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Tellurium Of D`Urbervilles Essay, Research Paper

If written today, Tess of the vitamin D & # 8217 ; urbervilles by Thomas Hardy may hold been called

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Merely Name Me Job or Tess: Victim of Fate. Throughout this frequently black novel, the

reader is forced by Tess & # 8217 ; s circumstance to sympathise with the heroine ( for deficiency

of a better term ) as life deals her blow after dismaying blow. One of the

grounds that the reader is able to make so may be the fatalistic attack Hardy

has taken with the life of the chief character. Hardy writes Tess as a victim of

Fate. This allows the reader to non fault her for the things that happen around

her. Much of the critical argument environing Tess centres around this really

point: Is Tess a victim? Are the things that happen to Tess beyond her control

or could she hold fought her manner out of her fortunes? Better yet, could

Hardy have written her out of her problems or did his fatalistic attack to the

fresh force him to finally sacrifice hapless Tess? Further, Is Hardy & # 8217 ; s approach

to the novel and its chief character genuinely fatalistic? In this essay, I will

explore these inquiries and the philosophy of Fatalism as it applies to Tess.

Fatalism is defined in Websters Dictionary as “ the philosophy that all things

take topographic point by inevitable necessity ” ( 175 ) . Fatalism is the thought that all

actions are controlled by Fate, a crude force that exists independent of

human volitions and exterior of the controls of power of a supreme being such as God

because God finally has no power ; he is a creative activity of adult male who granted Him His

power. Since He doesn & # 8217 ; t genuinely possess those powers, he is left without the

ability to change fortunes. In short, if one subscribes to this philosophy,

you believe that Fate controls how things happen and God can make nil to salvage

you, even Tess. Overall, Tess seems to travel through life sing one negative

event after another. Fateful incidents, overheard conversations and undelivered

letters work against her ability to command the way her life takes. Tess & # 8217 ; s

hereafter seems locked up from the beginning of the novel. As the narrative opens, we

foremost run into her male parent and learn of Tess & # 8217 ; s lineage: “ Durbeyfield & # 8230 ; are the

direct representative of the antediluvian and knightly household of the vitamin D & # 8217 ; Urbervilles & # 8230 ; that

renowned knight who came from Normandy & # 8230 ; if knighthood were familial, like a

barony & # 8230 ; [ John ] would be Sir John ” ( 4 ) . Somehow the reader knows about

instantly that this cognition International Relations and Security Network & # 8217 ; t needfully traveling to salvage the hapless kin,

particularly one time we learn of the Fate of Tess & # 8217 ; s ascendants: “ Where do we

vitamin D & # 8217 ; Urbervilles live? ” asks “ Sir ” John to the curate who responds,

“ You don & # 8217 ; t live anyplace. You are nonextant ” ( 5 ) . If one believes in the

construct of natural choice, they likely realize instead rapidly that this

International Relations and Security Network & # 8217 ; t the best household from which to fall. Tess seems to feel her lost

province. This is evidenced in her designation with the vitamin D & # 8217 ; Urberville kin.

Examples of this are her ability to see or hear the vitamin D & # 8217 ; Urberville Coach and her

realisation of her resemblance to the vitamin D & # 8217 ; Urberville adult female of the farmhouse at

Wellbridge: “ [ Tess ‘s ] mulct characteristics were unimpeachably traceable in these

overdone signifiers ” ( 277 ) . These eerie events suggest that the doomed

vitamin D & # 8217 ; Urberville blood doubtless flows through her venas. Another illustration of

Tess & # 8217 ; s consciousness of being sick fated is when she meets Alec. Tess plaints about

her destiny: “ Had she perceived this meeting & # 8217 ; s import she might hold asked why

she was doomed to be seen and converted that twenty-four hours by the incorrect adult male, and non by

some other adult male, the right and desired one in all respects ( 75 ) . She may non hold

known what to name it, but she decidedly applies the philosophy of Fatalism to

herself which harmonizing to author Leonard Doob is a revealing mark of a individual

who feels fated: “ When the principal is judging himself [ in this instance,

herself ] and believes that destiny is impacting him, his perceptual experience is normally

direct: he introspects, thinks, or meditates. But he may react indirectly when

person else, an perceiver, , gives him information about himself & # 8230 ; Fatalism by a

principal, hence, is a pessimistic inevitableness philosophy applied by him

about himself to himself ” ( 7 ) . If Tess didn & # 8217 ; t get down life feeling as though

