Hardy`s view on christianity revealed in the characters and plot of tess of the d`urbervilles - USD Repository
HARDY’S VIEW ON CHRISTIANITY REVEALED IN THECHARACTERS AND PLOT OF TESS OF THE D’URBERVILLES
AN UNDERGRADUATE THESIS
Presented as Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of Sarjana Sastra in English Letters
STUDENT NUMBER: 004214084
ENGLISH LETTERS STUDY PROGAMME
DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH LETTERS
FACULTY OF LETTERS
SANATA DHARMA UNIVERSITY
Smile is the best thing in the world For each time you smile Other people will smile Another one will smile Until everybody smile through the world With peace and love to each other So, always smile (Anonymous)
This undergraduate thesis is dedicated to
My beloved parents, Adiarto Harry Purwanto and Kustiningrum My brother and sister, Kusuma Ramadhan and Tyas Adiningrum My entire dearest friend from my hometown and from English Letters also from Ceria Kindergarten Also my dearest one who fill my world with joy and happiness
I would like to express many thanks to the lord for giving me the strength to thesis is useful for everyone that reads it and for everyone that uses it. I thank everybody for trying to encourage me in completing this thesis for the past few years.
This thesis is dedicated to everyone that knows and cares about me. First of all I thank Mr. Tatang Iskarna for always being so patient in giving me many guidance in completing this thesis. Second, I would like to thank my beloved parents, who support me mentally. I want to thank you to all my friend Dina, Hanna, Lala, Tiwuk, Desy, Kris, Nuri, Rose, Novi, Willy, Cumi, Betty, Rini, Sari and all friends from Ceria kindergarten, and also all the friend that fill my life all these years and I can’t mention one by one. I will never forget all of you; I always keep everything that happens in my heart. Last but not the least I am always grateful that during the time I was working on this thesis I got a lot of encouragement from Shinta who was always there and try to help me in every way she can, thank you
It has been a very exciting years and full of hope, love and memory. I hope that I can use this memory to create another one that can be as beautiful as this.
TABLE OF CONTENTSTITLE PAGE………………………………………………………………….i APPROVAL PAGE…………………………………………………………...ii MOTTO PAGE…………..……………………………………………………iv DEDICATION PAGE…..……………………………………………………..v ACKNOWLEDGEMENT…………………………………………………….vi TABLE OF CONTENTS………………………………………………………vii ABSTRACT………………………………………………………………….....ix ABSTRAK………………………………………………………………………x
Chapter I: Introduction………………………………………………………1 A. Background of Study……………………………………………....1 B. Problem Formulation…………………………………………….. .5 C. Objective of the study……………………………………………. .5 Chapter II: Theoretical Review…………………………………………….. 6 A. Review of Related Study…………………………………………..6 B. Review of Related Theories………………………………………..7
1. Theory of Character and Characterization………………………7
2. Theory of Plot…………………………………………………..11 C. Thomas Hardy’s Background………………………………………12
1. Thomas Hardy’s Social Background……………………………12
2. Thomas Hardy’s Educational Background……………………..18
3. Thomas Hardy’s View on Christianity…………………………19
D. Theoretical Framework……………………………………………..26
Chapter III: Methodology……………………………………………………27 A. Objective of The Study…………………………………………….27 C. Method of The Study……………………………………………….29 Chapter IV: Analysis………………………………………………………….30 A. Characters and Plot…………………………………..………………30
1. The Characters in Tess of The D’urbervilles………….…………….30
b. Angel Clare…………………………………………………33
c. Alec d’Urberville……………………………………………34
2. The plot in Tess of D’urbervilles…………………………………...36
B. Hardy’s view on Christianity Revealed in character…………………39
b. Angel Clare…………………………………………………..44
C. Hardy’s View on Christianity Revealed on the Plot………………...47
Chapter V: Conclusion…………………………………………………………52 BIBLIOGRAPHY……………………………………………………………..54
KUSHARYANTO ADISUPUTRO (2006). Hardy’s View on Christianity Revealed In
The Characters and Plot Of Tess of D’urbervilles. Yogyakarta: Department of EnglishLetters, Sanata Dhrma University.
The literary work discussed in this thesis is a novel entitled Tess of The
, written by Thomas Hardy’s. The novel focuses on Tess’ life. How she meets all different people that soon entered her life and make her life become one huge tragic and novelic story. The development of her life and how she meets other people that affect her life become the conflict and main issue of this story.
This thesis is aimed at revealing what the author want to show in the novel. In this novel the author shows us many different things. How the author try to reveal the character life during Victorian era, and how the life at that time gives his perspective in author wants to express and reveals what he feels about certain religion.
To analyze the problems, the writer uses biographical approach. The method of the study is library research and also some online references. It means that the writer used books and references of data from the library as the source of data, also from the internet as references. Theory of character and characterization are used to identify the character in this novel. The theory is used to get a better aspect and view in the author view in Christianity. The theory of plot is also used to explain the line of the story in trying to develop the connections of the author view in Christianity. The connections between the characters and the plot of the story give perspective in revealing the author view in Christianity.
The analysis in this thesis provide with the information on how the author gives his perspectives on Christianity. Many of the characters reveal what Hardy wanted to say about Christianity. How his life is full of question on how this religious doctrine work. So many doubts about Christianity are presented in this analysis. The writer presents his answer through the three characters and the plot of the novel.
KUSHARYANTO ADISUPUTRO (2006). Hardy’s View on Christianity Revealed in
the Characters and Plot of Tess of the D’urbervilles. Yogyakarta: Department ofEnglish Letters, Faculty of Letters, Sanata Dharma University.
Karya sastra yang dibahas di dalam skripsi ini adalah sebuah novel berjudul Tess of The D’urbervilles, yang ditulis oleh Thomas Hardy’s. Novel ini berfokus pada kehidupan Tess. Bagaimana Tess bertemu dengan banyak orang, yang kemudian memasuki kehidupannya dan menjadikan kehidupannya satu kehidupan tragis dan penuh dengan cerita. Perkembangan kehidupan Tess dan bagaimana kehidupannya akhirnya berkangsung, menjadikonflik dan isu utama dari cerita ini.
Skripsi ini bertujuan untuk menjelaskan apa yang mau dijelaskan oleh pengarang melalui novel ini. Didalam novel ini si pengarang mencoba memperlihatkan banyak hal. kehidupan di zaman Victorian, dan juga mencoba menjelaskan kehidupan saat itu yang memberikan inspirasi untuk membuat novel. Penulis mencoba untuk mengungkapakan hal yang berbeda. Penulis mau memerlihatkan bagaiman pengarang mau mengungkapkan apa yang dia rasakan terhadap agama pada saat itu.
Unruk menganalisa masalah yang ada penulis menggunakan pendekatan secara biography. Metode penelitian yang diterapkan pada skripsi ini adalah metode study pustaka dan beberapa referensi secara online atau menggunakan internet, artinya penulis menggunakan buku-buku dan referensi sebagai sumber data dan juga beberapa data dari internet. Teori tokoh dan pentokohan digunakan unruk mengidentifikasi karakter di novel tersebut, untul memberikan gambaran yang lebih jelas terhadap pandangan pengarang. Teori plot juga digunakan untuk memberikan alur dan gamabaran cerita, sehingga dapat menjelakan pandangan pengarang terhadap Kekristenan. Hubungan antara tokoh dan plot memberikan gambaran yang jelas tentang pandangan pengarang terhadap Kekristenan.
