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Lecture 3 Tess of the d’Urbervilles. Why didn’t you tell me there was danger in men-folk?. Lecture Focus. Chance and Coincidence Structure in relation to its Phases Setting and Season Symbolism 1 Pervasiveness of colour Red Symbolism 2 Symbolical significance of the Fog

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Lecture 3 Tess of the d’Urbervilles


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    1. Lecture 3 Tess of the d’Urbervilles Why didn’t you tell me there was danger in men-folk?

    2. Lecture Focus • Chance and Coincidence • Structure in relation to its Phases • Setting and Season • Symbolism 1 Pervasiveness of colour Red • Symbolism 2 Symbolical significance of the Fog • Critically significant instances of Irony in Chapter 5; and Chapter 7

    3. Chance and Coincidence • Chance and coincidence have become one of the primary motions of the universe • (At the same time, Hardy could not help seeing human life and Nature in more conventional ways) • Re- Choice, responsibility, and freedom

    4. Life at the Mercy of Chance • Hardy manipulates the events in the lives of his characters so that it will be plain • that human life is at the mercy of chance • and the most arbitrary of circumstances • He engages his characters in the most incredible conjunctions of unfortunate incidents

    5. Structure of the novel and Phases • Hardy uses the word ‘phase’ to describe the stages of Tess’s life • Connotations of the word, ‘Phase’? • Normally associated with the waxing and waning of the moon • Phases of the moon: from its first appearance as a slender crescent to fullness and then to its broken appearance as it comes to the end of its cycle

    6. Phases / Cycles of the Moon and stages of Womanhood • Traditionally, these phases of the moon connote / have been associated with the major stages of the life of a woman • (1)Maiden, (2) Wife, (3) Old Woman • The first two phases ‘The Maiden’ and ‘Maiden No More’ symbolically represent the first stage of Tess’s life, as maiden.

    7. The next three stages: • ‘The Rally’ ‘The Consequence’ and ‘ The Woman Pays’— • represent the second, that of a ‘wife’ The last two phases: • ‘The Convert’ and ‘Fulfillment’— • represent her decline

    8. Philosophical Asides • Along the way of the narrative in its structured phases [from 1 to 7] • We have, along side the narrative, Hardy’s [Philosophical Asides] or philosophical broodings, or brooding, bleak, ironic reflective, philosophical commentaries • Part of his reaction as observer of the action • Perception and reflection kept separate

    9. Setting and Season • Tess and her family live in the village of Marlott village in the Vale of Blackmore • Tess meets Angel Clare in Talbothays in the Valley of the Great Dairies • Flintcomb Ash is where she spends the winter, abandoned by Clare • Each setting supports the mood of the action which takes place there

    10. Literary Purpose of Landscape • These landscapes have a literary purpose • Each provides the frame and background for the phases / stages in Tess’s life • Which take her farther and farther away from the more safe and secure shelter of her home in Marlott • Hardy thus uses setting / landscape, and season in a symbolically suggestive way

    11. *From Chapter 16: The Vale of Little Dairies and Blackmoor Vale • The Vale of Blackmoor is portrayed as static, unchanging, ‘luxuriantly beautiful’. • *‘There the water-flower was the lily, the crowfoot here.’ • Referring to the clear, rapid waters of the river Froom • The symbol of the Valley of Blackmoor is the lily, symbolizing Tess’s purity, and innocence

    12. Chapter 5: Chance, and Joan’s blissful ignorance • ‘We must take the ups wi’ the downs, Tess,’ said she; • ‘and never could your high blood have been found out at a more called-for moment.’

    13. ‘I don’t like my children going and making themselves beholden to strange kin.’ [Ch 5] ‘I don’t quite like my children going away from home,’ said the haggler. ‘As the head of the family, the rest ought to come to me.’ ‘But do let her go, Jacky,…’ ‘He’s struck wi’ her—you can see that. He called her Coz! He’ll marry her, most likely, and make a lady of her, and then she’ll be what her forefathers was.’ [Chapter 6] Will Brangwen (father of Ursula and Gudrun) to Rupert Birkin in Chapter 19. Moony: ‘[But] I’d rather see my daughters dead to-morrow than that they should be at the beck and call of the first man that likes to come and whistle for them.’ They have got themselves to please, and if they can help it they’ll please nobody but themselves. Different Parents’ points of view in Hardy’s ‘TD’ & Lawrence’s ‘WL’

    14. The colour ‘Red’ and its Symbolical Suggestiveness • For an artist as visually sensitive as Hardy, Colour is of great critical significance. • One colour in particular strikingly catches our eyes throughout the entire novel • The colour, ‘RED’. • Colour of blood • Connotations? • Associated with beauty, passion, sex, violence, rage, destruction, and death

    15. In one set of circumstances, blood and the spilling of blood can mean sexual passion and the creation of life In another, blood and spilling of blood can mean murderous passion and death. • After the death of Prince, [Chapter 4] Tess is constantly encountering the colour ‘red.’ • When she approaches the d‘Urberville house, we read:

    16. The colour ‘Red’ and its Symbolical Suggestiveness [Chapter 5] • The crimson brick lodge came first in sight, up to its eaves in dense evergreens • It was of recent erection—indeed almost new—and of the same rich, red colour that formed such a contrast with the evergreens of the lodge.

