Tess of the D'urbervilles in depth anaylsis
Covering everything from form,language, structure to pastoral theory and main themes throughout the novel.
PHASE THE FIRST- THE MAIDEN
Structurally there are seven phases in the novel, this could be a reference to the seven phases of life (Baby, Toddler, Child, Pre-teen, Teenager, Adult, Senior Citizen) taken from the play As you like it Jaques' 'all the world's a stage speech'. Through this it portrays the seven stages of Tess' life, but what Hardy feels are the most important and relavent in the text. 'Phase' also makes it sound more tragic - like the phases of the moon, Tess's downfall/death is inevitable. Obviously 'The maiden' is refering to a virgin, innocent and pure like Tess is in this part of the book.
- Set 'in the latter part of May' - gives the novel hope as its the best month of the year in the countryside. (Pg3)
- Hardy pays a lot of attention to detail throughout the novel - which gives it a more realisitc ambience of the pastoral countryside setting, the first example of this is right at the start as Hardy describes Jack D'urberfield with 'a patch being quite worn away at its brim where his thumb came in taking it off'.
- Jack discovers his family history that they were once 'knights of the oak table' 'serving william the conqueror'- This discovery models the whole novel into shape, if this did not happen then Tess's life could have gone in so many different ways. Hardy tries to perhaps portray the message that 'history determines your future, but you don't have much control over it'. If Jack never found out about this then Tess might have never met Alec D'urberville and be a victim to his bad city morals and sexual predation.
- This discovery is described as 'a useless piece of information' and that the 'D'urbervilles are extinct' - portrays how unimportant it is but how Jack (with his pride -tragedy downfall?) makes too much of a big deal about it and therefore causes everything bad in the novel.
- 'There's not a man in the country o' South-Wessex that's got grander and nobler skillentons in his family than I'- portrays Jack as this 'fantasist', and it's perhaps this pride (in a bigger picture human pride) that causes the downfall (whole fate and Tess)
- End of this chapter finishs with 'pastoral idyllic' as Jack is waiting to go home everything fades out that the…