Analisa dari novel tersebut menunjukan beberapa aspek yang penting dalam menunjuka pandangan terhadap Kekristenan. Beberapa karakter dalam novel ini mengungkapkan pandangan Hardy terhadap Kekristenan. Kehidupan Hardy pada saat itu dipenuhi banyak tanda tanya tentang doktrin keagamaan saat itu. Banyaknya keraguan tentang Kekristenan, terpampang di analisis ini. Pengarang mengungkapkan itu semua melalui tiga karakter dan plot dari novel tersebut.
CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION A. Background of The Study In the history of English literature there is one remarkable period that is the Victorian era, a period when England was under the reign of Queen Victoria. M.H. Abrams (1970 : 178) in his a glossary of literary terms says that some critics state the
year 1832 as the beginning of the Victorian period, the time of the passage of the first reform bill. This period is divided into two parts. The first one is the early Victorian from 1832 until 1870s. The second is the late Victorian that take part in the late 1870s.
Ford (1958 : 61) in his, The Pelican Guide in English literature from Dickens to Hardy says : Not so long ago Victorian period was considered one of the literary decline, derivativeness, and disintegration, its literature was heavily penalized for its sentimentality and sanctimoniousness, it seemed a period of cultural provinciality. Now it is being acclaimed, in some quarters, as time of great achievement in literature, even as the greatest in English literary history.
Literature in this period is rich in the range and variety of its purely personal interest. The artist often potrayed the condition of the society and the people’s way of life. The term Victorian itself was formerly associated with hypocritical, oppressive, olf- fashioned, obfuscating, religious, pietistic, and un-modern era. However, of recent year, it has been assumed that great days of the british empire at its height, sustained by Victorian value of self reliance, free enterprise, and moral severity.
Among many artist, some great writers of the Victorian period such as Charles Dickens, Thackeray, George Elliot, George Meredith, Trollope, Oscar Wilde, Thomas Hardy, and Samuel Butler, the writer choose Hardy’s work as the main point of this thesis. Hardy’s work had some point of characteristic that differentiate him from other, which make the writer choose his work as the main point of his thesis. Ford (1958 : 104) says that he represents a writer with a more inward or more philosophic analysis of the implications of situation and more careful and poetic rendering of grows from his skepticism. But no account of Hardys outlook would be appropriate which did not recognize the inherited and timeless quality of his skepticism. It deepened into pessimism under the stress of personal experience and the spirit of the age. Fundamentally, he was a normal skepticism which subsists peaceably besides local pietes and tradition (Ford, 1958 : 409).
There are some definitions of skepticism, those definitions give us a clearer view about skepticism. According to Runes (1963 : 278) in his Philosophy skepticism are a proposition about values, that morality is entirely a matter of individual preference, or that there are no fixed and eternal values or that all value are relative to time, place, or any other circumstan ce. A proportions expressing lack of confidence in the worth of hope of success of any one or all men enterprises or moroseness, surliness, or pessimism growing out of cynicism or any of the foresaid attitudes, beliefs.
People that hold the skepticism philosophy are skeptics ( Peter A. Angeles. 1981 : 257-258) defines a skeptic as one whose attitudes is critical and inquiring; a disbeliever. One who has a doubt about or does not believe in a doctrine. So it explain Hardy’s disbeliever in the world religion but yet his work give another view on how the expression of religion was revealed in a novel.
Hardy’s skepticism in religion doctrine made him an atheist, and it brought a great influence on his work, like in the way he expressed his attitude toward the religion and social values. As Mastury (1991 : 91) says, a skeptic has atendency of becoming an atheist, because skepticism is derivered from denial and doubt on a certain object of knowledge. Hardy is a product of the philosophic and scientific rebellion of the is sensitive and intellectual. Hardy speaks contemptuously of “nature holy plan” and stresses a view of really in which first cause of the universe is unconscious of man suffering and desires, some other critics also say that Hardy was agnositic, since he was also interested in agniticism that is introduced by Thomas Henry Huxley.
The above statements lead to the second point differing Hardy from others, where he “reflects the pessimistc atheism of the time” (Wellek, 1977 : 112). “His vision is almost wholly tragic” (Drew, 1963 : 141). Critics of his period regard him a pessimistic for his sad ending novel, such as Tess of d’urbevilles, the mayor of casterbridges, and a pair of blue eyes. The poem he concentrated on making in the last time of his life are also the reflection of his pessimism.
Hardy’s third special characteristic is said by James (1956 : 193), that “no free will or moral decision could save Hardy’s doomed characters, he saw them in a grip of their inevitable fate, subject to the blind injustice of the gods. The human flaw was there and irredeemable”. Hardy mostly present the characters who are defeated by the unknown power, and they see no way to set themselves free. This is influences by Aeschylus, a greek writer who believed in fate to be the one determines someone’s life.
The interesting thing in exploring Hardy’s novel Tess of d’urbervilles is his point of view in Christianity, his old religion he believed in before realizing that there are many things he could no accept in its doctrine. The presentation of the characters and the plot in
Tess of d’urbervilles
show his mockery at the Christianity, his disagreement to its doctrine and the social values. To mockmeans “to laugh at somebody or something in an 748-749).
Eventhough some graduating papers have discussed this novel, none of them has paid a specific attention to this matter. The writer greatly impressed on how Hardy put his skepticism into Tess of d’urbervilles. So the writer feel that is useful to discuss about Hardy’s point of view on Christianity in this novel as a subject of this thesis, as a reference to enrich knowledge in reading this novel.
B. Problem Formulation
The guiding question in this thesis are : 1. How are the main characters and plot in Hardy’s Tess of d’urbervilles revealed?
2. How does the main characters and plot of this novel reveal Hardy’s view on Christianity?
C. Objective of the Study
The purpose of this graduating paper are to see Thomas Hardy’s character and plot in his novel. Through hardy’s characters and plot, hopefully the writer can reveal his point of view on Christianity and how he sees Christianity through his novel.
CHAPTER II THEORITICAL REVIEW A. Review of Related Studies Chris Williams does one study in Thomas Hardy’s Tess of d’urbervilles in
www.Todayinliterature.com. It says that the readers and the critic who adhered a strong believe in tradi-tional values exposed Hardy in his work. They said that Tess of
gives of Hardy’s skepticism in Christian. The readers believe that Hardy somehow try to give more perspective but gives to much skepticism.
“It suprising yet so ridicullious” that left the reader of Hardy’s Tess of
(Williams at www.todayinliterature.com accessed on 11/08 2005). The study done by Chris Williams above merely gives people opinion about how they like or dislike Hardy’s novel Tess of d’urbervilles how his vision about the religion and how his skepticism gives the novel its point of view. Steve King does a study also about Thomas Hardy’s Tess of d’urbervilles in www.todayinliterature.com. It discussed how the novel gives the readers who still believe in traditional values, at that time, great astonishment. Hardy seems to try to give a different aspect in seeing women. He describes the main character as a strong woman and yet he is also trying to give the readers a reality in live. That everything in life needs a struggle eventhough sometime it will against the norms that the people believe. My study will somewhat different from that. I will try to reveal and gives the reader what point in the novel that become his point of view on Christianity. How each character had their role in trying to reveal Hardy’s point of view, and also how the plot take place in revealing that too.
