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Tess Of D’Urbervilles Key Points Essay, Research Paper

Tess of the d?Urbervilles Oral: Structure, point of view and narrative

techniques in Tess of the d?Ubervilles. Ok well this isn?t really an essay

as such it?s a an oral that I had to give on Tess, but still it took ages and

I guess I could be kind of helpful. -veronica Narrative techniques – Chance and

coincidence, symbolises the forces working against Tess. Coincidence as a means

to an end – Irony- social laws brought into account with the natural law.

Ironies are also paralleled by separate ironies throughout he novel. Irony is

enforced by omens – Technical words, jargon to add authenticity (local farming

terms, musical, artistic or architectural) – Classical allusions. – Folk-law and

folk magic. – Seasonal background as an accompaniment to emotions – Uses the

microcosmic (Tess) to demonstrate the general – Tess shown in relation to the

work she does, Tess is a natural women compared to Mercy. – Relies on change of

place and the idea of pilgrimage – Insight into character – Sharply drawn visual

and sensory descriptions – Exploits contrast and comparison of place and

character – Letters Structure – Title, division into phases – Coherence and real

life timing in regard to the length of the phases – Realism is not impaired by

the controlled structure because of the coherent but however not entirely

coinciding events, such as her successive journeys home – Final chapter as

demonstration of Hardy?s complete control – No sub-plots – Hardy?s

fluctuating fatalistic and determinism. – Double meanings – Symbolism, Tess as

an animal Point of View – Written in third person – Omniscient narrator. -

Different stand points of narration, Narrative: distinguished from descriptions

of qualities, states or situations and also from dramatic enactment of events.

Narrative technique is the method of telling stories. Narrative technique is a

broad term to describe anything Thomas Hardy does to communicate his message and

ideas. Under this umbrella of narrative technique also fall such things as

structure, style, point of view, imagery and so on. To understand many of the

narrative techniques Hardy adopts we must have some understanding of his

background, the audience and the times he was writing in and why he would have

wanted to broach such controversial issues. Hardy was a poet, he intensely read

and studied poetry and literature from his early twenties. Prose fiction was his

temporary profession out of economic necessity. This serves to explain the

symbolic, metaphoric, poetic nature of his writing and also the many references

to Shakespeare, other literature and the bible. In order for Hardy to convey his

ideas he had to not only consider the needs of his current audience but also

pursing his greater literary and personal obligations. To do this he had to

include his insights indirectly and evasively, adopting symbolic meanings that

reached beyond the superficial social actions of the time. It is also important

to note how the novel was released and the ?censoring? that was in place to

control controversial or ?inappropriate? morals, values and issues. The

serialized format of realize also contributed in a large way, somewhat dictating

the story line and affecting the general lay out. This is evident when you

notice that there are several series of rising action, climax and denouement,

generally towards the end of phases. Examine the explanatory note to the first

edition – ?form a true sequence of thing?, talks of the Victorian

expectations of a true story. Possibly why Hardy paid such attention to the

surroundings and the use of local terminology. – ?Piece the trunks and the

limbs of the novel together? The effect of the serialization and censoring had

on the novel. It is not in its true form until can be read completely and

together. – Artistic form?in respect of the book?s opinions and

sentiments? Hardy struggling to be true to his greater literary and personal

values and morals. He had to entertain his current audience but his language was

used in such a way that the general story lines transcends the ages, and

elevates it beyond the story. The quote he reflects on is obviously appropriate

and intended to the orthodox Victorian expectations, ?If an offence come out

of the truth, better is that the offence come than that the truth be

concealed? St Jerome?s. Letters ? – They provide a different insight into

the characters: – Altered level of narrative – Different character voices come

through – Direct insight Page 440 we see a letter to Angel from Tess, this hasty

scrawl written in a brief moment of pure passion and confusion gives us greater

insight into Tess?s character. This is a far more graceful way of expressing

Tess?s character than when Hardy himself feels compelled to interject and

justify Tess?s actions at times. The letter states, ?You know I did not

intend to wrong you?It is all injustice I have received at your hands!?

Letters are also used to create irony and hence suspense, on page 416 Tess

writes to Angel, but he doesn?t find it. ?I think I must die if you do not

come soon?I became another woman, filled full of new life from you?. Creates

irony and suspense 277 dairymaids write to Angel 450 Tess in relation to the

work she does ? Angel only relates to her as the dairy ? maid, doesn?t

recognize her in her new surroundings. Social status ? he expects her to be a

servant. Natural setting. Dairymaid ? correlates with our impression of her as

a natural being and an animal. Tess eventually conforms to this- letter Chance

and coincidence ? whole theme of fate is largely communicated through this.