    17. Mysteriously, inevitably, this house will play a part in Tess’s destiny • For this red house contains her future rapist, • And another red house later on contains her final executioner, where she is hanged • Red is symbolically suggestive; the ‘red’ marks the houses of sex and death

    18. Middle of Chapter 5 • He [Alec] had an almost swarthy complexion, with full lips, badly moulded, though red and smooth… • Despite the touches of barbarism in his contours • Tess’s sense of a certain ludicrousness in her errand was now so strong • And her general discomfort at being here, her red rosy lips curved towards a smile much to the attraction of the swarthy Alexander

    19. Chapter 5 • Tess wished to abridge her visit as much as possible; but the young man was pressing, and she consented to accompany him. He conducted her about the lawns, and flower-beds, and conservatories; and thence to the fruit-garden and green-houses, where he asked her if she liked strawberries. • ‘Yes,’ said Tess, ‘when they come.’

    20. From Chapter 5 • ‘They are already here.’ D’Urberville began gathering specimens of the fruit for her, handing them back to her as he stooped; and, presently, selecting a specially fine product of the ‘British Queen’ variety, he stood up and held it by the stem to her mouth. • ‘No—no!’ she said quickly, putting her fingers between her hands and her lips. ‘I would rather take it in my own hand.’ • ‘Nonsense!’ he insisted; and in a slight distress she parted her lips and took it in.

    21. Chapter 10 Saturday Night ‘Disco’ • A good laugh from behind Tess’s back, in the shade of the garden, united with the titter within the room. She looked round, and saw the redcoal of a cigar: Alec d’Urberville was standing there alone. He beckoned to her, and she reluctantly retreated towards him. • ‘Well, my Beauty, • what are you doing here?’

    22. Omniscient Narrator’s Voice and IRONY [Chapter 5] • Parson Tringham had spoken truly when he said that our shambling John Durbeyfield was the only really lineal representative of the old d’Urberville family existing in the country, or near it; • he might have added, what he knew very well, that the Stoke-d’Urbervilles were no more d’Urbervilles of the true tree than he was himself.

    23. Simon Stoke (merchant) and Stoke-d’Urbervilles [Chapter 5] • ‘Conning for an hour in the British Museum the pages and works devoted to extinct, half-extinct, obscured, and ruined families appertaining to the quarter of England in which he proposed to settle, he [Simon] considered that d‘Urberville looked and sounded as well as of them: and d’Urberville was annexed to his own name for himself and his heirs eternally.’

    24. Name, Fortune, and Nature Ch 5 • ‘Of this work of the imagination poor Tess and her parents were naturally in ignorance—much to their discomfiture; • indeed, the very possibility of such annexations was unknown to them; • who supposed that, though to be well-favoured might be the gift of fortune, a family name came by nature.’

    25. A little later in Chapter 5 we read: Alec: • ‘But, Tess, no nonsense about “d’Urberville”;—“Durbeyfield” only, you know—quite another name.’ Tess: • ‘I wish for no better, sir,’ said she with something of dignity.

    26. End of Chapter 7: Further Irony • Joan Durbeyfield always managed to find consolation somewhere: • ‘Well, as one of the genuine stock, she ought to make her way with ’en, even if she plays her trump card aright. And if he don’t marry her afore he will after. For that he’s all afire wi’ love for her any eye can see.’ • ‘What’s her trump card? Her d’Urberville blood, you mean?’ • ‘No stupid; her face—as ’twas mine’

    27. Additional Symbolism The Fog Chapter 11 • She was silent, and the horse ambled along for a considerable distance, till a faint luminous fog, which had hung in the hollows all the evening, became general and enveloped them. It seemed to hold the moonlight in suspension, rendering it more pervasive than in clear air.

    28. ‘You cannot walk home darling, even if the air were clear. We are miles away from Trantridge, if I must tell you, and in this growing fog you might wander for hours among these trees.’ • ‘As to your getting to Trantridge without assistance, it is quite impossible; for, to tell the truth, dear, owing to this fog, which so disguises everything, I don’t quite know where we are myself.’

    29. He [Alec] touched her with his fingers, which sank into her as into down. ‘You have only that puffy muslin dress on—how’s that?’ • …by this time the moon had quite gone down, and partly on account of the fog The Chase was wrapped in thick darkness, although morning was not far off.

    30. Narrator’s Philosophical Aside and Tone [End of Phase the First] • Darkness and silence ruled everywhere around. Above them rose the primeval yews and oaks of The Chase, … • But, might some say, where was Tess’s guardian angel? Where was the providence of her simple faith? Perhaps, like that other god of whom the ironical Tishbite spoke, he was talking, or he was pursuing, or he was in a journey, or he was sleeping and not to be awaked. [Echoes a text from Kings in the Bible]

    31. Explanation of Biblical Allusion • The narrator is referring to the Hebrew prophet Elijah, who chides Ahab’s people for worshipping a false god (Baal) and mocks them when their god fails to produce fire upon their request: • “Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.” (1 Kings 18:27)

    32. Follow up Tutorial on TD • Assignment matters • Use of Symbolism • Reading Dialogue and Subtext

    33. Assignment Questions based on the death of Prince episode Ch 4 • Discuss the effects of the writing in this passage, showing how far and in what ways the novel’s characteristic methods and concerns are evident here. OR • Discuss the effects of the writing in this passage, considering the critical significance of the episode described here in your reading of the novel as a whole.

