Within his novel, Hardy presents many situations that allow the reader to understand this familiar biblical allusion. He successfully paints a clear picture of this religious reference by using aspects such as, setting description, dialogue, and the statements made by the narrator. Throughout Tess of the D'Ubervilles, Thomas Hardy uses imagery to exemplify the Talbothays Dairy as the Garden of Eden, Tess and Angel as Adam and Eve, and Alec as the evil serpent.The explicit description of the setting surrounding Tolbothays Dairy is the first account of Eden imagery. Hardy expounds upon the countryside by emphasizing its beautiful and fertile land. As Tess reaches her destination, to take on her new job as a milkmaid, she feels the land is "more cheering" (119) and "the new air was clear, bracing, ethereal" (119). Tess's mood and attitude change considerably upon her arrival because of the uplifting scenery she notices. After a past full of sin, doubt, and isolation, this new environment allows Tess to start her life over. When Eve is in the Garden of Eden, she feels carefree and enjoys every moment of life. Water also plays an important role in the surroundings of the dairy. The streams that divide into rivers in Eden play a very important role there and, similarly, in Talbothays, "The river itself"¦ nourished the grass and cows" (119). As if the water itself is the only thing allowing there to be life, the river does play an important role in both the novel and in Eden. Tess is utterly amazed by her new environment and takes a keen interest to the fact that it lies near the former estates of the d'Urbervilles. The innumerable number of cows produce great quantities of milk and butter while soft breezes, pleasant winds, and sunshine are usually present. "She heard a pleasant voice in every breeze, and in every bird's note seemed to lurk a joy" (119). Hardy's personification of the wind and bird's noises allows the reader to feel as Tess does. Pure, fresh, and lighthearted are some of Tess's emotions that convey a sense of perfection to the scene. This pastoral, serene, and...

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