This narrative technique highlights the inevitability of her fate and her

tragedy. Such as the cock crowing thrice on the wedding night. Irony ? title

and subtitle. Narrative is ironic ? especially last chapter. The development

and interest of the plot relies heavily on the irony in Tess of the

D?Urbervilles . The title and sub-title are just the beginning of the irony in

the narrative. The fact that Hardy refers to Tess as being part of the

D?Urbervilles rather than Durbeyfield is ironic we find out because she is

actually more of a D?Urberville than Alec is. The sub-title ?A pure women?

is ironic because it leads us to question whether she actually is a ?pure?

woman in terms of convention. Unwittingly through Hardy?s irony we are

questioning aspects of the plot that through his clever use of technique and

language we are noticing and questioning the greater social questions that Hardy

so cunningly disguised. Uses the microcosmic to demonstrate the general Tess is

on numerous occasions directly representative of not only the women of the time,

but also of the pastoral community as a whole. Hardy does this by way of graphic

imagery and significant symbolism. For example where Tess and Izz are returning

to work at Flintcome-Ash Farm, Hardy cleverly portrays them all as being of the

same kind. ?Tess, with the other women workers, in their whitey-brown pinners??

By presenting them as a ?concourse? all attired alike they represent an

entire league of women, all the women of the era. In this passage a man, an

?indistinct figure: this one black?, represents the enemy, the devil, and

the evil of industrialization. His appearance described as a creature of

?Trofet? ? or hell is sent to ?discompose its aborigines? or Tess and

the other ?natives?. Hardy has generalized this small-scale

industrialization and mankind into all-consuming forces, typical of his ability

to take the specific and transform it into the general. Hardy represents this

man as Hardy?s attitudes and ideas. Exploits contrast of place and character-

place she lives with Alec compared with dairy and Stonehenge is contrasted with

all other places. Tess contrasted with everyone, Mercy Chant; the Clares are

contrasted with Tess? parents. Tess contrasted with other women (dairy maids)

most other characters are just expanded stereotypes (Alec ? villain etc)

Character and place are also paralleled with each other. Hodge ? page 173

Angel initially is foreign in his surrounding, the ?conventional farm-folk of

his imagination ? personified by the pitiable dummy known as Hodge? but

these misconceptions ?were obliterated after a few days residence?. In a

short time Angel began to ?like the outdoor life?. Hardy parallels Angel

with his surrounding saying that ?He grew away from the old associations, and

saw something new in life and humanity?. The Herons page 463 Hardy uses

metaphor to describe the surrounding ?a fairy place suddenly created by the

stroke of a wand, and allowed to get a little dusty?. This ?glittery

novelty? is ?exotic? and out of place like Tess is out of place. Glittery,

but dusty also describes Tess. Flintcome-Ash is contrasted to the dairy, the

landscapes are a reflection of Tess?s position society. Marlet is a sheltered

existence that is protected and symbolic of Tess?s protection compared to when

she moves into the more threatened and dangerous world. As this happens Tess

starts to decline. Find an example from both demonstrating the landscape.

Juxtaposition of places from chapter to chapter. Each time Tess returns to

Marlet she is increasingly alienated and Marlet is becoming more and more

industrialized. This is a good record of Tess?s demise, make a diary of her

returns to Marlet. N.B. The timing of her return is not entirely coherent with

the rest of the novel, what affect does this have? Symbolism One of the most

poignant episodes in the novel that demonstrates Hardy?s use of symbolism to

communicate complex ideas and issues is the rape of Tess. If you were not paying

attention to the symbols one would almost completely overlooked Tess?s rape as

simply another injection of thought by Hardy. However to examine the passage of

Tess?s rape several images are presented, Tess being raped by evil powers

?Darkness and silence ruled everywhere around.? The double meanings in such

descriptions of the rabbits and hares that ?stole?. The sharp visual image

of the white being invaded by the black, ?blank as snow as yet, there should

have been traced such a coarse pattern as it was doomed to receive?? This

tarnishment is represented by pure symbolism and Alex represents the aristocracy

of the time. Characters are not three-dimensional but rather they are symbolic.

Stereotypical and functional rather than believable. They are vehicles through

which Hardy accesses the higher order of social issues. The serve Hardy?s

purpose as vehicles of to convey greater concerns and periodical and universal

concerns. Structure The structure of Tess of the D?Urbervilles was at the time

largely affected by how the book was released. The serialization had the effect;

