View Full Version : Hello everyone

12-07-2005, 02:19 PM
hello everyone,am a 16 years old girl nd am totally intersted in literature(novels&dramas) ,am new here nd am somehow confused ,i just need ur help nd to discuss (tess of d'urbervilles)by thomas hardy,coz i feel that there re lots of contradictions in that novel,i mean when Tess was sedused by Alec why didn't she take any move or even resist him she cannot be so stupid(no offence)i mean she was at my age i guess ,by the way am naive as well :D,not so naive,(she is said to have depth in thoughts nd a really serious mind)...........anyhow it was just an introduction ,sorry i am talkative i know........ any how it's really cool for me to find this forum am so happy,well catch u la8er all coz i got so much to talk about :nod:

12-12-2005, 04:08 PM
Hi exodus!
I have to write a test about "Tess" tomorrow and as I've done a lot of learning today, I can try to dicuss the issues you mentioned...
You're right, the novel is full of contradictions, there are many in Tess' character, eg. sometimes she is characterized as a simple girl, in other parts (or by other characters) she is called 'intelligent'. I have read an introduction to the novel and it said that Hardy used these contradictions on purpose, because he tried to question stereotypes and classifacations of the human character.
And I think that Tess isn't really seduced by Alec, he rapes her when she is asleep (there are hints in the text that he drugged her). She cannot be blamed for what happened to her while she was asleep. Afterwards she has to stay with him because of her economic dependence on him. She always resists him and is even disgusted when he tries to come near her.
Of course, she is naive, she's 16 years old, and being 16 in the 19th century wasn't the same as it is today. Tess has never had any experiences or even thoughts about men when she arrives at Trantridge and meets Alec. When she is back home, pregnant, she says to her mother: "How could I be expected to know? I was a child when I left this house four months ago. Why didn't you tell me threre was danger in men-folk? Why didn't you warn me?"

I hope that was helpful, if not, feel free to criticize or ask further questions!

11-20-2006, 06:54 PM
hey hey just browsing through and saw this just wanted to add: you have to remember that tess lived in a completely different society to us. you might think its weird that any 16 year old wouldnt know about sex but tess was completely clueless and probably didnt realise what was happining, and in her sleepy state wouldnt have thought it was something she should be trying to stop. her mother never explained anything to her sex wise. tess says : "i didnt understand your meaning until it was too late". she also said to her mother:"how could i be expected to know? i was a child when i left this house four months ago. why didnt you tell me there was danger in menfolk? why didnt you warn me? ladies know what to fend hands against, because they read novels that tell them of these tricks; but i never had the chance of learning in that way, and you did not help me." in this way we see that it was not tess's submission that rendered her vulnerable, but her naivety and lack of knowledge.