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

The Pure Voice In Hardy's Tess Of The D'urbervilles

3023 words - 12 pages

The Pure Voice in Tess of the D'Urbervilles

     Thomas Hardy often alludes to his heroine as the "soft and silent Tess."  "Soft" certainly insinuates her beauty, which Harrtainly insinuates her beauty, which Hardy stresses as her downfall.  However, it seems that Tess's silence is the all-pervading reason for her tragedies.  "The two men she encounters in her life steal her voice: one with violence, the other with his own language"(Jacobus 47).  Tess struggles with the damage that these men cause until redeeming herself through innocence.


     Hardy, in his portrayal of Tess as "The Maiden," begins with the May Day Dance, where Tess has yet to develop her beauty but wears a red ribbon in her hair, the only girl to do so in the train of "white-frocked maids."  The ribbon signifies what she has that the other girls do not: an inner beauty which will win her-much against her will-the affections of men.  At the sight of her father singing on his way home, the other girls begin to giggle; Tess reprimands them harshly, saying, "Look here; I won't walk another inch with you if you say any jokes about him!"  Herokes about him!"  Her verbal aggressiveness causes the onlookers to follow her wishes.  This is one of the examples of how the maiden Tess was not silent. It also follows that when the fellows that danced with her "became fierce, she rebuked them."  She had no problem saying her mind and sticking to it in this phase.


     Tess's conversation with her brother, Abraham, takes place during their midnight ride to deliver hives for her father.  They talk on and on about the stars and the belief that Tess holds that our star is "a blighted one."  Soon Abraham brings up the future planned for Tess, that she will be "made rich by marrying a gentleman."  To this Tess begs Abraham: "Don't talk of that any more!"  After this exclamation, they don't have the banter to keep them awake, and they fall asleep, killing the horse.  This is the first occasion where silence brings about a tragedy.  The guilt ta tragedy.  The guilt that Tess heaps upon herself here is only the first drop in the bucket that she carries around with her for the rest of her life, constantly adding to its weight.  At this point, she regards "herself in the light of a murderess."  This heavily foreshadows the murder to come later in her life.


     This guilt convinces Tess that she must now travel to the D'Urbervilles' home and claim kin with them.  Upon meeting Alec, she is shy and ashamed of her purpose.  He tries to feed her a strawberry by holding it up to her mouth.  She blocks him, exclaiming, "No-no!  I would rather take it in my own hand."  But he persists and she relents.  Many advances by Alec are blocked in this way, by both her verbal and physical cues-"I am angry with you sometimes!"  she says, after she tires of his advances.  He wears her down or manipulates her using her family's financial state afamily's financial state as a tool. ...

Find Another Essay On The Pure Voice in Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles

Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles - Talbothay and Tess's Struggle

875 words - 4 pages happy community might look like - what her life might have been were it not for the albatross of shame. Talbothay is a shiny foil for the social brutality present in every other phase of Tess's short life. Works Cited and Consulted Beer, Gillian. "Finding a Scale for the Human." Tess of the d'Urbervilles. Ed. Scott Elledge. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1991. Hardy, Thomas. Tess of the d'Urbervilles. Ed. Scott Elledge. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1991.

The role of chance in Thomas Hardy's "Tess of the d'Urbervilles"

572 words - 2 pages often than not result from chance occurrences. By discussing the affect chance has on initiating, complicating, and resolving issues in the plot of Thomas Hardy's "Tess of the d'Urbervilles," one can come to better understand the plot.Hardy's Tess has more dreadful things befall her by pure happenstance than most other literary figures of her time. One may say that the parson's revelation of the Durbeyfield's true lineage reveals the instance

Discuss the role of tragedy in Thomas Hardy's 'Tess of the D'Urbervilles'

2203 words - 9 pages that Liza-Lu (very much the image of the young 'inviolate' Tess) walks away hand in hand with Angel after her sisters' execution comes as no surprise. She is simply stepping into her place ready to repeat the ancient history of the d'Urbervilles.I conclude that Tess of the D'Urbervilles is a tragedy laden text. Hardy's exploration of the human condition makes wondering, loss, the inevitability of suffering and of death the dominant themes of the

Analyse Hardy's use of symbolism and his presentation of rustic characters in Tess of the D'urbervilles

1929 words - 8 pages and who thus is not considered pure and chaste women by the rest of the society. Upon its publication, Tess encountered brutally hostile reviews; although it is now considered a major work of fiction, the poor reception of Tess and Jude the Obscure precipitated Thomas Hardy's transition from writing fiction to poetry.Tess of the D'urbervilles deals with several significant contemporary subjects for Hardy, including struggles of religious belief

Thomas Hardy's "Tess of the d'Urbervilles", and Margaret Laurence's "The Stone Angel"

1805 words - 7 pages problems that can create, not only depression but death in one's life. Throughout both Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles, and Margaret Laurence's The Stone Angel, comparisons are made between the varied incidents that send both Tess and Hagar's life into isolation and the similar causes for both of the women's tragic life.The fist incident that is introduced is how both Tess's and Hagar's deaths are similarly caused by the deceitfulness of their

Compare between the opening chapters of the following novels: Hardy's "Tess of the D'Urbervilles", and Bronte's "Wuthering Heights"?