B. Review of Related Theories
1. Theory of Character and Characterization
Van der Laar states that the two sources upon which a novelist can and must draw for his work are his own creative imagination and actual life. Actual life provides the novelist with his material, but himself has to refashion, to create character unless they fix their imagination on a living person (Laar : 165). Besides inspiration, and intuition he has. He has to give and make interesting characters. Many people we meet in daily life are not very interesting and they do not many interesting things, but in a novel, character should be good and they should do interesting thing because novelist have a wider imagination to create it.
On the other hand, Henkle gives explanation about characters that can be categorized as such through the complexity of their characterization, the attention given to them (by the author and by other characters), and the personal intensity that they seem to transmit. On the basis of importance characters can be categorized into major and secondary character. The major characters are they center of the story. They are important character in the story. These characters deserve our fullest attention because they perform a key structural function : upon them we build expectation and desire, which in modification shift or establish our values. The secondary characters are characters that perform more limited function. They are limited in ways that major characters are not (Henkle, 1977 : 87-97).
M.J. Murphy in his book, Understanding Unseen, explains clearly the way in author conveys to the reader, the character and the personalities of the people he writes about. In conveying the character to the readers, the author himself can interverne authoritatively in order to describe and often evaluate the motives and dispositions qualities of his characters. Murphy’s mention nine ways of how the characters are presented to the readers.
a. Personal Description clothes of readers.
b. Other Characters
As a reflected image of certain character will be caught by the other character’s eyes. The author uses the eyes of other character to judge a certain character.
The personality of a character can be notified through his or her speech. He describes his character through what he says.
d. Past life
Since a person is often influenced by his past experience, that life can give at hint to guess the personality of a character.
e. Conversation of Others
In a play there are dialogues spoken by some characters about a character in the story and therefore the readers may refer to this conversation to know about a character in the story.
The author may also mention the personality of a character by letting the readers know how that person reacts to various events or situations.
When reading the description of what the character is thinking about, we will find a character’s personality. In reality we cannot guess what other people think but in a literary work we can know better about the character.
The author may describe a person’s mannerism or habits that may also tell the readers something about the characters.
i. Direct Comment
In describing the character, the author gives a direct comment. The author describes or gives a comment on a person’s character directly. (Murphy, 1972 : 161-173) In the novel the author must choose not only the kind of characters he or she will present, but also in what method she or he will present them. There are number of methods are available to the author. William Kenney in How to Analyze Fiction divides these into three methods, namely, the discursive method, the dramatic method, and the contextual method. In the discursive method, the author simply tells about his character by enumerating their qualities and may even express approval or disapproval of them.
Using this method, I only mention the weakness as well as the strength of the characters directly. This method issues simple and economical and I can quickly finish the job of characterization and go on the other things.
In dramatic method, the author allows his character to reveal themselves to us through their own words and action. This, of course, is how character is revealed to us in drama (Kenney, 1996 : 35). In this method, it does not merely tell us about the weakness or the strength of the charaters but it show us the actions. This kind of method is more lifelike and invites the reader’s active participation in the story. combination with other methods because this method is more obscure than the discursive or the dramatic one. By the contextual method, we mean the device of suggesting character by the verbal context, a character is constantly described in term appropriate to a beast of prey, and the reader may well conclude that the author is trying to tell him directly (1966 : 36).
2. Theory of Plot
This theory is needed in order to answer the question that is guided to write this thesis. Plot enables readers to figure out what the story is about and what has happened in the novel. It consists of cause and effect relationships. There is a linked event that may include not only physical occurrence like in speech or action, but also a character’s change of attitudes a flash of insight and decision (Stanton, 1965 : 14).
Stanton defines plot in the broadest sense; the plot of a story is its centre sequence of events. We usually limits the term, however, to include only casually linked events, that is, events that directly cause or result from other events, and cannot be ommited without breaking the line of action. These events may also include not only physical occurances, like in speech or action, but also the character’s change of attitude, a flsh of insight, a decision-anything that alters the course of affairs.
The plot is the backbone of a story. Because it more self-evident than some of the story’s other elements, we may say little about it in the analysis; but without a clear knowledge of its link cause and effects, its degree is inevitability, we cannot hope to must arouse plausible and logical, and yet it should occasionally surprise us it most arouse and satisfy suspense.
Beside mentioning the definition of plot, Stanton also states about the laws of plot. He says that plot was divided into three sections, which are: beginning, middle, and the end. And then plot is reasonable and logical. Also sometimes plot gives the reader a shock. The last one plot makes the reader curious and can fulfill the reader curiosity.
If the reader want to know about the development of plot, there are some question need to come to the reader’s mind. The question must involve the reader’s “curiosity,
hope and fear
” (Stanton, 1965: 15). He believes that the question will be much more impressive if it seems difficult to find the satisfactory answer. The reader’s awareness of this difficulty will give “the more unexpected and satisfying a convincing solution” (Stanton, 1965: 15).
Two importants elements of plot are conflict and climax. Every work of fiction contains obvious internal conflicts between two desires within a character or external conflicts between two desires within a charcter, or external conflict between characters or between a charcter and his environment. The climax of the story is the moment at which the conflict is most intense and at which its outcome becomes inevitable (Stanton, 1965: 14-16).
. Thomas Hardy’s Background C 1. Thomas Hardy’s Social Background.
Thomas Hardy was one of the greatest novelists in the Victorian period. His “Wessex tales”, the stories of the Wessex people, even make him the foremost English regional novelist. He was one of the late Victorian novelists of the disintegration, rebels, and critics, against the sanctities and ethics of the Victorian bourgeois world.
Born in Upper Bockhampton, two and a half miles from Dorchester on June 2, 1840, Hardy knew well the peasant life of the people in the countryside, which then inspired the stories in his novels. His novels treat country people with respect and humor, and they comment the human lot with a kind of religious feeling modified by agnostic reasoning. The people’s belief in mysterious things and folk tales existed in Hardy’s novels.
Hardy was the eldest of four children of a builder and master mason. His father, an orthodox Christian who was also named Thomas Hardy, taught him to play violin when he was four, and took him throught out his boyhood to play violin for country- dances. The folk songs and music stayed deeply in his memory and revealed as he wrote his poems and novels later. Due to his delicateness, he was not able to go to school until he was eight. Hardy was a solitary and thoughtful boy. He enjoyed taking a daily walk by daylight or in darkness, which left him a lot of memories, and grew deeply his attachment to his native surroundings. His regular attendance in the church aroused his interest to become a clergyman.
At the age of fifteen, he began teaching a Sunday school. In 1862, Hardy went to London as an assistant to an architect named Arthur Blomfield, a “Gothic” draftsman who was good at designing and restoring churches and rectories. His essay entitled “The Application of Coloured Bricks and Terra Cotta to Modern Architecture” won a medal in 1863. His fictional “How I Built Myself a House”, which was his first publication, was
However, the industrial life and manners in London discomforted him, and made work with less ambition in his profession. He enjoyed his time more in the evening that he spent by reading the Elizabeth and romantic poets. He was also interested in and acquainted with the modern works of Herbet Spencer, John Stuart Mill, Thomas Henry Huxley, and Charles Darwin.
