"Tess of the D'Urbervilles"- speech on techniques

Essay by jack_blackHigh School, 12th gradeA+, August 2006

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Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen Today I will be talking to you about the role of the 19th century composer. 19th century composers, such as Thomas Hardy, were more than just narrators with amazing descriptive detail; they also were supremely penetrating observers of the world in which they lived. Hardy, one such composer, made his observations evident through the values and attitudes he chose to portray in Tess of the d'Urbervilles; a pure woman.

Hardy made many observations, predominantly about the negative aspects of the Victorian Era. In Tess he portrays religion, gender roles and the process of industrialisation negatively, as ideals that do not serve society very well. It is through this portrayal that Hardy's observations of hypocrisy in the Victorian world come through.

Hardy observes that religion often abandons and isolates people in need, but accepts those of less faith and less need. Hardy portrays this observation, through juxtaposing the treatment of Tess and Alec by the church.

Tess is character in real need, she is a victim of sexual abuse by Alec. Despite the church accepting her Baby sorrow is properly baptized, 'it is the same' , they will not let her get a proper burial 'Ah that is a different matter' due to the Baby's illegitimacy. Hardy suggests that the church is insensitive to Tess in her hour of need. Tess displays a simple, uncomplicated form of faith; an 'ecstasy of faith' which transforms her into a 'large, towering' figure when she baptises sorrow. Despite this she is not accepted at church, rather she is greeted with gossip behind her back 'at last observing her, they whispered behind to each other. She knew what the whispering was about and she grew sick at heart'.

Hardy juxtaposes this to Alec, who is characterised as an amoral...