Fate was working against her, there are plentifulness of incidents which could easy

convince her: the decease of the household Equus caballus because of her carelessness, the

missive of confession that slipped beneath the rug and caused her to come in

into matrimony as a misrepresentation, the decease of her male parent, and the return of Angel

merely excessively late. Incident after incident seem to indicate to merely one thing: Tellurium was

non meant to hold a happy being. So does Tess believe that God can salvage her?

Throughout the novel, we see Tess traveling off from God. She is appalled by the

evangelical sign-painter warning of damnation and tells him that his instructions

are “ atrocious & # 8230 ; cussing & # 8230 ; killing ” declining to “ believe that God

said such things ” ( 97 ) . Later, recognizing that God can & # 8217 ; t assist her, Tellurium

prays to Angel squealing her new faith in a missive: “ It has been so

much my faith of all time since we were married to be faithful to you in every

idea and expression ” ( 127 ) . Even Angel seems cognizant that God won & # 8217 ; t salvage Tess,

thought as he left, “ But, might some say, where was Tess & # 8217 ; s guardian angel?

Where was the Providence of her simple religion? Possibly, like that other God of

whom the ironical Tishbite radius, he was speaking, or he was prosecuting, or he was

in a journey, or he

was kiping and non to be awaked ” ( 93 ) . Other

characters seem to purchase into the thought of Fate as good. At the dairy, Angel

chooses Tess over the other milkmaids who love Angel every bit much as she does, but

the milkmaids can & # 8217 ; t be huffy at Tess because it is Fate which has made the

pick: “ & # 8217 ; Are you sure you don & # 8217 ; t dislike me for it? & # 8217 ; said Tess in a low

voice & # 8230 ; & # 8217 ; I don & # 8217 ; t know & # 8211 ; I don & # 8217 ; T know, & # 8217 ; murmured Retty Priddle. & # 8216 ; I want to detest & # 8216 ; ee ;

but I can non! & # 8217 ; “ That & # 8217 ; s how I feel, & # 8217 ; echoed Izz and Marian ” ( 12 ) . Now

we turn to the inquiry of whether or non Hardy could hold saved Tess or if he

believed that Fate had determined his picks. There were opportunities throughout the

novel for Hardy to give Tess a interruption and throw her a bone. He chose non to make

so. Critic Arnold Kettle see this determination as a necessity: “ Tess & # 8217 ; s decease is

artistically every bit inevitable as Juliet & # 8217 ; s & # 8230 ; She is up against a societal state of affairs

that she can make nil to decide except tragically, with drastic homo

loss ” ( 23 ) . It seems that if Hardy was to hold been true to his art, he had

no pick but to kill hapless Tess. It would be an mistake in unfavorable judgment, nevertheless, to

claim without a uncertainty that Fate is the cardinal participant in Tess & # 8217 ; s death. In fact, It

is really instead easy to reason the other side of the coin. Hardy & # 8217 ; s fatalism is

highly flawed. When in a pinch, he frequently relies on happenstance to foster

round Tess down: Alec demoing up to salvage Tess after the party ; his reappearance

as sermonizer ; the missive stealing under the rug ; Angel sloging a adult male that

turns up subsequently as Tess & # 8217 ; s foreman. One could reason that this is all a spot excessively

convenient. Critic Dorothy Van Ghent seems to hold stating, “ We have all

read or heard unfavorable judgment of Hardy for his inordinate trust upon happenstance in

the direction of his narrations & # 8230 ; he appears to be excessively much the puppeteer

working wires or strings to do events conform to his & # 8216 ; pessimistic & # 8217 ; and