In 1867 Hardy was ill and had to return home to regain his health. Then he worked for Hicks again. His becoming engaged to his cousin, Tryphena Sparks, inspired him to write his first novel entitled The Poor Man and The Lady. Unfortunately, the two publishers he came to rejected it, saying that it was too satirical and socialistic. George Meredith, the reader for Chapman and Hall, advised him to write a novel with a purely artistic purpose and a more complicated plot, and avoid social satire, recommending the study of Wilkie Collins. Hardy followed what Meredith said and succeeded in writing
, a novel of love and crime, with sensational incidents and complex circumstances that made it a striking novel. It was published by Tinsley’s company anonymously in 1871 at his own expense. When he worked for a Weymouth architect, he was sent to St. Juliot near Boscastle in Cornwall to examine a church. He met the rector’s sister-in-law, Emma Lavinia Gifford, and fell in love with her.
As Desperate Remedies had been published, Hardy wrote his second novel,
Under the Greenwood Tree
, which was published in May 1872, again by Tinsley. It connected Wessex with the industrial England’s time of doubts and fear. This novel was the first of his “Wessex Novels”. After this he was confused whether to choose
Hardy’s third novel, A Pair of Blue Eyes, was published serially in Tinsley
during 1872-1873, and after that appeared as a novel. It was his most Victorian novel, which combined sensational intrique and coincidences in the swiftly moving narrative of a romantic tragedy. Its success brought an invitation from Leslie Stephen of
Cornhill magazine, where the serial of Far from the Madding Crowd appeared in 1874.
Far from the Madding Crowd
tells a vain, capricious but intelligent and warmhearted woman who inherits a farm and has to deal with three men who love her. It was Hardy’s first popular success, which enabled him to marry Emma and assured him to devote himself entirely in writing. About this time he gave up working as an architect and concentrated on his work as an author. It is said that Far from the
“was also the first of ‘typical’ Hardy’s novel, for, although it has humour – not only in the treatment of the rustic characters – and what may pass for a happy ending, its scheme and general tone belong more to tragedy than comedy. There lays the influence of classical writers and Greek dramas in Hardy’s work. Hardy’s novel after the success of Far from the Madding Crowd was The Hand of Ethelberta
(1876), which was Wholly different from the previous one and was neglected by his readers. All this time Hardy’s friendship with Moule still went on, until one day Moule committed suicide in his room at Queens’ University. The memory of this man was believed to appear in the character of Jude Fawley in Jude the Obscure.
From 1878 to 1895 was his period of great achievement in writing the novels. His following novel, The Return of the Native (1878), was written in Sturminster Newton. It expressed his feeling of the nothingness of human life in the presence of the ever lasting
(1880), the most genial of his Wessex novels and his first sign of interest in Napoleonic tradition, he went back to London in illness and began A Laodicean, which he dictated mostly from his bed. It was firstly published serially before appearing as a novel in 1881. Then he moved to Wimborne, and his Two on a Tower was published in the following year. It has a fragile theme and an almost dream-like tone but was memorable for its projection of human passion against the background of starry distance. Until the next four years, his only work was a pretty novelette entitled The Romantic
Adventure of a Milkmaid , which was published in 1883.
In 1885 Hardy bought land on the outskirts of Dorchester for building Max Gate, his home for the rest of his life. There he completed The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), where the main character’s fault was used by the Immanent Will to bring him to destruction. The tone was almost brutal, lacking of charm and sweetness of poetry. The next novel, The Woodlanders (1887), was Hardy’s tenderest story, which thrilled in its narrative power and had the memorable nobility of its two central figures and its nice observed scenes and customs of the woodland folk. In the same year, he took his wife for an extended trip to Italy.
Returning home, Hardy published a collection of stories in Wessex Tales in 1888. Still in the same year, he published an article entitled “The Profitable Reading for Fiction”. Another article came up in 1890, “Candor in English Fiction”. In both articles “he asked for the novelist the right to treat controversial topics with the same sincerity as permitted in private intercourse, to discuss candidly the sexual relation, the problems of
Hardy’s first shocking novel was Tess of The d’urbervilles (1891), which was at first published serially, starting his conflict with the conventions of Victorian morality.
Certain scenes were omitted from the serial publication, and others were altered; the subtitle, A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented, aroused resentment. That a girl who had an illegitimate baby and who was eventually hanged for the murder of the man she was living with should be treated with compassion and understanding seemed an affront to accepted moral standards in the Victorian era.
It was the two-fold polemic in the novel – against social prejudice and against “the President of Immortal” – that aroused a storm of protest. However, “Tess took Hardy to the forefront of living novelist” (Brown, 1954 : 18).
2. Thomas Hardy’s Educational Background In his early teenage year, Thomas Hardy’s entering the new academy in town.
Hardy’s love of Latin and classical writers arouse because of his talented Latinist headmaster. One classical writer who had a great influence in Hardy’s writing was
Aeschylus, the Greek founder of tragedy. Aeschylus believed in Fate as the primary cause of tragedy. The critics see that in his stories, even Zeus cannot prevent what the Fates have ordained. The Ruler governs by and through Justice. This idea dominates all the tragedies of Aeschylus. Hardy was also fond of the story of Napoleonic era his grandmother told him about. This is reflected later in his drama, The Dynast.
From the period of 1840 to 1860, the Oxford Movement, a spiritual movement involving extremely devout thinking and actions, began to spread to Dorset. The the natural order of things. This movement helped to reinforce Hardy’s faith.
In 1856, Hardy left his school to study architecture from his father’s friend, John Hicks, an architect and church-restorer. It did not stop him from learning Latin and, later, Greek. As Hicks’ office was next to a school of a linguist named William Barnet, Hardy could consult his problems in Latin to that schoolmaster. Intending to become a clergyman, young Hardy read much on Christian theology. This was his happy year, which combined the professional, scholar, and rustic life in him.
From 1857, Hardy studied more on Classics from Horace Moule, eight years his senior, who was then a scholar in Classics at Cambridge. Moule gave a great influence in developing Hardy’s mind and spirit. He served as an educator for Hardy, guided his reading and study, not only on Greek literature but also on contemporary issues of thought and faith. He also served a role in the deterioration of Hardy’s faith. Previously, Hardy had only been surrounded by the rural ideas of Dorset.
About this time, Hardy bought a Greek New Testament. In 1860, Moule introduced him to Essay and Reviews, a collection of essays on religious subject, a critical doctrine, and other writings that challenged orthodox religious concept. At that time, “the presence of a fermenting element of pure religious denial in the collective thought of the nation is plainly recognizable. It explains at once the bitter tone of certain fears” (Legouis, 1948 : 111).
“Hardy began to grapple earnestly with the difficulty of reconciling religious belief with the modern outlook” (Brown, 1954 : 4), as the Victorian period that lasted from 1832 to the end of the nineteenth century was marked by inventions of new things 3. Thomas Hardy’s View on Christianity.
Early 1860s were the time when the open profession of absolute freethinking began, a time when philosophers showed up to answer their questions on many things.
Herbert Spencer, one of them, was a champion of evolutionism, laissez faire – the objection to interference by the government on the economy, and the conception of philosophy as the unification of all sciences. “The key to his system of unified science,
(1862), maintains in its opening chapters that nothing can be known of ultimate reality. He also says that “every man is free to do what he wills, as long as he does not infringe the equal freedom of any other man”. Spencer’s First Principles put Hardy into a deep thought of the unknown First Cause and the incalculable element of “Casualty”, the unfortunate accident he personifies as the one who determines human destiny. As a whole, he felt the universe to be animated as The Immanent Will. In Tess of
, he uses Nature, the unsympathetic First Cause, Providence, and the President of Immortals, which mean the same as The Immanent Will. The whole period was marked by interest in religious questions and was deeply influenced by seriousness of thought and self discipline of characters, an outcome of the puritan ethos. Evangelism, which later on became Evangelicalism, the religion of the middle class, failed to glorify God and enjoy Him. The word Evangelical is derived from the Greek evangelion or euaggelion, which means “message of salvation through the atoning sacrifice of Christ” (Bloesch, 1982 : 9).