1297 words - 5 pages her husband on their wedding night, because of her past experience. She is driven to murder, then death by hanging because of a series of events and circumstances so bitterly ironic that many readers consider it the darkest of Hardy's novels. In order to show the stages of development of the heroine of his novel, Tess, Hardy divides it to several parts called books which are subdivided into smaller parts. The introductory chapter is entitled "The

"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

"Tess of the d'Urbervilles"

628 words - 3 pages In Hardy's Victorian age novel, "Tess of the d'Urbervilles", he illustrates casual wrong, the will to recover, the growth of love, and death.Throughout tess's life indifferent nature has occurred. Her parents were not the greatest of parents. She had a tough life, she was poor. When she met Alec d'Urberville, she was considerate and kind, but later on Alec took advantage of her and seduced her in a forest called the Chase "He knelt and bent

Tess of the D'Urbervilles

653 words - 3 pages is described like she is hiding and there is also the story of the deer, this is foreshadowing to when she becomes a wanted criminal and is hunted by the authorities,'It is no use, sir, he said. There are sixteen of us on the plain, and the whole country is reared.' The rustic characters in Tess of the D'Urbervilles are links to Hardy's life. They are described as hardworking, understanding people who will help each other out, have fun but will

Tess of the D'Urbervilles

1308 words - 6 pages pure, and the cultural system of a social hierarchy. In Tess of the D'urbervilles, there is a double standard for women, for Tess. Women are expected to be pure because without their pureness, they are soiled and unsuitable for marriage. Therefore, when Tess was taken advantage of by Alec D’urberville, she was blamed, punished, despised. She had to bear the burden of humility and despair. Tess was criticized for being a single mother, she wasn’t

Tess of the D'Urbervilles

1164 words - 5 pages Tess of the D'Urbervilles Tess of the d’Urbervilles is subtitled ‘A pure woman’ and this is how Thomas Hardy sees and portrays her throughout his novel. As the novel progresses the reader is introduced to many aspects of Tess as she grows from being a child on the verge of adulthood to a mature and experienced woman. In some parts of the book Hardy describes Tess as very passive but in other parts of the novel she is shown as a powerful and

Similar Essays

Hardy's "Tess Of The D'urbervilles" Essay

632 words - 3 pages Tess of the d'UrbervillesThrough life people may fault, or get on the wrong side of thetracks. Yet hopefully they keep faith and then willingly they mayrecoup and redeem themselves by recovering. Many believe that,Tess in, Tess of the d'Urbervilles was a great example ofthis. In Hardy's Victorian age novel, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, heillustrates casual wrong, the will to recover, the growth of love, anddeath.Almost everybody has done something

The Tragedy Of Tess In Hardy's Tess Of The D'urbervilles

2037 words - 8 pages the clashing of Tess's humanity with the universal harshness of reality: her will to enjoy life, her desire for love, her noble character and her fatal flaws, against what, in the words of the fatalistic country-folk, "was to be," and "there lay the pity of it" (73).   Works Cited Hadas, Moses, ed.. Greek Drama. New York: Bantam Books, 1982. Hardy, Thomas. Tess of the d'Urbervilles: A Pure Woman. New York: Penguin Signet Classic, 1964. Lewis, C. S. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. New York: Harper Collins, 1994.

Essay On Contrasting Settings In Hardy's Tess Of The D'urbervilles

573 words - 2 pages Contrasting Settings in Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles    The setting or settings in a novel are often an important element in the work.  Many novels use contrasting places such as cities or towns, to represent opposing forces or ideas that are central to the meaning of the work.  In Thomas Hardy's novel, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, the contrasting settings of Talbothays Dairy and Flintcomb-Ash represent the

The Downfall Of Tess In Thomas Hardy's Tess Of The D'urbervilles

717 words - 3 pages The Downfall of Tess in Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles Tess of the D'Urbervilles is considered to be a tragedy due to the catastrophic downfall of the protaganist Tess. From the early days in her life, her father John had begun to destroy her, which then led to Alex D'Urbervill and eventually finished with Angel Clare. Each dominant male figure in her life cocntributed to her tragic downfall which the reader encounters at the