Tess 2 Essay, Research Paper
Tess of the D Urbervilles
Throughout the novel, Tess of the D Urbervilles, Hardy focuses on the life of Tess Durbeyfield. Starting out as a young, innocent girl, Tess matures throughout the book to become a powerful woman who was capable of thinking for herself. Furthermore, she was also intelligent enough to realize her importance as an individual.
At the beginning of the novel, Tess was portrayed as a young girl with too much responsibility for her age. She was sent out into the world at a very young age, and was unable to see the danger in life around her. Tess was the one who had to fetch her parents from the inn because they stayed out too late. In addition to that, she was forced to do her father s work because he was too drunk to realize what the current situation was. Neither parent cared much about Tess: her mother was always thinking about getting Tess married, and her father was thinking of ways to restore their social order. Due to the negligence from her parents, Alec was able to take advantage of her physically and mentally. By giving Tess s father a horse, Alec was able to exert mental control over Tess in such a way that Tess was obliged to obey.
Yet, Tess was able to overcome her affair with Alec because she possessed a keen sense of justice and morality. She realized that she had sinned, but also came to the conclusion that she should not be punished eternally for one mistake. This realization also reflects upon Tess s maturation mentally. Moreover, because her affair with Alec also resulted in a child, she was forced to mature much more quickly than she would have liked. Tess also had the habit of blaming herself for everything that would not go as planned. The whispering that Tess endures during her visit to Church after her affair with Alec only serves to strengthen her feelings that she was constantly at fault.
Tess s maturation also continued during the period when Angel deserted Tess. Throughout this time, she refused to let anybody criticize Angel. Tess also hides the truth about their separation from either set of parents, for the fear that she will have to endure further criticism. Her simplicity of faith in him is such that, “even the most perfect man could have hardly deserved it.” Tess s love for Angel is permanent. From the first time she met him, she was impressed with the manners and good looks he possessed. Because her first time with a man had been so demoralizing for her, she takes Angel s behavior of her to be the greatest thing that she has ever experienced.
The turning point in Tess s maturation came after her brief affair with Alec. After this, she was forced to realize that the world was not as perfect as her parents let her believe it was. She was compelled to do harsh manual labor in order to get away from the responsibilities of her home life. This inevitably led to an increased enjoyment in the world around her and the company of people she chose to hang around with. Before her affair with Alec, she was unable to stand up to anybody, or to say anything that she meant that was bad.
Tess also continued to mature on the farm where she worked. She refused Angel for so long because of the promise she had made to herself to never get married. When she was finally able to overcome this, her marriage with Angel seemed like the next step. However, she was unable to comprehend the reaction that Angel would have at her confession to the affair with Alec. Even though Angel left Tess, she was able to overcome the loss and forgive Angel. This shows just how much Tess had really changed. Her forgiveness of Angel seemed to be one thing that she was able to do that let her forgive Angel. Moreover, Angel s reaction to her confession showed just how badly the double standard had affected them.
Tess also showed her maturation when she took a job at the dairy farms. At the time, no woman was expected to take a job to support herself. Yet, Tess was able to obtain work at the dairy farms, and earn a substantial living. Not only that, but the hard physical labor that Tess had to do under Farmer Groby seemed very demanding, but Tess always did it without complaining.
Everywhere in Tess of the D Urbervilles, Tess was forced to acclimate herself to new situations and ideas. This subsequently led to a maturation of Tess. Her beliefs changed in the way that she viewed Alec, religon, and both of her parents. This was an obvious sign of change. Her feelings also matured because she was able to overcome what she first thought of Alec: enough so that she was able to refuse up to his following proposals of marriage.