- – Of a slow establishment of the setting – Rising action – Climax (perhaps

when that edition ended ) – Slight resolution then rising action The novel is

event dominated, littered with episodes. The publication to a large degree

dictated the complicated, long and converlueted story line. The title of Tess

and the division into phases Each phase is structured internally, as though each

is its miniature story, with rising action climax and denouement. Each chapter

is started by an important incident or sometimes by several at once. Individual

phases are marked with specific title and hence following story line, individual

as well as holistic images. This is because each phase marks the beginning of a

different facet in Tess?s life and hence her view of herself and her destiny

alters. – Final chapter as evidence of Hardy?s complete control of the

structure In the final chapter Hardy does not allow any notion from the

characters it is as though Tess?s death has meant the value of others is too

lost. Tess?s sister ?Liza-Lu is merely a ?spiritualized image of Tess,?but

with the same beautiful eyes?. Throughout the novel Hardy interjects but the

ending that is so obviously under Hardy?s complete control, he doesn?t even

bother to try to disguise his thoughts as someone else?s is significant and

appropriate to the novel as a whole. It demonstrates that all long he was merely

using the characters as a means to communicate his ideals and issues, though

perhaps along the way he feel in love with the imaginary figure of Tess he

created. – There are no sub-plots Strangely there are no sub-plots that

interweave, contrast or parallel the story of Tess. This shows that only

Tess?s story is important. Hardy has explored not only Tess but also the whole

of womankind thoroughly, emotionally and intellectually. This is why only

significant sections of her life are examined in a somewhat epic form. Through

this singular plot Hardy explores and challenges two traditional themes that

faced women 1.) the stain that unchaste can lead to and never be erased and 2.)

the pious possibility of purifying redemption. Fate acts as a recurring motif

providing structure The artistic motif of fate that appears under a veil of many

forms, these are chance, coincidence, time, women and conventions. All make up

the evidence of the inborn inclination, or Immanent Will. Fate appears in the

form of nature, the environment is transmuted by the moods that effect peoples

lives. Coherence and real life timing in regard to the length of phases The

different phases focus audience attention and concentrates on the key elements

of Tess?s life. The in between is lightly sketched if at all giving the

individual phases their unique shape in regards to their impact on Tess?s

life. In each there are periods of greater and less tension, incident and

reflection. For example Point of View Point of view is the position or the

vantage -point from which the events of a story seem to be observed and

presented to us. These are such distinctions such as third and first person

narratives. – Third person narrative can be omniscient and unrestricted, above

the plot. Other kinds of third person are those confined to our knowledge of the

events these are known as ?limited third person?. – First person narrative

will usually be restricted to their personal and partial knowledge and

experience. Multiple point of views allow events to be shown from the position

of two or more characters or perspectives. Hardy adopts this multiple point of

view, at times providing only the basic insights into the story line, revealing

little. At other points of the novel he chooses to become the omniscient

narrator interjecting with philosophical or religious ideals. For example in The

Maiden we are introduced to Tess; she is noticeable but not exceptional because

of her quite, unobtrusive nature. Angel sees her with ??the fainst aspect of

reproach that he had not chosen her. He, too, was sorry then that, owing to her

backwardness, he had not observed her?? This innocence and girlish coyness

is stripped from her as ?An immeasurable social chasm was to divide ?from

that previous self of hers who stepped from her mother?s door to try her

fortune at Trantrigde-poultry farm.? When Tess set of she left with her

mother?s heart full of hope and pride, ?as at one who was about to great

things … honest beauty flanked by innocence, and backed by simple vanity.?

Thomas Hardy uses the narrative technique of initially adopting an ?limited

third person? where the narrator confines his knowledge to the events that are

taking place. This is evident when we do not know, or are not told so are hence

left to presume that the ?fine and handsome girl ? not handsomer than some

others?wore a red ribbon?the only one who could boast of such a pronounced

adornment?? is Tess. Neither are we told that the ?three young men of a

superior clad?? are Angel and his brothers. Hardy does this to create

suspense and allow the plot to develop at a steady pace. Possibly a technique

developed because of serialization. Different stand points of narration: – Hardy

sometimes appears to be merely retelling a familiar story of a recent village

affair. To do this he adopts a first person narrative through characters eyes

such as Mrs. Brookes and the caretaker. By doing this our perception changes,

some details are sketchy and we are seeing the events of Tess as how an outsider

would view them. They provide an unbiased description of what is happening. -

Through main characters eyes such as Tess or Angel we tend an inside view into

feelings and the treatment of especially women through Tess. Hardy tend to

intrude into Tess?s thoughts often , feeling the need to clarify or justify

Tess?s actions, the audience tends to get the impression that at times Hardy

is purposely distorting the scene to make a propaganda point. – As a simple

narrator, Hardy sometimes attains an attached stance, separate from thought and

action. This is mainly reserved for some rising action, the basic conveying of

plot. – Hardy?s intrusion when communicating philosophical or religious ideas.

Or wanting to clarify or justify Tess?s actions. Hardy intrudes into Tess?s

thoughts on page158, bluntly overtaking her thoughts and transforming them into

his own. ?And probably the half-unconscious rhapsody was a Fetichistic

utterance in a Monotheistic setting?? .The language and the thoughts are

completely dissimilar to what Tess would have thought, rather it is Hardy

wishing to convey his opinion about natural women, religion and justifying

Tess?s actions.


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