This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

"Tess Of The D'urbervilles" By Thomas Hardy: An Essay On The Characters Representing Social Class And Social Change

2232 words - 9 pages

The author Thomas Hardy lived and wrote in a time of difficult social change, when England was making its slow and painful transition from an old-fashioned, agricultural nation to a modern, industrial one. Businessmen and entrepreneurs, or "new money," joined the ranks of the social elite, as some families of the ancient aristocracy, or "old money," faded into obscurity. Hardy's novel Tess of the d'Urbervilles clearly illustrates his views on the harsh social changes in his time period, which were the exact opposite of many of his conservative and status-conscious readers. In the novel, Hardy mocks the power of high class society and industrialization, as well as to the importance of lineage and heritage in conjunction with social status. The novel also expresses Hardy's sympathetic views towards people of lower social class and the effects social change and industrialization was inflicting on them. Through the three main characters of the story, Tess Durbeyfeild, Angel Clare, and Alec Stokes-d'Urberville, Hardy expresses the confusion regarding social classes in his time period. Alec is the character who is an ideal representation of the new industrial-based society forming in England, while Tess embodies the pure, old and agricultural side of society undergoing change, and Angel symbolizes the futile and confusing struggle for change between the two forms of society. The Angel-Tess-Alec triangle strongly conveys the confusion Victorians were undergoing in social classes in order to accommodate the changing English social system.Angel Clare is perhaps one of the most direct depictions in Hardy's novel that clearly shows the severity of social confusion that was present during his time period. Throughout the entire novel, Angel's morals and beliefs, and the basic composition of his character, are a string of social-related hypocrisies and are evidence that a majority of Victorian society was stuck in-between the old 19th century views and the newly ways of the emerging 20th century. Angel Clare is seemingly a character in the novel that rebels against traditions, deciding to go against his reverend father's wishes of him attending Cambridge and following the same path of his brothers and instead being a lowly dairy farmer and attempting to live an agricultural based life versus the one which is expected of him. Angel was a man whose "aspect was probably as un-Sabbatarian a one as a dogmatic parson's son often presented; his attire being his dairy clothes, long wading boots..." and "in fact, rightly or wrongly (to adopt the safe phrase of evasive controversialists), preferred sermons in stone to sermons in churches and chapels on fine summer days" (Phase The Third, XXIII, pg 156). Through this passage, and the rebellion to become what his father wants, Angel is seemingly a character who is rebellious of societal conventions in general, let alone the unnatural modernizing world around him.Angel is more in tune with natural things versus the things...

Find Another Essay On "Tess of the d'Urbervilles" by Thomas Hardy: An essay on the characters representing social class and social change

"Pygmalion" by George Bernard Shaw and "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" by Thomas Hardy

1355 words - 5 pages Some story lines overwhelm their heroes or heroines with good luck. Sometimes characters experience misfortune at the beginning of their story but later emerge with their situations resolved. Other times, however, the entire story line works almost completely against the hero or heroine's will until the end. Both Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy and Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw feature a female character who experiences several

Moral and choices in "Tess of the D'Urbervilles" by Thomas Hardy

1445 words - 6 pages Thomas Hardy's Tess Of The D'Urbervilles is a novel in which his protagonist and other characters are confronted by an almost endless array of moral and socially acceptable choices. Thomas Hardy makes the reader to take a critical look at the character's situation, the character's thought process and the impact of the character's decision making in the society in which they live.Thomas Hardy presents his reader with three major characters. They

Tess of the D'Urbervilles- written by Thomas Hardy Tess's downfall and the men in her life

779 words - 3 pages horse, he sends her to the D'Urbervilles mansion to seek their name and fortune. Following this, when Tess delivers her baby upon returning from Tantridge, the reader once again sees John's true sides of how horrible he is and how he destroys his daughter, by not letting the parson come and baptize her child, Sorrow, yet he is on the verge of dying. Her son's name reflects just how miserable she is and how much pain she is going through, because

Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

1757 words - 7 pages A Patriarchal society is the social construction of male authority over women in an attempt to direct their behaviour. In Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy presents a story of pain and suffering caused primarily by men who bring about th demise of Tess Durbeyfield, an 'innocent country girl'. Similarly, in Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, Patrick Süskind portrays Grenouille, a child of the market who is nurtured and dies in hate through

A Book Review on Tess of d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. Brief analysis on the characterisation, imagery, use of language, themes etc

1503 words - 6 pages Tess of D'Urbervilles is written by Thomas Hardy and is first published in 1891. The story is set back in Victorian England when sexual and social hypocrisy could be found in the society. The book was very controversial at that time because of the critiques towards the strict Victorian moral code. The novel centers around a young woman, Tess, who struggles to find her place in society. She is sent to a noble household, d'Urbervilles to claim kin

Depiction of Class in Tess of the d’Urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy

