Tess of the d'Urbervilles Analysis

Historical Context

Darwin and Social Darwinism
The last fifty years of the nineteenth century saw innovations in science and technology that...

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Tess of the d'Urbervilles Literary Style

Tess of the d'Urbervilles tells the story of a girl who is seduced and has a child who dies. When she meets another...

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Tess of the d'Urbervilles Compare and Contrast

1890s: The rural population was forced to move toward urban areas as low prices and industrialization of farm equipment made smaller farms...

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Tess of the d'Urbervilles Topics for Further Study

Imagine Tess's story taking place in today's U. S. society and analyze how her story would have ended up differently or the same, refer to...

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Tess of the d'Urbervilles Media Adaptations

Tess of the d'Urbervilles was adapted as a film directed by Roman Polanski, starring Nastassja Kinski, Leigh Lawson, and Peter Firth,...

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Tess of the d'Urbervilles What Do I Read Next?

Spanish playwright Federico Garcia Lorca's widely-performed lyrical folk tragedies, Blood Wedding (1933), Yerma (1934), and...

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Tess of the d'Urbervilles Bibliography and Further Reading

Harold Bloom, "Introduction," in Thomas Hardy Modern Critical Views, Chelsea House, 1987, pp 1-22.


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Tess of the d'Urbervilles Bibliography (Great Characters in Literature)

Casagrande, Peter J. Tess of the D’Urbervilles: Unorthodox Beauty. New York: Twayne, 1992. Focuses on Hardy’s intertwining of beauty and ugliness, of moral and aesthetic issues. Examines Victorian attitudes toward women, Tess’s “terrible beauty” and parallels between her suffering and the horse’s death. Analyzes Angel as a mix of convention and newness.

Kramer, Dale, and Nancy Marck, eds. Critical Essays on Thomas Hardy: The Novels. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1990. Discusses Hardy’s plots and rhetoric, with focus on individual novels. Good essay on Hardy’s understanding of Tess as a woman, examining Victorian debates and postromantic ideas. Treats awareness of language as a shaping force.

Moore, Kevin Z. The Descent of the Imagination: Postromantic Culture in the Later Novels of Thomas Hardy. New York: New York University Press, 1990. Uses language and cultural dominance issues to discuss Tess’s quest for beauty and freedom.

Vigar, Penelope. The Novels of Thomas Hardy: Illusion and Reality. London: Athlone Press, 1974. Analyzes Hardy’s techniques and style. Examines Tess of the D’Urbervilles in terms of Hardy’s notion of imaginative flights that emerge from visual effects. Analyzes the novel’s structure in terms of its contrasts—Tess’s purity and guilt, reality and perceptions.

Wright, Terence. Tess of the D’Urbervilles. Atlantic Highlands, N.J.: Humanities Press, 1987. Summarizes critical approaches to Tess of the D’Urbervilles: social, character, ideas, formal, and genetic. Gives overview of criticism on the novel. Synthesizes the best criticism, emphasizing importance of place, ambiguity of causes, human insignificance, and the inevitability of human tragedy, with Tess representing individual and larger tragedy.