Evangelism tried to apply the Christian doctrine in the society, which is imparting of knowledge and in the passive sense of what is thought” (New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1967 : 649). According to “Doctrinal Statement of Evangelical Outreach” at http://come.to/the.gospel, the doctrine consists of some points, which are :
1. The Bible is the inspired and inerrant Word of the Living God, which contains everything we need to know regarding salvation and how to behave in order to please God. It is final authority and is completely sufficient in itself for all matters dealing with doctrine and practice. His Word is foreves standing. All correction and teaching must, therefore, be backed by the Bible to be valid.
2. In the holy trinity there is only one true God, yet the Father is shown to be God, the Son is shown to be God and the Holy Spirit is shown to be God. Furthermore, the Father is NOT the Son or the Holy Spirit and the Son is NOT the Holy Spirit. They are three separate and distinct persons. So the Trinity is Scripturally verified.
3. Jesus Christ eternally existed before coming to earth as God and became man when born of a virgin. He lived a sinless life, shed His blood on the cross for our sins, died there and was bodily raised on the third day. He afterwards ascended into Heaven and will return to earth again. The Lord’s work on the cross, where He obtained our complete redemption, was both infinite and final and was for every single person who ever lived.
4. Mankind is sinful and in desperate need of salvation. Without personal salvation, one is dead in his sins, spiritually blinded, under the control of his sinful nature and on his way to eternal fire and eternal punishment.
5. Salvation is by grace and not by works. In other words, we are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Repentance is necessary for forgiveness and one’s evil ways. At the point of instant salvation one is declared righteous, given the gift of eternal life and is made a child of God, as said in the Bible, “And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5 : 24). True grace teaches us to live self-controlled, upright and godly livs in contrast, there exists a false and dangerous “grace” message which gives a license for immorality and breeds arrogance through a false security.
6. There will be a bodily resurrection for all mankind – one for the saved and one for the wicked. “And come forth – those who have done good resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5 : 29). While those who endure to the end will be saved, reign with Him and enter the kingdom of God, the wicked (comprising the vast majority of mankind) will in the end be cast into the lake of fire where they will experience conscious torment forever.
7. The believer’s security is conditional. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. We have eternal life only if we have Jesus Christ. If we disown Jesus, He will likewise disown us before the Father and the angels.
We can become an enemy of God again after initial salvation and raging fire will consume the enemies of God. We are to keep ourselves pure, from the spiritual pollutants of this world and from idols.
Hardy was at the center of intellectual ferment during the critical eighteen sixties. It was a liberal and outspoken age, when most representative men are of university education. His reading on those four – Spencer, Darwin, Huxley and Mill – really undermined his religious view, and he became even more exposed to the began his search to find meaning in life without an acknowledgment of his previous Christian beliefs. He once said, I have been looking for God for 50 years, and I think that if he had existed I should have discovered him. As an external personality – of course – the only true meaning of the word. In the later years of his life, Hardy felt that his faith in Christianity had been badly shaken by what he experienced and learned from the new scientific advancements in his century. Some say he became an agnostic, some say he was a skeptic, and the rest even say that Hardy was an atheist. However, he continued his search for the purpose and meaning of human existence. He longed to discover some divine being or Creator, but his acceptance of scientific theories like Charles Darwin’s weakened his faith and strengthened his spiritual doubt.
His confusion led to a frustration that he strongly expressed in his writing. In poems like “Hap”, “God Forgotten”, and “God’ Education” he expressed his belief in God’s absolute indifference to the concerns of man. Human existence is portrayed as accidental by a God who had given up all responsibility for the welfare of this creation.
“In novels such as Tess of The d’urbervilles and The Return of The Native characters were portrayed as mere pawns for God to manipulate and subject to hardship and bitter consequences” (Zursolo, 1999, Christianity.htm).
He also bought and read Schopenhauer’s dissertation, The Fourfold Root of the
Principle of Sufficient Reason
, and a reading of this work could account for the influence of the German philosopher’s concepts on Hardy’s writing. He found in Schopenhauer, a poetic philosopher, his own substance and drew nourishment from it.
Hardy spent his life looking for a God that was in the process of being disproven and their providing him with a strict Christian foundation, Hardy was too realistic to accept the presence of a benevolent God, as he witnessed all the hardships in human reality. He was lost in the obscurity of Christianity and could not bring himself to accept God on faith alone. He was not interested in becoming a clergyman as he had used to be, and gave up his plan to enter Cambridge to prepare for the church.
The opinion that Hardy is a skeptic was based on the definition of skepticism in religion, which questions knowledge made by theologians. It doubts or even disbelieves the authorized doctrine, including God and immortality. Anatole France Laments says that we can know nothing, all things combine to deceive us, and Nature is only making cruel sport of our ignorance and helplessness (Barret, 1935 : 261). Together with agnosticism, skepticism challenged the dogmas of Christianity, with the increasing success moving from Darwinism and many discoveries in philosophical thoughts. People say that certainly the great Victorian rationalism has succeeded in doing a damage to religion.
Hardy rejected orthodox religious consolation, and cried out against the loneliness of his discovery that human consciousness had reached a point of sensitiveness for the workings of the rest of nature. G.K. Chesterton says that Hardy’s view of life was the distortion of the puritan spirit, wedded to predestination, baulked of its belief in hell, for Hardy it can be seen, was not a Christian (Jones, 1956 : 334). Predestination is “the plan or purpose of God respecting his moral creatures” (Berkhof, 1968 : 43). Hardy’s works also shows his skepticism in social values, as in his two last novels he wrote before
Hardy’s cynicism, as one of the ways he uses to show his skepticism, is proved by his negative philosophy of the irony of fate, which is most powerfully and dramatically revealed in Tess of The d’urbervilles. “Fate is the ‘Villain’ in most of Hardy’s books, and his characters fight a losing battle against this impersonal force. Hardy summed up his anger at the unfairness of life in the novel Tess of The d’urbervilles”. That fate always wins the battle against Hardy’s characters shows his lack of confidence that there is any use in hoping for a success from a hard work.
D. Theoretical Framework
It is hoped that the previous part of this chapter can answer the two problems of this study. Since my study is going to deal with character I am going to use the theories of characters by Van der Laar, Henkle and M.J. Murphy in order to give a far better understanding. Characters in this novel rise from the writer imagination the theory will help in trying to find out about the characters attitude and behaviors in the novel so we can understand and interpret them.
My studies is also about the plot of the story so I use the theories from Robert, Jacobs and Stanton to help me in understanding the novel plot and how the plot goes in trying to understand the whole meaning of the novel.
It is very clear that all those theories is needed for me in trying to understand the character and the plot of the novel, along with other theory to make it clearer. The final logically in the previous chapter.
