Tess Of The D’urbervilles Essay

1070 words - 4 pages

In most literary works, the author of the novel uses specific themes to portray characteristics and particular views on a significant aspect in the plot. In Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy explores and develops the theme of fate in the character of Tess Durbeyfield. Tess Durbeyfield represents this theme of fate by the various ways in which Hardy has suggested that fate has contributed to her tragedy. Although Tess's tragedy was caused by events in which Tess has no control over, it is possible that her suffering was the consequence of fate.

From the beginning of the novel, this theme of fate is presented. Jack Durbeyfield, Tess’s father, finds out that he is the last remaining member of the once illustrious D’Urberville clan. Jack’s pretentious attitude makes him go to the bar and spend the little bit of money that he owns. As a result of this, he cannot complete his job during the early morning. Tess being a respectable daughter agrees to go on this journey for her father because of his drunken inability. Since Tess was not accustomed to traveling in the early morning, with barely any light, she does not see a mail van coming at her in the opposite direction. The mail van and Tess’ wagon collide and Prince, the family horse, is wounded and, eventually, was killed. The theme of fate appears when Tess feels guilty and needs to find work in order to support her family, especially after their beloved, hard-working horse is killed. When Tess finds work at the D’Urbervilles ranch, she meets a man named Alec D’Urberville who becomes, inevitably, the long-term cause of her tragedy. At first, Tess feels uncomfortable around Alec and the sexual innuendoes he gives, but over time she gets used to them, which unfortunately ended in an ill-fated way. As a result of Alec, technically, raping Tess, and taking away her purity, she bared his child. It is known that during this time if a woman had bared a man’s child without marriage it was considered shameful and to find another man or potential husband would be almost impossible. Not only this, but the child, Sorrow, dies from sickness and fate has spoken again.
This theme of fate was all caused by an accident from the beginning of the novel, the father finding out from the parson that he had famous ancestry. From then on every circumstance that Tess has faced has added to the beginning accident which now seemed unavoidable with everything Tess did. Now that Tess’ child has died and she is no longer in Alec’s presence she needs to find work to support herself and whatever she can do to help her family. Tess finds work on a diary farm where she runs into a familiar face from the beginning of the novel. This is the same man, from the beginning, that did not notice Tess and did not ask her to dance; it was none other than Angel Clare. Angel and Tess develop a relationship that had made the other diary women very jealous. Although Tess was enamored...

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