& # 8216 ; fatalistic & # 8217 ; thoughts ” ( 56 ) . Hardy finally plays God in a novel where God

is losing and throws negative fortunes in topographic points where they may non hold

been without his use. But you still have to acknowledge, on the whole, our

hapless Tess still seems rather fated. So is Tess and finally Hardy responsible

for the things that happen to our heroine or is at that place something larger working

against her? Critic Leon Waldoff writes that “ It seems impossible to read

the novel with a complete neglect of the thought that Tess is someway responsible

for her destiny & # 8230 ; The narrative is everyplace buttressed by words such as & # 8216 ; doomed & # 8217 ; ,

& # 8216 ; destined & # 8217 ; , and & # 8216 ; fated. & # 8217 ; But the critical linking is ne’er made and one remains

unsure about why Tess & # 8217 ; s destiny is inevitable ” ( 135 ) . That minute of uncertainty

and the unsolved inquiry is where the statement of Fatalism in Tess additions its

impulse. One point that I feel must be made. Some argue, including my chap

schoolmates, that it was destiny that conveying Alec and Tess together. I would reason

that it is non destiny but Fate. Often used as a equivalent word for fate, Fate

differs somewhat but significantly from the thought of fate. Author Leonard Doob

explains in his book, Inevitability, the difference between the constructs:

“ destiny is associated with day of reckoning, which normally has the same negative

intension & # 8230 ; there can be no vacillation that the principal with a & # 8216 ; fatal & # 8217 ;

disease will gave a negative experience & # 8230 ; Destiny, on the other manus,

often & # 8211 ; once more by no agency ever & # 8211 ; suggests good luck and is herewith

assigned an association with positive consequence ” ( 7 ) . I think we can all hold

that Tess suffers from a lack of good lucks so it must be Fate, non

fate, that continues to cover her a losing manus. There will most likely ne’er

be understanding on Tess & # 8217 ; s and Hardy & # 8217 ; s ability to alter the result of the novel.

Not of all time truly burying his flaws really profoundly, Hardy seems to dispute the

impression that the defects were necessary and lend themselves to the books

readability. Critic Dorothy Van Ghent supports this thought authorship that

“ Hardy has, with great craft, reinforced the necessity of & # 8230 ; the common people

fatalism, and common people thaumaturgy & # 8230 ; Their doctrine and their accomplishments in life & # 8230 ; are

indestructible, their attitudes toward events magisterially urge a similar

fatalism upon the reader, forcing him to an inventive credence of the

doomrwrought series of accidents in the foreground of action ” ( 57 ) . It

appears that Hardy deliberately left uncertainty as to Tess & # 8217 ; s playing into Fate or if

she is playing against it. But that is why the novel still grabs the reader like

a good soap opera. Hardy, through his Fatalistic attack, invokes understanding and

concern for hapless Tess that keeps the reader turning each page in breathless

expectancy for what & # 8217 ; s following. Argument as we will, it can non be denied that Hardy

wrote a genuinely absorbing novel.

Doob, Leonard. Inevitability: Determinism, Fatalism, and Destiny. New York:

Greenwood Press, 1988. Hardy, Thomas. Tellurium of the vitamin D & # 8217 ; Urbervilles. New York:

MacMillan, 1991. Kettle, Arnold. Introduction to Tess of the vitamin D & # 8217 ; Urbervilles.

Twentieth Century Interpretations of Tess of the vitamin D & # 8217 ; Urbervilles. Ed. Albert

LaValley, Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : Prentice-Hall, 1969. 14-29. Van Ghent,

Dorothy. On Tellurium of the vitamin D & # 8217 ; Urbervilles. Twentieth Century Interpretations of Tess

of the vitamin D & # 8217 ; Urbervilles. Ed. Albert LaValley, Englewood Cliffs, N.J. :

Prentice-Hall, 1969. 48-61. Waldoff, Leon. Psychological Determinism in Tess of

the vitamin D & # 8217 ; Urbervilles. Critical Approaches to the Fiction of Thomas Hardy. Ed. Dale

Kramer, London: MacMillan Press, 1979. 135-154.

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