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Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Appunti di cultura e letteratura inglese su Tess of the D'Urbervilles basati su appunti personali del publisher presi alle lezioni della prof. Binni dell’università degli Studi di Parma - Unipr, facoltà di Lettere e filosofia. Scarica il file in formato PDF!

Esame di Cultura e letteratura inglese docente Prof. B. Binni



When Tess of the D’Urbervilles was published in book form in 1891, at first it was

highly criticized, but English intellectuals welcomed it. The novel tells the story of a

maid who is seduced and, at the end, kills her seducer, in a narration that can be regarded

as a very traditional ballad plot.

Due to the discovery by John Durbeyfield of his family descending from a Norman

noble lineage, Tess is sent by his parents to claim kinship with another family named

D’Urberville, without knowing that this is a family of new rich people who come from

another part of the country, where they bought the name in order to look more

respectable. She is welcomed by Alec Stoke d'Urberville, a young man who immediately

takes a fancy to her (si invaghisce di lei). He refuses Tess as part of the family, but

invites her to go to work in his property, where he repeatedly tries to seduce her until he

leads her into the forest where he violates her. Tess returns to her parents and gives birth

to Alec's son, who is sick and dies shortly after. Then Tess goes to work at the Talbothay

factory, where people do not know anything about her story. Here is Angel, the son of a

rebellious preacher who is learning to make the farmer, despite his family's disapproval.

He and Tess fall in love and marry, but Angel is later troubled by the discovery of what

she has gone through with Alec and flees to Brazil to go far and reflect. After Angel's

departure, Tess cops with difficult times, moving from here to there, working in different

places. Alec returns and once again claims for her, but once again Tess rejects him, until

his father's death, which leaves the family homeless and hopeless. Alec gives them a

place to live in his estate as long as Tess lives with him as a wife. Angel comes back

from Brazil to find out that Tess lives with Alec. The situation makes her aware of how

Alec has always used and abused her, they argue and she kills him. She runs away with

Angel and spends some days with him, before being caught and carried to the place of

execution. She asks Angel to take care of her younger sister, Liza, as a wife, after her

death; the final scene sees two figures moving away from the town of execution and

pausing for a moment, prostrated in Stonhenge, while a dark black flag is hoisted

downhill. They are Angel and Liza, sorrowful shadows in the fog.

Besides the plot, of which someone maintain that it could be trivial if it was not set in the

beautiful natural environment shown by Hardy, it is necessary to make some features of

Hardy’s living context clear. He carried on his activity as a novelist and poet in a period

of transition. He was born in 1840 in a village near Dorchester, in the beautiful south-

west of England, that area which he made the “Wessex” of his novels (we must take into

account that Wessex had existed as a real location in Anglo-Saxon times, his most

famous ruler being King Alfred the Great). He died in 1928. These dates are meaningful

because they tell us that at the moment of his birth the two major Victorian poets had not

written their central works yet, and when he died the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, by




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+1 anno fa

Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea in civiltà e lingue straniere moderne
Università: Parma - Unipr
A.A.: 2018-2019

I contenuti di questa pagina costituiscono rielaborazioni personali del Publisher alisiana77 di informazioni apprese con la frequenza delle lezioni di Cultura e letteratura inglese e studio autonomo di eventuali libri di riferimento in preparazione dell'esame finale o della tesi. Non devono intendersi come materiale ufficiale dell'università Parma - Unipr o del prof Binni Benedetta.

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