    34. Analysis of Question • Discuss the [intended] effects of the writing (diction, syntax, imagery, symbolism, narrative method, use of dialogue etc) in this passage • Showing how far [to what extent] • And [also] in what ways [techniques used] • The novel’s characteristic methods • And [characteristic] concerns • Are evident here [in this passage]

    35. Essay: Introductory paragraph • Must state thesis • For a literature essay • The central framework of ideas

    36. Topic sentence (central idea) • Selected quotation / illustration • Analysis of quotation(s) • Conclusion of paragraph • NB: Conclude with a statement showing the relevance (how it is linked) to the controlling idea(s) of your essay

    37. Abraham looking up at the stars • He leant back against the hives, and with upturned face made observations on the stars, whose cold pulses were beating amid the black hollows above, in serene dissociation from these two wisps of human life. He asked how far away those twinklers were, and whether God was on the other side of them.

    38. Interpretative Analysis + Stylistic Analysis Diction • The renewed subject, which seemed to have impregnated the whole family, filled Tess with impatience. • The mute procession <past her shoulders> of trees and hedges became attached to fantastic scenes <outside reality,> and the occasional heave of the wind became the sigh of some immense sad soul, conterminous with the universe in space, and with history in time.

    39. Then, examining the mesh of events in her own life, she seemed to see: 1) the vanity in her father’s pride, 2) the gentlemanly suitor awaiting herself in her mother’s fancy; to see him as a grimacing personage, laughing at her poverty, and her shrouded knightly ancestry. Everything grew more and more extravagant, and she no longer knew how time passed.

    40. Reading Dialogue in the novel • Reading and ‘hearing’ voices in Dialogue? (‘spoken’ language) • Like eavesdropping on a conversation taking place among strangers • Is the conversation engaging? • When we humans speak, we are not merely communicating information, • but attempting to make an impression, and achieve a goal.

    41. Dialogue and Subtext • And sometimes we are hoping to prevent the listener from noticing what we are not saying, • Which is often not merely distracting but, • We fear, as ‘audible’ (‘hearable’) as what we really are saying. • As a result, dialogue usually contains as much or even more subtext than it does text. More is going on under the surface…

    42. Dialogue; Hardy’s tender sensitivity to the human voice • ‘Did you say the stars were worlds, Tess?’ • ‘Yes.’ • ‘All like ours?’ • ‘I don’t know; but I THINK so. They sometimes SEEM to be like the apples on our stubbard-tree. Most of them splendid and sound—a few blighted.’ • ‘Which do we live on—a splendid one or a blighted one?’

    43. More Dialogue • ‘You was on the wrong side,’ he said. ‘I am bound to go on with the mail-bags, so that the best thing for you to do is to bide here with your load. I’ll send somebody to help you as soon as I can. It is getting daylight, and you have nothing to fear.’ • ‘’Tis because we be on a blighted star, and not a sound one, isn’t it, Tess?’ murmured Abraham through his tears.

    44. Mesh: a fine network of small holes and threads • I find Hardy’s imagery to be very suitably and effectively chosen. For example in the sentence, “Then examining the mesh of events in her own life…” The word “mesh” is very apt in this instance because it makes the reader see more graphically and vividly and indeed appreciate the extent to which Tess is entangled, caught up by the criss-crossing of various, ‘all-coming-to-the-fore’ events that are affecting her life, and the way these are presented to her consciousness in those moments of reflection.

    45. ‘Fog’ as symbol • ‘Fog’ standardly is suggestive of some sort of confusion • Authors tend to use ‘fog’ to symbolically suggest • That a person / people cannot see clearly • That matters under consideration are somehow murky

    46. Suggestive of sexual impropriety • Haze suggestive of the passions of pagan nature • The darkness that contributed to the loss of the family horse • Symbolically suggestive of the darkness that shrouds Alec’s conquest of Tess

    47. On the night of the rape episode at the dance, everything is in a “mist” like “illuminated smoke” • There is a “floating, fusty debris of peat and hay” stirred up as “the panting shapes spun onwards.” • Everything together seems to form “a sort of vegeto-human pollen.”

    48. The implication being that it becomes part of a basic natural process • in which Tess is caught up simply by being alive, fecund, and female. • D’Urberville is that figure, that force, at the heart of the haze, the mist, the smoke, • waiting to claim her when the dance catches her up.

    49. What happens to Tess is a continuation of this blurred narcotic, foggy atmosphere • Hardy has the rape take place in a dense fog, while Tess is in a deep sleep. • Her consciousness and perception are alike engulfed, blinded, and obliterated in this veil of confusion.