CHAPTER III METHODOLOGY A. Object of the Study This thesis dealt with literature, so the object of this thesis is a literary work of Thomas Hardy entitled Tess of The d’urbervilles. Tess of The d’urber-villes consists of
350 pages and divided into seven big chapters with each chapter divided again into eleven small chapters. The novel used in this thesis was published in 1993. The book is printed in Great Britain by Wordsworth Classic.
This book was first published in 1891 and it was condemned as immoral and pessimistic. It tells of Tess Durbeyfield, the daughter of a poor and dissipated villager, who learns that she maybe descended from the ancient family of d’Urberville. In her search for respectability her fortunes fluctuate wildly, and the story assumes the proportions of a Greek tragedy. It explores Tess’s relationship with two different men, her struggles against the social mores of the rural Victorian world which she inhabits and the hypocrisy of the age.
When this novel was first published Hardy receives a big amount of negative critical reception. He made the novel controversial for every people in that age. However this novel provides us with one of the most compelling stories in English Literature. Hardy’s point of view in this novel, gives us insight of what happened in that age, and how he was truly brave in revealing that into what critic said as a highly controversial novel.
B. Approach of the Study
The biographical approach is applied in studying the novel Tess of The
, because the discussion is on Hardy’s view in Christianity reflected from his past life. Acording to Guerin in A handbook of critical approaches in literature, biographical approaches sees literary work chiefly, if not exclusively, as a reflection of its writers life and times or the life and times of the characters in the work. According to NTC’s dictionary of literary terms biography defines a written account of a person’s life approach the writer also uses expresive criticsm which can help in understanding the writer’s feeling toward Christianity, especially his mockery at it, which is reflected in the work. So the novel reveals the author feelings. According to Abrams in A Glossary of Literary Terms, Expressive Criticism defines literature as an expression, or as the product of the author’s imagination operating on his/her perception thoughts, and feelings. It tends to judge the work by its sincerity or geniuses or adequacy to the author’s individual vision or state of mind, and it often looks in the work for evidences of particular temperament and experiences of the author who consciously or unconsciously, has revealed himself in it (1981 : 37)
C. Method of the Study
The method that is used in this thesis is library research, meaning that much of the information that is revealed in this thesis come from the library. Besides doing the library research, I used two kind of source. The first is primary source which is the novel Tess of The d’urbervilles and the secondary source is other book that helps to reveal this matters and literature site.
In order to have a better interpretation of the novel some step were taken. The first step was reading the novel. It took many times on reading it so we can finally have a good interpretation of the novel. So that the topic can develop, the problem formulation was made.
The next step is reading the secondary sources that can backup this whole thesis, backup the thesis I gather those information and try to make a better classification of what i can use and can not use. To gain more important references I explored some homepages in the internet, such as www.Google.com.
After finding the content of the novel, I begin to examine the characters as the whole point of this thesis. The main character background and other characters background that can be use to conclude this thesis. I also give a deep observation on the plot of this novel in order to find the answer for the problem formulation. And the last step was drawing a conclusion from the analysis.
CHAPTER IV ANALYSIS A. Characters and Plot. In Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Hardy shows his point of view on Christianity
through his cynical thrust at the religion doctrines and the people who proudly admitted themselves as Christians but forgetting the essence of Christianity itself. His point of view is expressed from the presentation of the characters and the pathetic plot.
1. The Characters in Tess of the d’Urbervilles a. Tess.
Tess is the character that shows Hardy’s point of view of the cruel life. The series of events happening in her life are so tragic. Trough Tess, Hardy tries to show the readers the cruel life. Tess is shown as a personal that can give a lot of meaning for the reader. First, the reader can feel sorry for her and her painful life. Second, the reader can also feel very annoyed at the fact that she becomes someone who is very unpleasant to see.
The reader can see that Tess becomes someone that the readers hate. She becomes a prostitute and for the readers it seems difficult for them to give a positive point on her way of life. Eventually the readers can seem to understand the reason of Tess way of life because of her background. Tess is a daughter of a poor and dissipated villager. Her whole life circles around poverty. One day she found out that she maybe descended from the ancient family of d’Urberville. The fact that she might be the descended of that family, intriguing her curiousity to find out more. Unfortunately the more she tried to find out about it, the more pain that she discovered about that family, and about herself.
There are some factors outside Tess that made her unable to do her own will. Her father’s pride, her mother’s greed, and also d’Urberville’s lust, which play their parts in Tess’ inevitable downfall. Her father and mother were the ones who led her way to the d’Urbervilles as they found their ancestors. Also was the one who seduced her and ruled over her with his richness and the hereditary tendencies. As in dealing with Angel, Tess did not get as much love as she gave to this hypocrite. While the society stood against her as it blamed her for her actions. she was. She did not care about nobility or the impact of being an aristocratic descendant. When her parents were busy talking about their chance of having a better life as they found out their ancestors, Tess did not really pay attention. When her mother started talking about Mrs. d’Urberville, who might be their relative, Tess did not care for that matter either. However, as she felt responsible for the death of the family horse, she accepted her mother’s plan of going to Mrs. d’Urberville, but the thought of marrying a noble gentleman as her mother wished never crossed her mind.
Though Tess stood in isolated weakness, she did not always stay in passiveness. Her character changed as she went through her course. For the first time after the death of the family horse, Tess started a little step in doing her own will by refusing Alec’s marriage offer and choosing to go home.
The birth of her baby made her realize that this little thing was her reason to stay alive. With her own confidence, Tess had the bravery to let people know about her baby, who was born on the wrong side of the blanket, though she knew that all of the people talked about her. Tess’ deed in this matter is also Hardy’s way to confront the society.
Like other Christians at that time, Tess attended the church and Sunday school. However, she did not go to deep into the essence of Christian teaching, as shown from her reaction to the phenomena in life. When she noticed the different life of people, she saw it as something unfair. This is emphasized as she talked about the stars to her younger brother, Abraham, on their way to the market. She said that the stars sometimes “seem to be like the apples on our stubbard tree. Most of them splendid and sound – a few blighted” (Hardy, 1957: 69). As human beings- according to Tess – lived on stars, Their counterparts, those who had to go through the hard life, lived on the blighted ones. When Abraham asked where they lived on, Tess answered that they lived on the blighted one.
That Tess did not go deeply into the essence of Christian teaching in spite of her belief in religion is also seen from her belief in superstitious things like omen, which she had been used to since her childhood. As she came back from her first visit to Trantridge, the thorn of the rose Alec gave to her pricked her chin, and she considered it as a bad sign. It shows that religion could not erase the old belief. The other scene showing this old belief is when Tess and Angel were about to leave Talbothays. The cocks crowed as their carriage got ready to go, and most of the people there considered it as a bad omen.
b. Angel Clare Angel was the son of a respected clergyman, but he felt that the doctrine blocked his way to the life and the nature around him. After he refused to go to Cambridge as his father’s wish, he got acquainted with the people whose lives were close to nature, and this way gave him more than what the religious life had given. He grew away from the old associations, and saw something new in life and humanity. Secondly, he made close acquaintance with phenomena which he had before known but vaguely. He really enjoyed his time of learning from those people and his being from the things he used to do when he was prepared to become a clergyman like his father. Angel clare first was considered a saviour for Tess but eventually he also become someone that destroy Tess life. He leave when Tess seem to need him more then ever
“Considering his position he became wonderfully free from the chronic melancholy which is taking hold of the civilized races with the decline of belief in beneficent Power. For the first time of late years he could read as his musing inclined him, without any eye to cramming for a profession..” (Hardy, 1957: 174).
