Tess of the d'Urbervilles is a notable literary work by Thomas Hardy. A complete discussion of this literary work is given, which will help you enhance your literary skills and prepare for the exam. Read the main text, key info, Summary, Themes, Characters, Literary Devices, Quotations, Notes, to various questions of Tess of the d'Urbervilles.
Do you consider Tess as a pure woman? Comment on the factors responsible for the tragedy of Tess.
In “Tess of the D’Urbervilles” (1891) by Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), Tess is often debated as a symbol of purity. Still, her journey is marred by factors that lead to her tragic fate. In this essay, we will examine these factors, from social norms and family pressure to fate, that ultimately shape Tess’s tragic life. Let us discuss whether Tess is a pure woman or not.
Poverty and Helplessness: Thomas Hardy thinks Tess is a good and honest woman; there is an adequate reason for this. Tess never likes Alec’s flirting. She is always modest and wants to keep her freedom. When Alec gives her strawberries or tries to get close, Tess feels uncomfortable. She even says no to sitting next to him during a ride and avoids his kiss. Tess relies on Alec’s mother, and Alec’s mother depends on her. This keeps Alec’s mother from seeing his wrong side. This makes Tess vulnerable, and eventually, she becomes Alec’s secret lover.
Alec’s Expertise: Alec D’Urberville is a man who specializes in the art of seduction. Although he cannot persuade Tess to surrender, his tactics confuse her and weaken the security of her defense. It also seems that she needed to be more well aware of the physical activity to which it was all pioneering. She was not ready to fight the guilty emotion, the existence of which she did not know. She later blames her mother;
“Why didn’t you, warn me?”
Again, toward the end of the novel, Alec tries to persuade Tess to reunify, but she denies it. Alec says tactfully and emotionally,
“I waited and waited for you,” she went on, her tones suddenly resuming their old fluty pathos. “But you did not come!
Utilization of Opportunity: Alec takes advantage of Tess when she is exhausted and vulnerable. She has a long and exhausting day, which includes a fight with Alec. She has to wake up at 5 AM, work hard all day, and then walk a long distance to wait for her neighbors without eating or drinking. She falls asleep in a dark forest when she finally gets home late at night. Alec sees this as a chance to seduce her, and she is too physically and mentally drained to resist. She fully understands what is happening when it is too late. In this situation, Alec used Tess’s vulnerability to his advantage, which is incorrect.
The Strangeness of Society’s Unnatural Code: Tess’s mother, Mrs. Durbeyfield, reacts in the “natural” way to Tess’ sadness;
“This nature after all, and what do please God!”
In the novel, Tess is portrayed as a natural and innocent person. She goes through physical changes as she becomes a woman, which is a natural part of life. The author, Thomas Hardy, emphasizes that nature is neutral, not good or bad. So, Tess’s actions, like her physical relationship, are seen as innocent because they are part of the natural course of events. Hardy also criticizes society for its artificial and unnatural rules. Tess feels guilty, but Hardy argues that society’s strict codes have misled her into feeling that way. So, Tess is innocent because she did not do anything wrong according to nature, but society’s expectations make her feel guilty.
The Murder of Alec: Tess’s purity is a more complicated issue regarding the murder of Alec D’Urberville. She kills him voluntarily and intentionally. Alec has been instrumental in bringing about the destruction of Tess. His actions have caused her untold suffering and destroyed her happiness. Tess begins to believe that Angel Clare will never return, her only faithful husband. Only through Alec’s death can she finally take revenge by killing him. That is why she starts to quarrel with Alec and stabs him until death.
In termination, we firmly believe that, morally and spiritually, Tess is stainless and pure. Purity should not be taken in the narrow sense of the body; the soul is essential. Tess has a strong conscience that she always listens to. Her inner voice tells her about the dangers of moving to a new family in The Chase. Her final surrender to Alec is beyond his control. She was not her real soul; her family’s misery destroyed all her willpower and strength.