Tess of the d'Urbervilles Questions and Answers
by Thomas Hardy

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What is the role of the narrator in Tess of the D'Urbervilles?

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In "Tess of D'Urbervilles" the story is told with third person omniscient—meaning the narrator is outside of the story but can see and hear the thoughts and emotions of every character in the story. This has some interesting narrative benefits.

The role of this sort of narrator is to show the story from every perspective and give a deep understanding of the events of a novel and how it impacts everyone involved. In this novel, it allows everyone to see what the actions of the characters make everyone feel, and how they are all impacted. Third person omniscient is more of a rare narrative form, especially in later years, but it is used effectively here, and in similar older works, to portray a multitude of human experiences.

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Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbevilles  features a third person narrator (which could either be a male or a female) with an omniscient perspective. This latter fact means that the narrator is responsible for telling us the entire story, and the stories of each and...

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