Love In Tess Of The D'urbervilles

1474 words - 6 pages

Is being in love always a happy experience? With references to
the main characters in Tess of the D’Urbervilles, show the range
of emotions love can bring.

Tess of the D’Urbervilles

Is being in love always a happy experience? With references to the
main characters in ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’, show the range of
emotions love can bring.

Thomas Hardy was born in June 1840 and was educated until he was 16
near Dorchester. By 1867 Hardy had begun to write his first
unpublished novel, ‘The Poor Man and the Lady’. By the time he had
married his wife in 1874 he had written four novels and was earning a
living as a writer. It total Thomas Hardy has written eleven novels,
one of which is ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ set in ‘Wessex’. The
novel was first introduced to the public in 1891 after three
publishers who all said it would be born into controversy had rejected
it. This was because it was unheard of for a young woman to be
unmarried with a young baby because of the social aspects of that
time. Despite this, many women readers considered Tess to be the
heroin of the novel.

In ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ it is clear that love is not always a
happy experience as shown by Tess, Angel and to some extent Alec
D’Urberville.

The first experience of love in ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ is when
Tess, a 16 year old working class girl, is sent to claim kinship from
the D’Urberville residents because Tess and her family believe they
can help them. This is when Tess meets Alec D’Urberville for the
first time. It is instantly clear there is a physical attraction when
Alec begins flirting with Tess. This continues when Tess is offered
work at the D’Urberville resident where she has to look after Mrs
D’Urberville’s finches. Despite the fact that Alec’s feelings are not
reciprocated he continues to try to get her attention by giving her
and particularly her family many gifts including a new horse that they
so desperately needed. This makes it very hard for Tess to ignore
Alec altogether as she believes she owes something to Alec. Alec
knows this and therefore takes advantage of the situation when he
seduces Tess when they are alone in some woods together. In another
version of the book, it clearly states that Alec first gives Tess a
drug that makes her unaware of what is happening. This would make the
event rape not seduction. In Hardy’s time this would have been a very
daring thing to write about as no other author had dared to write
about anything like it before. Now however, people would not be as
shocked as there are many more books written with much more graphic
description than this novel.

Alec’s feelings towards Tess not being reciprocated show that love is
not always a happy experience although he does not really love her; it
is just lust and obsession. Here the emotions of Tess are that she
feels ashamed and dirty. Alec is obsessive and very determined to be
with Tess.

After this event Tess...

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