Tess Of The D Essay Research Paper

Tess Of The D Essay, Research Paper

Thomas Hardy, who believed that we are all in the inescapable hands of fate,

thrives on hap throughout Tess of the d?Urbervilles. Through this

characteristic, Hardy is able to develop the heroine of the novel, Tess

Durbeyfield. Hap plays a role in fate, coincidence, bad luck, and accidents

throughout the novel.

Hardy begins the novel with early distinctions of fate. When Angel Clare, who

is briefly introduced in the beginning of the novel, sets his eyes on Tess

Durbeyfield, he feels a connection with her immediately:

? As he fell out of the dance, his eyes lighted on Tess Durbeyfield, whose

own large orbs wore, to tell the truth, the faintest aspect of reproach that he

had not chosen her. He, too, was sorry then that, owing to her backwardness, he

had not observed her; and with that in his mind he left the pasture.?(12)

Hardy?s description of the visual encounter between Tess and Angel

foreshadows that the pair will indeed meet again in their predestined pathway of

life. Hardy also focuses on the attraction presented between Tess and Angel. The

attraction proves to foreshadow the importance of the early relations that they

have shared:

?This white shape stood apart by the hedge alone. From her position he knew

it to be the pretty maiden with whom he had not danced? She was so modest, so

expressive, she had looked so soft in her thin white gown that he felt he had

acted stupidly.? (12)

Angel?s actions of ignoring Tess are portrayed as part of who he is. He

wished that he had inquired the unknown about Tess when he had the chance at the

dance. However, he does not venture to find out any information about this

peasant girl. Angel?s action parallel the future event when Tess wants to

confess her sins to Angel. He chose to ignore her until they are married and

settled, leading them more towards their fated marital downfall.

? I am so anxious to talk to you- I want to confess all my faults and


?No, no- we can?t have faults talked of- you must be deemed perfect

to-day at least, my Sweet!? (208)

Angel realized that Tess was hurt by this oversight at the dance. This

parallels when Angel would not forgive her for her sins of her past, proving

that fate had the upper hand in their relationship.

?Trifling as the matter was, he yet instinctively felt that she was hurt by

his oversight. He wished that he had asked her; he wished that he had inquired

her name. However, it could not be helped, and turning, and bending himself to a

rapid walk, he dismissed the subject from his mind.?(12)

Upon first seeing Tess at the church dance, Angel ignores his feelings for

her in the same manner as he did after Tess confesses her past with Alec d?Urberville.

Tess decided not to visit the Clares? because she overhead Felix and

Cuthbert Clare?s vicious thoughts regarding her. Tess ventured on to find work

at Flintcomb-Ash. While leaving she heard a preacher, and visited the barn where

he was presenting his sermon. She recognized the preacher to be Alec d?Urberville.

?The three o?clock sun shone full upon him, and the strange enervating

conviction that her seducer confronted her, which had been gaining ground in

Tess ever since she had heard his words distinctly, was at last established as a

fact indeed.?(298)

Utilizing coincidence, Hardy had Tess and Alec meet again. Although their

brief encounter was only a mere coincidence, this reunion played a large role in

the future of Tess?s temperance and tenacity. Tess advanced on to Flintcomb-Ash.

She found work and with the consent of the Master?s wife she began her labor

immediately. Tess met the master of Flintcomb-Ash. She immediately realized that

he was coincidentally the same man whom Angel hit at the Inn and the man she

fled from in the forest. Her new master, Farmer Groby, was the same man who

insulted her through harassing her about her past.

?Presently they heard the muffled tread of a horse, and the farmer rode up

to the barn-door. When he had dismounted he came close to Tess, and remained

looking musingly at the side of her face. She had not turned at first, but his

fixed attitude led her to look round, when she perceived that her employer was

the native of Trantridge from whom she had taken flight on the high-road because

of his allusion to her history?(285-6).

Hardy?s description of the dairy?s dreary atmosphere coincidentally

depicts the harsh treatment Tess received from Farmer Groby, who enjoyed making

her life more difficult.

Tess returned home to help take care of her mother


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