Religion in Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Quotes and ideas on the theme of religion in Tess. 

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  • Religion in Tess
    • A04 CONTEXT
      • Hardy became AGNOSTIC- his greatest dispute was between the dogma and beliefs of the church
        • Religion perpetuates Tess's downfall as the church does not show forgiveness and marginalises her
          • She cannot bury Sorrow or baptise him. She buries him with the "drunkards"
            • "She thought of the child consigned to the nethermost corner of hell, as its double doom for lack of baptism and lack of legitimacy"
            • Sorrow is buried in the "Shabby corner of God's allotment where He lets the nettles grow"
            • "Where all unbaptized infants, notorious drunkards, suicides and others of the conjecturally damned are laid"
          • "Thy, damnation, slumberth, not"
    • Pagan and Christian rituals
      • Tess could be considered as a sacrifice for the good of society (her journey to  Stonehenge)
      • May Day Dance link to Pagan celebrations
      • A03 - Hardy could be suggesting that religion abandons the people with dogmas that do not mesh with a modern society
    • Religion is presented as shallow
      • Alec converts to Christianity - some may see this as fleeting and shallow and that he does so in order to look better. He has not actually changed
    • Church is  not forgiving
      • Tess feels like she is not welcome
        • "She knew what their whispers were about, grew sick at heart, and felt that she could come to church no more"
    • "Perhaps I don't quite know the Lord as yet"
      • Tess is unsure/ confused by the role of religion
        • Hardy became AGNOSTIC- his greatest dispute was between the dogma and beliefs of the church
          • Religion perpetuates Tess's downfall as the church does not show forgiveness and marginalises her
            • She cannot bury Sorrow or baptise him. She buries him with the "drunkards"
              • "She thought of the child consigned to the nethermost corner of hell, as its double doom for lack of baptism and lack of legitimacy"
              • Sorrow is buried in the "Shabby corner of God's allotment where He lets the nettles grow"
              • "Where all unbaptized infants, notorious drunkards, suicides and others of the conjecturally damned are laid"
            • "Thy, damnation, slumberth, not"
    • Hardy  presents 2 different perspectives on religion in the novel
      • has the knowledge of a believer
      • has the sceptiscism of an outsider

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