Born on June2,1840,in Dorset, England
‘Far from Madding Crowd’ published in 1874was author’s first critical and financial
Hardy considered himself first and foremost a poet
Hardy lived in a time of difficult social change, he can hardly named Victorian
writer, to say the truth, he was trapped between 19th and 20th century literature,
between Victorian sensibilities and modern ones, between TRADITION AND
He was an acclaimed poet in his time and buried in the poet’s corner in the west
He died in 1928
After Tess was published In 1891,he achieved financial
stability and it raised substantial amount of controversies.
In this novel, he demonstrates his deep sense of
moral sympathy to England’s lower classes,
particularly for Rural Women.
He became famous for his compassionate often
controversial portrayal of young women victimized by the
self righteous rigidity of English social morality.
Tess and Jude the obscure – engendered widespread public
scandal with their comparatively frank look at the sexual
hypocrisy of English society.
Hardy novel strongly suggests that such a family history is
not only meaningless but also utterly undesirable.
The poor peddler JOHN DURBEYFIELD on learning that he was the ancestor
of an ancient noble family d'Urbervilles decides to send his daughter Tess to
d'Urberville mansion, where they hope Mrs. D'Urberville will make Tess's
fortune, In reality She was no relation of Tess at all.
She got a job at the mansion to attend the fowls
Alec D'Urberville, son of Mrs. D'Urberville tries to seduce her but Tess
resisted all of it.
Finally, Alec takes advantage of her in the wood one night after a fair. She
returns home immediately, giving up the job and gave birth to a son, whom
he christens ‘Sorrow'. Sorrow dies soon after he is born.
After one year, Tess joins Talbothy’s diary where she befriends three of her
fellow milkmaids-IZZY,RETTY & MARIAN- and meets a man named ANGEL
Tess and Angel slowly fall in love, and eventually accepts his proposal for
marriage, Still she is troubled by her past and writes him a confessional
note and slips it under his door but it slips under the carpet and Angel never
After their wedding Tess and Angel both confess about their past
affairs. Tess forgives angel but Angel cannot forgive Tess. He
gives her some money and boards a ship to Brazil and Tells Tess
that he will try to forgive her and come back.
Tess struggles, she tries to visit Angel’s family but leaves hearing
discussions about her poor marriage.
Tess meets Alec-A converted Alec now a preacher. But soon after
their meeting Alec begs her to marry him.
Tess learns from her sister Liza-Lu that her mother is near
death.Tess returns home,her mother recovers but her her father
She and her family was evicted from home.Alec offers
help,but she refuses it,knowing that he only wants to obligate
her to him again.
Angel comes back but finds her with Alec.She accepted his
offer.Angel begs her to come back,but she says that it is too
late.Angel leaves heartbroken to the point of madness
Tess stabs alec to death,and ran to find Angel
Angel agrees to help Tess,they hide for a few days.At last Tess
got caught and Executed
Angel and Liza-Lu watches the black flag raised over prison
indicating Tess’s Execution
TESS DURBEYFIELD – The novel’s protagonist. Tess is a beautiful, loyal young
woman living with her poor family in the village of Marlott. Tess has a keen sense
of responsibility and is committed to doing the best for her family. Although her
inexperience and lack of wise parenting leave her extremely vulnerable.
ANGEL CLARE – Young man who falls in love with Tess at Talbothy’s diary.
ALEC D’URBERVILLE – The handsome, amoral son of a wealthy merchant named
Simon stokes who assumed the name d'Urberville after his retirement.
JOHN DUBREYFIELD- Tess’s father
JOAN DUBREYFIELD – Tess’s mother
Mrs.D’URBERVILLE – Alec’s mother
MARIAN,IZZ HUETT AND RETTY PRIDDLE-Tess’s friends and feloow milkmaids at
REVEREND CLARE – Angel’s father
Mrs. CLARE –Angel’s mother
FELIX CLARE – Angel’s brother
CUTHBERT – Angel’s brother
ELIZA LOUISA DBREYFIELD ( LIZA-LU)– Tess’s younger sister
SORROW-Tess’s son with Alec d’Urberville.
Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a
The injustice of Existence
UNFAIRNESS dominates the life of Tess-Tess does not
mean to kill Prince but she was punished anyway just as
she was indirectly punished for her own rape by Alec.
The moral atmosphere of the novel is NOT CHRISTIAN
JUSTICE but PAGAN JUSTICE.- The pre-Christian rituals
practiced by the farm workers at the opening of the
novel, and Tess’s final rest at Stonehenge at the end
remind us of a world WHERE GODS ARE NOT JUST AND
FAIR,BUT WHIMSICAL AND UNCARING.
“JUSTICE was done and the President of the Immortals
had ended his SPORT with Tess” – we are reminded that
this sentence is irony where JUSTICE is in fact one of the
pagan gods enjoying a bit of SPORT or a frivolous game
IN VICORIAN CONTEXT CASH MATTERS MORE THAN LINEAGE UNLIKE THE
PAST WHERE LINEAGE MATTERED MORE – Alec-Tess-Angel triangle are all
strongly marked by confusion regarding their respective social classes.
Men dominating women- Alec exploits tess for momentary pleasure;Even
angel’s love for Tess is in an unhealthy way.Angel substitutes an
idealized picture of Tesscountry purity for the real life woman that he
continually refuses to get to know.