Tess Of The D'urbervilles Pastoral Theory and Quotes

  • Created by: Ana
  • Created on: 21-04-13 19:40

Tess Of The D'urbervilles Pastoral Theory and Quotes

Tess of the D'urbervilles could be considered both pastoral and anti-pastoral.

Pastoral: Traditional and Modern Pastoral Theory:

Different Types of Pastoral:

Pastoral as an 'retreat and return' - usually the difference between the country and the city is within the setting of the novel, a journey between the both can provide some enlightenment and a chance for one to get in tune with their environment. 'The Golden Age in the country provides a medium for a critique of the present in the court'. The countryside is usually glorified and idealic and the reader recognises arcadia in pastoral text as the 'language is idealised'.

Pastoral as an 'escapist' and therefore portraying its context - People usually escape to the countryside to escape their problems in the city, 'thus the pastoral construct always reveals the preoccupations and tensions of its time'

Pastoral is used to portray 'an awe in the natural world' and portray that man does not know or own anything and through pastoral language it provides the reader with 'a deep sense of immanence in all natuaral things'.

Pastoral as a critique on humanity - Pastoral in texts can be used to portray the need for humanity to become humble and have humility again to 'regain our place as part of the natural world'. We are so corrupt by technology and industry that we are so seperate from nature, and no matter what humans are most content when in their natural surroundings. 'It's our consciousness which gives us our conscience our ability to take responsiblity for our behaviour towards other species', so it is how humans relate to their natural surroundings, which many pastoral critique and see humanity as ruining our natural surrounding through urbanization. 

Pastoral texts could explore the modern idea of ecofeminism an idea that connects the exploitation and domination of women with that of the environment, and argues that there is a connection between women and nature that comes from their shared history of oppression by a patriarchal Western society.

Pastoral is used to portray the idea of 'a creative-destructive universe' and the continuation of rebirth and grow, decay and death.

Anti-pastoral texts focus on the hardships and reality of usually idealised pastoral life.

Pastoral Setting of Tess and how it fits with pastoral theory:

The setting of Tess is mainly rural based, Tess is born and raised in the countryside and Hardy's details descriptions of the Dorset setting is pretty similar to where he grew up. Hardy loved nature and focused on the decline of rural society in his novels, in Tess he usually portrayed the countryside as an awe of the natural world. Noramlly nature is described in a beautiful way (almost idealic/garden of eden)

  • 'the fields never brown and the springs never dry' (Page 9)
  • 'Broad rich mass of grass and trees,mantling minor hills and dales' (Page 10)
  • 'Rays from the sunrise drew forth the buds and stretched them into long stalks' (Page 187)
  • Realism of the countryside though is


Emily Moss


My whole A2 Lit class are using this resource :) thank you so much