Mrs Dalloway and Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Themes and quotes

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  • Created on: 10-05-17 17:44
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  • Mrs Dalloway and Tess of the D'Urbervilles
    • Theme: Love
      • Innocent vs unnatural love
        • Angel and Tess = innocent and natural
          • shown by natural imagery around them at Talbothays
            • "Tall blooming weeds" & "weed flowers glowed" p.122&123
              • Even the beauty in weeds is natural, however it connotes the way their relationship turns ugly later on...
            • Overpowering emotion shown by use of synaesthesia
              • "the waves of colour mixed with the waves of sound" p.123
        • Tess and Alec is not natural or good, built on manipulation and lust.
          • Alec's house is "spurious" p.40
            • Not genuine, authentic, or true; not from the claimed, pretended, or proper source; counterfeit.
          • Reminders of artificial nature around them; the strawberries in the green house.
            • "in slight distress she parted her lips and took it in" p.42
              • shows how he's forceful and foreshadows the **** scene.
        • Clarisss and Richard = forced
          • They struggle to express their love for each other
            • "He never gave Clarissa presents" p.125
            • "Walking across London to say Clarissa in so many words that he loved her. Which one never does say" p.126
          • Their relationship is almost formal - they don't even share a bed
            • "Narrower and narrower would her bed be" p.34
            • Shows the traditional British upper class attitude.
    • Theme: Loss
      • The effect of grief on the characters.
        • Septimus and Evans
          • They had a very close relationship during the war, there is a hint at homosexuality
          • The death still haunts him - hallucinations
            • "Evans sang, among the orchids" p. 76
            • Has a deep psychological effect on him
              • Freud: were starting to have new approaches to understanding mental illnesses - NOT like those of Bradshaw and Holmes.
                • Woolf herself experienced mental illness and committed suicide; she knew about useless doctors.
        • The effect of Septimus' death on Clarissa
          • "She felt somehow like him" p. 204
          • Clarissa feels as if she understand why Septimus did it, they have a connection
            • Orignal draft of the book had Clarissa die
        • The death of Tess's father
          • She is primarily upset because it means her family has no where to live and that she has to help them.
            • "her father's life had a value apart from his personal achievements" p.351
        • The death of Sorrow
          • Even though Sorrow was unwanted, she is still affected by his death, insisting on a burial
            • "Distressed beyond measure" p. 93
    • Theme: Isolation
      • Isolation within marriage
        • Rezia
          • "to love makes one solitary" p. 25
          • By marrying Septimus, she had to leave her country and her family; doesn't feel like she has anyone in England.
          • "she was very lonely, she was very unhappy" p. 99
          • Wants a child, but Septimus refuses.
        • Clarissa
          • She is a bit bored and unhappy, they aren't a very affectionate couple
            • "she felt like a nun" p. 31
            • Sometime thinks she regrets her decision to marry Richard - Peter would have been more exciting.
          • Dislikes the fact that she has lost her identity
            • "Not even Clarissa any more; this being Mrs Richard Dalloway" p. 11
        • Tess
          • "as in a funeral procession" p. 233
            • Her marriage is a death sentence - it leads to her hanging.
          • The marriage literally isolates her as she is left alone and can't reach out to any friends or family because of the shame that she feels
      • Rural isolation
        • Hardy shows how isolated people in rural communities when Tess has to walk miles to go to places. The milk train connects it to the city but shows the readers (in the cities) how big a difference there is between the city and country.
    • Theme: Faith
      • Clarissa is an atheist
        • However, she has almost religious moments - 'moments of being'
          • Moments of being
          • "one must pay back from this secret deposit of exquisite moments" p. 32
        • "not for a moments did she believe in God" p. 31
      • Tess does not believe in God because of the terrible things which have happened to her
        • After Sorrow's she insists she'll never go to the church again. Her 'baptism' of Sorrow and instance on a burial for him shows her rejection of the church.
