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Tess of the d'Urbervilles is probably the best known of all of Hardy's novels. Hardy had a lot of trouble with
it, partly because of its sub-title A Pure Woman . Victorian ideas of purity were very different from Hardy's,
but despite much controversy, he refused to change it, even…

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Hardy is aware he is writing for city people, so he explains a lot of this but not everything.

Social Divisions:
Tess's life is dominated by economic factors, many of them determined by social class. Late Victorian
society was very class-structured. In the novel, there are clear distinctions between:…

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The narrator often limits himself to the perceptions of other characters, especially Alec
d'Urberville and Angel Clare. These male perspectives are only partial, in fact. Angel's is
idealised (as Ch 20), and the painterly descriptions of the landscape bring this out. Hardy uses
landscape and perspective to help create constructs…

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always in as helpful a way as appears at first (see Tess as a `pure woman' ;Tess as a victim). The
author's own agenda can sometimes get in the way of the narrative. This is a fault common to
many Victorian writers, who often wish to moralise and convey their…

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still narrative way.
Then come some questions:

· 'He loved her; ought he to marry her? Dared he to marry her? What would his mother....' The voice
has now clipped into Angel's own voice, being phrased in free indirect speech, so the narrative still
uses 'he' rather than 'I', but…

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· Descriptions of landscapes or people and events happen as fast as the ground can be covered on
· It is the journeys that determine the novel's pace, the distance between places and events, which
may be considerable when walking
· Alec and Angel speed things up by travelling…

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Drama and dialogue
Novelists understand that, as much as readers want to hear the narrator telling the story, they want to
hear their characters speak. When this happens freely, the novel approaches drama. Dialogue allows:
· Variety and tension
· Confrontation and argument
· Sympathy and the deepening of…

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ambiguous. At some points, he appears to be merely telling a story to a reasonably well-read audience. At
other times, he appears to be advocating a view of the world that lies in direct contradiction to cultural
Hardy treats his readers as equals; he expects them to make sense…

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Letters in the first half of Tess
The earlier section of Tess consists mainly of characters being present with each other. Opportunities for
letters are small, apart from arranging business affairs, such as Tess's appointments to 'The Slopes' or
Talbothays. Hardy does not bother to write these out.
More surprisingly,…

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· Elsewhere, Hardy's authorial comments engage with biblical theology, in an adversarial way (e.g. Ch
· Hardy uses the Bible to promote his own views, especially in connection with the suffering and
injustice in the world:
When Tess asks in Ch 19 about the sun shining on the just…




This is absolutely amazing thank you so much!! 



Thank you! These notes are brilliant!



So good thank you so much! Honestly a life saver as all other Tess resources i find are always very vague



This is Awesome! thankyou so much :)



This is insane!! Thank you so much







Roy the Boy


you have my life I love you forever! where do you live?



Megan, you deserve a medal for this 

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