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Thomas Hardy's "Tess Of The D'urbervilles", And Margaret Laurence's "The Stone Angel".

1805 words - 7 pages

A Tragic LifeTragedy in our lives is caused not only by our direct and indirect relationships to people and events, but also by our feelings of disgust, longing, and depression over a long period of time, "Tragedy may also be created by an opposing environment either of things inherent in the universe, or of human institutions" (1895 Thomas Hardy). Whether the people or events consist of only small annoyances, they can escalate into large 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 loved one's, who consequently ruin their lives and isolate them from society.The earliest tragic effect Alec has on Tess is his overpowering need for ruining her. Alec openly admits to helping Tess and her family by stating that, "Tess, your father has a new cob today...and the children have some toys" (63), but at the same time he tries to ruin her. He cannot help taking advantage of Tess and he destroys any affection she might have for him. This unfortunate flaw finally ruins her and casts her out of the social order.Alec also tragedies Tess's life by his constant pursuit of her for a conquest. A previous conquest to Alec, openly admits that, " Ah, th'st think the' beest everybody, because the' beest first favorite with He [Alec] just now!" (58) This shows that Tess is just one of Alec's many successes and that he has no real feeling for her, other than lust. This realization produces despair in her mind and corrupts her views on love.Alec's last catastrophic act on Tess is him raping her. Alec uses and tricks Tess for her body and "upon this beautiful feminine tissue, sensitive as gossamer, and practically blank as snow yet, there should have been traced such a coarse pattern as it was doomed to receive." (65) This deed destroys Tess and her world as she knew it to be. The act throws her from society and isolates her from her friends and family.Like Alec, it is noticeable from the beginning that Bram sets out to ruin Hagar with his comments and public displays. Hagar first notices her depression and separation from her family on their weeding day, "Never a bell rang out when I was wed. Not even my brother set foot in the church that day." (49) This shows the rising conflict between Hagar and her family. Her marriage to Bram is one of the first incidents that ultimately isolate and depress her.Bram furthermore complicates and destroys Hagar's life with his alcohol addiction. Bram rarely puts a small amount of consideration towards Hagar's name and place in society in believing that he is, "Free to seek out his old cronies in the beer parlour, and if he came home...

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