        • She criticises creation
          • says they live on a "blighted" star p. 31
        • Hardy questions the divine order
          • "no meaning, even anger or Godly vengeance can be reclaimed to explain Tess' fate"
      • Hardy makes the point that religion is shallow
        • Alec converts, as we learn initially from the Reverend Clare, he works as a travelling minister.
          • But, he ends up renouncing it when he sees Tess again
        • Biblical quotes painted around the countryside to scare the uneducated rural folk into believing and not sinning
    • Themes: Families
      • Mother - Daughter relationships
        • Clarissa fears she has a lack of influence over Elizabeth because of Mrs Kilman.
          • Jealous of the relationship between Elizabeth and Mrs Kilman
            • "This woman had taken her daughter from her!" p. 137
          • Speaks possessively of Elizabeth to remind herself she's her daughter
            • "My Elizabeth" p. 52
        • Tess has no agency - she just does as her mother says
          • "do what you like with me, mother" p. 49
        • Theme: Love
          • Innocent vs unnatural love
            • Angel and Tess = innocent and natural
              • shown by natural imagery around them at Talbothays
                • "Tall blooming weeds" & "weed flowers glowed" p.122&123
                  • Even the beauty in weeds is natural, however it connotes the way their relationship turns ugly later on...
                • Overpowering emotion shown by use of synaesthesia
                  • "the waves of colour mixed with the waves of sound" p.123
            • Tess and Alec is not natural or good, built on manipulation and lust.
              • Alec's house is "spurious" p.40
                • Not genuine, authentic, or true; not from the claimed, pretended, or proper source; counterfeit.
              • Reminders of artificial nature around them; the strawberries in the green house.
                • "in slight distress she parted her lips and took it in" p.42
                  • shows how he's forceful and foreshadows the **** scene.
            • Clarisss and Richard = forced
              • They struggle to express their love for each other
                • "He never gave Clarissa presents" p.125
                • "Walking across London to say Clarissa in so many words that he loved her. Which one never does say" p.126
              • Their relationship is almost formal - they don't even share a bed
                • "Narrower and narrower would her bed be" p.34
                • Shows the traditional British upper class attitude.
      • Influence of family
        • Clarissa is aware of how it feels like she has been entrusted with life by her parents
          • "the terror ... one's parents giving it into one's hands, this life" p.202 & "and what had she made of it" p. 46
        • Tess is annoyed at her mother for having so many children
          • "all these young souls were passengers in the Durbeyfield ship" p. 24
            • The idea that children are completely dependent on their parents
      • Family names
        • Clarissa known by her married name, criticism of patriarchal standards
          • "unseen; unknown;... not even Clarissa anymore; this being Mrs Richard Dalloway" p. 11
        • Tess' fate is determined by her ancestral name
          • "pedigree, ancestral skeletons, monumental record, the D'Urberville lineaments, did not help Tess in her life's battle" p. 17
    • Theme: Social and technological change
      • Mechanisation of agriculture
        • The reaping machine; the engineer was dissociated from the rural world and the workers.
          • "Hardly perceiving the scenes around him, and caring for them not at all" p. 325
          • The local workers aren't used to the modern machinery, find it doesn't make the job easier
        • Hardy's dislike of industrialisation
      • More social freedom
        • Peter is slightly shocked by some of the changes he notices - having been away, he is able to see the changes more than others.
          • "people looked different" p.78
          • "that you couldn't have done ten years ago" p. 78
          • People are no longer so constrained; show public affection
            • "carrying on quite openly .... just having a good time" p. 78/79
      • The crossing of social boundaries
        • Elizabeth contemplates a professional career
        • Tess leaving her village to see what she can do with her life
          • "the moment for the girl's setting out" p. 50
        • Alec's family change their name to reflect their new found wealth and an attempt at status
  • Quotes from Tess of the D'Urbervilles
  • Quotes from Mrs Dalloway
  • Contextual information

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