Angel’s decision to leave his old religion was based on his logical way of thinking. Hardy states this in the scene when Angel decided to separate from Tess, while Tess begged him not to leave her. But he was not moved by her sobs, because deep inside him he seem already blocked himself again everything that trying to pass him. He blocked Tess, and he also blocked the influences from his church. He decided to abandoned all in searching for a new one. Angel is a hard character. Hardy’s always descruibe him as a man of his word. Always did what he said.
Angel has a personality that is full of complication. He always wears nice clothes that show who he was. Tess always sees him as a very good man. She always pictures him as what a man should be. She always adores him, which eventually become love. She felt that she already found someone good in her life. Angel is a man of perfection through Tess eyes. Apart from it Angel also posess the strength of human being. He can also get hurt and hurting others. Hardy describe him as an ordinary people that capable of doing thing and uncapable in doing other. In a way Hardy describe Angel as a bridge between the main character and the villain.
c. Alec d’Urberville Alec is man that has a big ego. He was a man that Hardy describes as a rich and powerful man with something on his mind. He always tried to do something that seems to never apart from his own aim in possessing her. His saving Tess at the night when she had a fight was one of his efforts, which in a few hours reached his goal in seducing her.
His willingness to help Tess by carrying her bag in her journey back to her family was his desire to leave him with a good image of himself, in order to use her for his desire in the future. In every action he always looked for his best interests. Alec is someone that always tried to get a benefit for him in every action that he took. He never think of other.
He only want what is good for him.
When Tess met him for the second time, Alec was preaching in front of the drunkards at Casterbridge Fair. It seemed that he had changed into a faithful Christian.
But as he saw Tess, all of a sudden he became the man as he used to be. He was still the wicked Alec, who could not help the attempt of having Tess though Tess did not love him. He canceled all of his appointment just to pursue Tess, and he blamed Tess for this. “The religious channel is left dry forthwith; and it is you who have done it!” (Hardy, 1957: 408). Alec gave up his faith and said that he could not preach anymore. “How can I go on with the thing when I had left my faith in it?” (Hardy, 1957: 409). This is Hardy’s mockery and thrust at the gentleman in black, which previously is shown from the presentation of the scene when the priest refused to give Tess’ baby a Christian burial.
2. The Plot of Tess of the d’Urbervilles
plot is an important element of the story. Even some says that it is the most important, because the clear plot or the clear connection among the happenings or events makes the easier understanding of the story. As the events arranged in plot have the
The plot of Tess of the d’Urbervilles shows that sympathetic protagonist has to undergo misfortune through no particular fault of her own. In the plot there is a causality relationship. It starts with John’s finding out about his family being the descendants of the noble d’Urberville. There was the characters’ passive submission to circumstance that started Tess’ trade as the Durbeyfields identified themselves with the d’Urbervilles, thinking that they would get a better life as their social rank rose, because the people of their own rank would come visiting them and the other people in Marlott would treat them with respect. For that reason Joan Durbeyfield insisted on sending Tess to the old Mrs. d’Urberville to ask for a job. It was too bad that her working for Mrs. d’Urbervilles was used by Alec, Mrs. d’Urbervilles’ son, to seduce her. Because of this seduction, Tess could not grasp the happiness she almost reached with the one she really loved, Angel Clare. The situations in the first half of Tess of the d’Urbervilles makes a more tragic plot because it was not the result of fatal flaws, but of Tess’ inability to get out of the circumstance.
In this novel Hardy presents the newly middle class aristocracy that raped rural England and stripped of its prior grandeur. In the end, one part of this rural ideal, the world of the working class of the poor people was sacrificed. However, this was only one aspect of the dilemma the novel presents. The clash of past and present was played but over the economic conflict.
The most basic element of Tess concerned her descent from an ancient and fallen family, a circumstance that lied at the root of all of Tess’ troubles. In fact, every decision family, past and present, would form the foundation of her downfall. The novel opened with Parson Tringham, “the antiquary”, and his explanation of Jack Durbeyfield’s connection with the ancient line of d’Urbervillie. Involving no money, land, or power, the d’Urbervillie name was useless. But its mystique gave the dissipated Jack Durberyfield a reason to celebrate ostentatiously and set the wheel of Tess’s fate spinning forward. They hoped that their mighty connections would bring the visible rewards prompted the burbeyfields, John and Joan, ton send Tess to “claim kin” with the Stoke- d’Urberville family of Trantridge. While Jack sought cash, Joan pursued on advantageous marriage for Tess. In other words, Jack’s goal was economic while Joan’s was emotional. And there went the innocent girl to the door of the d’Urberville.
From the first time seeing Tess, Alec d’Urbervilles had made a plan to seduce her, and he got the chance one night after the market day after the market day when he saved Tess from quarrelling with another worker, and he was succeeded. Hardy thinks that Tess did not deserve what happened, as he accused the Providence for letting it happen.
But might some say, where was Tess’s guardian angel? Where was the Providence of her simple faith? Perhaps, like that of other god of whom the ironical Tishbite spoke, he was talking, or he was sleeping and not to be awaked (Hardy, 1957: 119).
After getting back her hope and spirit, Tess left Marlott for the second time to look for another job. She went to Flintcomb Ash, the place where her romance with Angel, the man to whom she gave her true love, began. Whenever Angel proposed her, Tess always hesitated to accept, because her past kept her thinking that she was not good truth, for that was her chance to grasp the happiness she had been expecting. Joan’s attitude reflects that hypocritical society, standing against Tess’ faith to be honest. She wanted Tess to hide the truth about herself to keep Angel’s love and respect, because Angel might consider Tess to be wrong if he found out about her seduction.
Tess honesty in revealing her history as a matter of fact put her into the next misery because Angel left her. In helplessness, she accepted Alec’s offer to marry him to save her mother and little sisters and brothers from hunger. This was Alec’s victory that represented the squire’s victory upon the milkmaid. On the other hand, Tess’ denied her own conscience to be free from this man her denial to her own conscience only ended after Angel came back to her. Driven by her willingness to be with her true love, Tess killed her husband and went to the wood with Angel. For the society, Tess was a sinner, because she killed her own husband and ran away with another man, but for Hardy it was Tess’ greatness. Tess had killed the evil, and did her actions as her conscience led her.
B. Hardy’s View on Christianity Revealed in the Character a. Tess.
Tess visible conflict against Christianity began after her seduction. On her way home she met a man who painted words from the Bible. The conversation between Tess and the man shows that Tess- as well as Hardy – doubted the Christian doctrine, which is said in the Bible. The line which the man quoted from II Peter 2:3 in the Bible, which says ‘THY, DAMNATION, SLUMBERETH, NOT’ (Hardy, 1957: 128) is doubted by and still free as a bird. Tess feel that the community will only judge her as some dirty woman, eventhough it was not her fault. So he though that the damnation should be for the pharisees and not for her.
“Do you believe what you paint?” she asked in low tones. “Believe in that text? Do I believe in my own existence!” “But,” said she tremulously, “supposed your sin was not of your own seeking?” (Hardy, 1957, 128).
