Tess Of Durbervilles Essay Research Paper Tess

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Tess Of Durbervilles Essay, Research Paper Tess Durbeyfield is a victim of external and uncomprehended forces. Passive and yielding, unsuspicious and fundamentally pure, she suffers a weakness of will and reason, struggling against a fate that is too strong for her. Tess is the easiest victim of circumstance, society and male idealism, who fights the hardest fight yet is destroyed by her ravaging self-destructive sense of guilt, life denial and the cruelty of two men. It is primarily the death of the horse, Prince, the Durbeyfield?s main source of livelihood, that commences the web of circumstance that envelops Tess. Tess views herself as the cause of her families economic downfall, however she also believes that she is parallel to a murderess. The imagery at this point in

the novel shows how distraught and guilt ridden Tess is as she places her hand upon Prince?s wound in a futile attempt to prevent the blood loss that cannot be prevented. This imagery is equivalent to a photographic proof – a lead-up to the events that will shape Tess?s life and the inevitable ?evil? that also, like the crimson blood that spouts from Prince?s wound, cannot be stopped. The symbolic fact that Tess perceives herself to be comparable to a murderess is an insight into the murder that she will eventually commit and is also a reference to the level of guilt that now consumes her. ?Nobody blamed Tess as she blamed herself… she regarded herself in the light of a murderess.? Her parents, aware of her beauty,view Tess as an opportunity for future wealth and coupled with

the unfortunate circumstance of Prince?s death urge Tess to venture from the ?engirdled and secluded region? of Marlott to seek financial assistance from the D?urberville?s in nearby Trantridge . It is here that she first encounters the sexually dominating and somewhat demonic Alec D?urberville, whom she is later to fall victim to. Alec?s first words to Tess , ?Well, my Beauty, what can I do for you?? indicate that his first impression of Tess is only one of sexual magnetism. Alec then proceeds to charm Tess by pushing strawberries into her mouth and pressing roses into her bosom. These fruits of love are an indication of Alec?s lust and sexual desire for Tess as he preys upon her purity and rural innocence. Tess unwillingly becomes a victim to Alec?s inhumane,violent and

aggressive sexual advances as Alec, always the master of opportunities, takes advantage of her whilst alone in the woods and rapes her. Tess has fallen subject to the crueller side of human nature as Alec seizes upon her vulnerability. After this sexual violation and corruption of innocence, Tess flees home and although she has escaped the trap of the sexually rapacious Alec for the time being,her circumstance is similar to that of a wounded animal - her blood of innocence has been released. At this time Hardy gives reference to Shakespeare?s ?The Rape of Lucrece? -?where the serpent hisses the sweet birds sing? suggesting that Alec was equivalent to Satan tempting Eve. Tess is undoubtedly a victim and her lack of understanding over such matters only increases the guilt that

already embodies her. To add further to her shame she chances upon a holy man who paints exerts from the bible around the countryside. In red accusatory letters she reads ?THY, DAMNATION, SLUMBERETH, NOT? and is horrified to think how relevant it is to her recent misfortunes. Tess at this stage is a victim to her own self – conscience and she becomes a recluse trapped within her home – away from the society that has unjustfully condemned her whilst in reality she has broken no law of nature. Returning to work in the field, Tess witnesses the rabbits forced further to shelter as the corn rows in which they dwell are reaped and the harvesters kill every one of them with sticks and stones. This is symbolic of Tess?s own situation as she is being separated little by little from