2559 words - 10 pages novels are very typical in depiction of the people, life styles, moral constructs and personal dilemmas of his contemporary society, especially regarding cross-class conflicts. This essay aims to discuss Hardy’s thematic depiction of class within the novel Tess of the d’Urbervilles Hardy’s views on the subject of the peasant classes and the portrayal of class conflicts within an early Victorian society which are examined throughout the text

"Fire Can Burn" on Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles. An essay arguing that Tess is _not_ a victim of cosmic irony

2325 words - 9 pages agree on this; today, with the rise of pure reasoning and logics, it is becoming increasingly difficult to believe in a single cosmic finality towards which everything converges. In this regard, Thomas Hardy can be seen as a contemporary, if not a precursor, 19th century British writer. In his acclaimed novel Tess of the d'Urbervilles, he skilfully manages to address many themes: a promotion for the end of social classes, the realistic depiction of

Analysis of Tess of the DUrbervilles by Thomas Hardy

2571 words - 10 pages November 27, 1912 and it shocked him. He remarried to his secretary Florence Dugdale on February 6, 1914. World War 1 occurred when Thomas Hardy was in his seventies. He took active part in the campaign by visiting military hospitals and POW camps. He worked on his autobiography the last seven years of his life. In 1927, he fell ill, and on January 11, 1928, he died. I selected this novel of choice because I’d heard a lot of good things about it

Tess of the d'Urbervilles- Thomas Hardy. Compare Angel to Alec discussing how each is used as a vehicle by Hardy to examine different aspects of society

1370 words - 5 pages struggle when the police catch up with them.In conclusion, Alec and Angel are the same class but different aspects of that class. Alec tries to get Tess through seduction and fake charm. When he finally does get her, he doesn't treat her how he should, and it doesn't turn out alright. On the other hand, Angel didn't put on any fake airs and graces, he acted like himself, and even when he left Tess, he came around to the fact that Tess was still the person he fell in love with. Even though it ended in tragedy, Angel was still enlightened by the relationship he had with Tess and she taught him how to forget tradition and images.

Tess of the d' Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

895 words - 4 pages nowhere left to go, she must return to the person with who her problems began; Alec d'Urberville. It seems that in the last part of this novel, fate comes down upon all three main characters. Undoubtedly, Alec suffers the hand of fate by meeting his death from the woman whose life he destroyed. Tess, of course, is fated to die for the murder of Alec d'Urberville and Angel is crushed by the knowledge that if he could have forgiven Tess when she told

"Tess of the d'Urbervilles"' tragedy is constructed by Thomas Hardy through a series of coincidences. Do you agree? In your discussion, consider the context of the novel

1214 words - 5 pages . Hence, it can be reasoned that, from Tess's viewpoint, much of her fate with Alec was predetermined by the power of his money.Perhaps the single most significant factor of influence on Tess's fate is that of patriarchy. Although Tess is strong-willed and socially compliant with others around her, the many troubles in her life which lead to the eventual tragedy of the book are the work of others, especially men, to whom she loses the power to

Similar Essays

"Tess Of The D'urbervilles" By Thomas Hardy

1241 words - 5 pages Tess is intentional unlike Angels harm, which was accidental.Angel Clares intentions toward Tess where good unlike Alec d'Urberville's intentions toward her. As a result, Tess was less affected by Angel action's than Alec's actions toward her. Angel's love toward Tess is true unlike Alec's love toward her. This is because Alec tried to change himself and his beliefs for Tess to succoumb to him unlike Angel, which did not change himself or his belief throughout the novel. Therefore, overall, Angel Clare's actions and attitude toward Tess had less severe effects on her because his intentions were good unlike Alec d'Urbervilles.

Analysis Of Tess Of The D'urbervilles By Thomas Hardy

3403 words - 14 pages Analysis of Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy The depth of artistic unity found in Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles pervades every chapter of the novel. No one chapter is less important than another because each is essential in order to tell the tragic tale of Tess Durbeyfield. There is never an instance in Hardy's prose that suggests frill or excess. Themes of the Industrial Revolution in England, the status of women

Injustice In Tess Of The D'urbervilles By Thomas Hardy

1881 words - 8 pages "Life is not fair" is one of the most commonly used idioms in the world today. As recurrent as it is now, it has also been a quite common theme for contemplation throughout history. This unfairness is always blamed on someone or something, but often this blame is misplaced, which is unfair in itself. In Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy depicts the injustice of life and the effects of mislaid blame through his use of imagery and diction

Tess Of The D'urbervilles By Hardy

1120 words - 4 pages moments of love are set by Hardy in an ancient place that transcends the preoccupations and petty divisions of her time. Tess has stood with innocence and pride against all the injustice that was sent to her. This strength makes her endure as a symbol of the triumph of innocence over social restrictions, and a deeper meaning seems to imbue the beginning of Hardy’s last paragraph: “ ‘Justice’ was done, and the President of the Immortals….had ended his sport with Tess”.(p.397) Bibliography Thomas Hardy, Tess of the Durbervilles, Penguin Classics, 1998