WEEKLY WONDER: Tess of the D’Urbervilles – A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented (#37)

Hey everyone!

Welcome to Weekly Wonder where we recommend your read of the week.

This week’s Wonder is:

tess-of-the-durbervilles-by-thomas-hardy1

TESS OF THE D’URBERVILLES – A PURE WOMAN FAITHFULLY PRESENTED BY THOMAS HARDY

SO, WHAT’S UP WITH THE STORY?

When Tess accidently causes the death of her family’s only horse, her guilt causes her to “claim kin” with the D’Urbervilles in order to support her family.  Little does she know that Alec D’Urberville does not want her as his poultry keeper but as his slave. When unable to be her “master,” he rapes her which has far-reaching consequences for Tess. Journey with Tess as she struggles to find happiness and independance in a society which is adamant that she must not.


A GLIMPSE BETWEEN THE PAGES

“A strong woman who recklessly throws away her strength, she is worse than a weak woman who has never had any strength to throw away.”

“Beauty lay not in the thing, but in what the thing symbolized.”

“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?”
“A blighted one.”

“Why didn’t you tell me there was danger? Why didn’t you warn me? Ladies know what to guard against, because they read novels that tell them of these tricks; but I never had the chance of discovering in that way; and you did not help me!”

“The beauty or ugliness of a character lay not only in its achievements, but in its aims and impulses; its true history lay, not among things done, but among things willed.”

“So each had a private little sun for her soul to bask in; some dream, some affection, some hobby, or at least some remote and distant hope….”

“You, and those like you, take your fill of pleasure on earth by making the life of such as me bitter and black with sorrow; and then it is a fine thing, when you have had enough of that, to think of securing your pleasure in heaven by becoming converted!”

“Let truth be told – women do as a rule live through such humiliations, and regain their spirits, and again look about them with an interested eye. While there’s life there’s hope is a connviction not so entirely unknown to the “betrayed” as some amiable theorists would have us believe.”

“Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”


WHAT I LOVE ABOUT IT

  • The book is way ahead of its time. In fact, it is way ahead of this time. The Victorian English society blamed a woman for being raped, so does society today but Hardy very faithfully presented this pure woman.
  • I admire the resolve and thirst of independence that Tess displays but I can also sympathise with her decisions when she must let go of her dignity to survive.This woman is a survivor.
  • Tess of the D’Urbervilles plays a significant role in Fifty Shades of Grey and though I will never recommend that book to anyone, for those who have read it, knowledge of this book is intrumental in understanding how Christian is a manipulative asshole.
  • My English teacher recommended this book to me.
  • The entire book can be read as a metaphoric representation of Nature and how it interacts with humans and the corruption of nature with the Industrial Revolution.
  • I must say that I am not fond of the ending but Hardy writes it in such a way that I cannot help but admire it.
  • This book is very quotable. Why do you think I could not narrow down the quotes for the section above?
  • I love the realism in this book.
  • The symbolism is particularly heavy but easy to see for those reading carefully.
  • The preface of the book is taken from Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona.
  • I personally detected the empathy of Hardy towards Tess in the text which makes me love Hardy.
  • Hardy does a good job of displaying the double standards of Victorian society.
  • Although there have been numerous adaptations of Tess, I personally love the BBC mini-series. Take a look at the trailer:

I hope you love the book!

Have you read it? What did you think of it? Please use spoiler tags where appropriate.

Do you plan to read it? Let me know it all in the comments!

Please Note: I have my final board exams from the 18th of February to the 21st of March. I will try my best but will probably not be able to be very active on the blog. I have scheduled the posts during this period so your reading pleasure will be uninterrupted but if there are delays in approval of comments or if I am not able to reply to the same, please bear with me. I am trying my best and I promise a very special post once I’m done with my boards as a Thank You.

Happy Reading!

Jeannie

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