An Inevitable Victim Review on Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Essay by zhuxj103 July 2004

download word file, 2 pages 0.0

Downloaded 35 times

Tess,known as one of the softest figure in English literature,has moved most readers to tears with her tragedy.I believe most readers will put their blame on the evil Alec D'Urberville,even on Angel Clare,for his desertion of Tess,however, I hold the view that Hardy wanted to suggest that Tess was an inevitable victim.

Throughout the book,Hardy's narrator constantly offers comments which suggest that Tess is a pure,innocent girl undone by circumstances.The subtitle,"A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented ",reinforces this thesis that Tess is basically good and that consequently,her unhappy fate is not her fault.By comparing her to "a fly on a billiard table",the narrator suggest her helplessness and insignificance.The omens,from the disastrous death of Prince(the only horse of Tess's family)to the eerie tale of the D'Urberville coach,also symbolize the inevitability of Tess's tragic destiny.Hardy expressed his pessimistic view of the world through the tragedy of Tess and revealed it in a series of accidents which also served as the omens of Tess's fate.

The D'Urbervilles' horse,Prince,is dead in the night;

The cock crows three times the afternoon of Tess and Angel's departure from Talbothays(the paradise of Tess);

A sleepwalking ,Angel carries his young wife Tess to the ruined abbey,laying her in an empty stone coffin;

A story is told about the D'Urberville coach which makes the sound of coach an ill omen connected with a long-ago murder;

And Tess murders Alec by stabbing a dagger into his heart.

Collectively ,these scenes suggest a strong streak of fatalism which leads to the inevitable tragedy of Tess.

As we have learnt the inevitability of Tess's tragic destiny.A question is raised naturally:What causes it?I'd like to give two reasons here


1,The powerlessness of Tess's economic and social...