Tess’ question shows that Hardy thinks the Christian doctrine does not protect the innocence from sufferings. Tess’ sin was not from her own seeking, but still she had to suffer because of it. This arouses anger in Hardy as well as in Tess, as she reacted with horror to the texts painted on the walls and stile-boards in the village of Marlott. “I think they are horrible,” said Tess. “Crushing, killing” (Hardy, 1957: 128). As she continued her journey, she showed her accusation to God by saying, “Pooh” I don’t believe God said such thing!” (Hardy, 1957: 129). After her ‘fall’ she became terrified by the texts.
“Hardy’s was the eldest of four children. His father an orthodox Christian. His regular attendance in the church aroused his interest to become a clergyman on his early age”.(Brown, 1954:28)
Like Hardy, who attend the church regulary so its arouse his dream to become a clergyman, Tess used to attend the church regularly and got acquainted with the Sunday School and many songs from the Benedicite. On her way to Flintcom Ash as she left her home for the second time, she sang to express her spirits and hopes. After trying several ballads which she found inadequate,
“… recollecting from psalter that her eyes so often wandered over of Sunday morning before she had eaten the tree of knowledge, she chanted: “O ye Sun and Moon… O ye Stars… ye Green Things upon the Earth… ye Fowls of the Air… Beast and Cattle… Children of Men… bless ye the Lord, praise Him and magnify This is Hardy’s thrust at Sunday school teachers, which is reflected as he presents
Tess who lost her belief in the psalter how she always questioning on her faith and how she seems unprotected by the lord above. The Sunday school teachers taught children about the psalter and the faith in it, but they could not assure the children to keep believing in what they learned. Tess used to feel that she had known the Lord, but as she had learned more about life, she doubted whether she really knows the Lord.
The divine being is nothing else than the human being, or rather, the human nature purified, free from the limits of individual man, made objective- i.e., contemplated and revered as another, a distinct being. All the divine nature are, therefore, attributes of the human nature (Feverbach, 1957: 14).
It was the Christian teaching to know the nature of human beings. Since Tess was a Christian, she should have been able to find her God in herself, but in fact she could not.
Tess’ inability to know the Lord has been stated in the previous scene, when she stayed at home most of the time during her pregnancy. “A wet day was the expression at irremediable grief at her weakness in the mind of some vogue ethical being whom she could not comprehend as any other” (Hardy, 1957: 134-135). It also expresses that Tess lost touch with this essential inner voice when she allows her self to be trapped in shame because of her own “ruin”. During her pregnancy, Tess made a deep thought on her life.
She realized that she would not be able to defend herself against the social values, and made it her reason for avoiding other people and staying in the house most of the time.
This is Hardy’s disagreement with the social values that could isolate a person from the Later on Tess also showed that she had lost her belief in the truth of the words in the psalter. When Mr. Durbeyfield died, the younger children sang song they learned at
Sunday school, expressing the belief that they would meet gain in heaven. Tess did not believe it or whether the Providence would guide and guard them. From her experience, she had learned that she always walked alone, not even the Providence was there to help or show her the way out when she was in trouble. “To her and her like, birth itself was an ordeal of degrading personal compulsion, whose gratuitousness nothing in the result seemed to justify, and at best could only palliate” (Hardy, 1957: 441).
Hardy refuses the religious doctrine because there are things it does not explain, which makes it doubtful and questionable.
“Despite his devout parents and their providing him with a strict Christian foundation, Hardy was to realistic to accept the presence of benevolent God, as he witnessed all the hardship in human reality”.(Brown, 1954:22)
Hardy shows this opinion clearly from the conversation about knowledge between Tess and Angel. Tess said she did not mind learning anything, but not everything she wanted to know is explained, like why she was punished for a mistake she did unintentionally, while there is another person who is responsible for what had happened but was not punished as she was. Alec was supposed to be the one responsible for Tess’ ruined life, but in fact, Tess thought that he was free from any punishment. “I shouldn’t mind learning why – why the sun do shine on the just and the unjust alike,” she answered, with a slight quaver in her voice. “But that what books will not tell me” (Hardy, 1957: 182).
What Tess said about the just and the unjust is taken from the Bible, which says, is unaccepted, for it does not explain why God does such a thing. Tess’ acquaintance with Angel drew her further away from her religion, because she absorbed whatever Angel told her about.
As said previously, there were many things around Tess that determined her life and made her unable to do as she wished. When Alec tried to seduce her for the second time, even blamed her for making him think about her all the time, Tess could see no way to get out of that man. She was desperate, and was ready to give up as she said to Alec
“Now, punish me!” she said, turning up her eyes to him with the hopeless defiance of the sparrow’s gaze before its captor twists its neck. “Whip me, crush me, you need not mind those people under the rick! I shall no cry out. Once victim, always a victim that’s the law!” (Hardy, 1957: 411).
After her seduction, Tess was more aware of the post-conversion Alec. However, at least the nature of human left Tess only one choice. After the death of her father, she was no way of saving her family from starvation than by accepting Alec’s marriage offer. But she could not keep denying her own feeling that she did not love her husband, especially when she found her true love standing in front of Alec, the society only saw Tess’ murdering Alec as something clearly against the religion doctrine, because the Bible had clearly stated in its ten commandments, “Thous shalt not kill” (Exodus, 20: 13).
To Hardy, there is a logical reason for Tess’ action. At the time when she killed Alec, she had made big step related to action on her own will. Her rel happiness was when she was able to go with Angel without the shadows of Alec following her. Though for committing that crime, she did not really lose, because she made the right decision by ending the life of the evil that had destroyed her life. As she died, she was free from the miseries that have surrounded her for a long time.
Tess is last seen in the pagan temple of Stonehenge, another pre-Christian symbol, though it was a man-made one. Her final course was inevitable and she slept on the stone of sacrifice, despite Angel’s efforts to urge her onward. Having asked Angel to marry her sister, she was able to answer the policeman in the affirmative, “’I am ready’” (Hardy, 1957: 417). She was indeed ready, for the restrictive and flawed Victorian world with its morality was not a fit place for a pure woman like her. Therefore her fate was not only simple tragedy but also an expected one, because as her life ended, her miseries ended as well. The clash of Victorian society and her as a person made her death almost a relief. In essence, she was in fact a condemnation of medieval Christian moralities on a modern world. b. Angel clare In chapter four, or phase of fourth as Hardy names it, there is a mockery to the religion shown by Angel Clare when he told his parents bout Tess. Angel and Tess met at the farm in Talbothays, the place where Tess worked as a milkmaid after the death of her child. Angel was there to learn more about farming. After quite a long time getting acquainted, he proposed her to marry him, although he realized that they came from different backgrounds, because she was only a milkmaid and a daughter of a post by telling them that she was a faithful Christian. While in fact, he felt pity on her and her friends who attended the church almost every Sunday morning.
Angel waked quite earnest on that rather automatic orthodoxy in his beloved Tess which (never dreaming that it might stand him in such good stead) he had been prone to slight when observing it practiced by her and the other milkmaids, because of this obvious unreality amid beliefs essentially naturalistic. (Hardy, 1957: 225).
His parents knew that Angel mocked at their religion and he would never choose a wife for her faithfulness in Christianity. “… Angel never would have made orthodoxy a condition of his choice”. (Hardy, 1957: 225). Mr. and Mrs. Clare themselves had chosen another woman to be Angel’s wife, who was the woman of their own class. angel’s refusal to marry this woman and choice to marry Tess was Hardy’s way to show his disagreement to the old way of class system in the society.
Everyone believing in religion also believes that there is life after death. Since Angel did not believe in any religion, he did not believe in the doctrine, which says there will be a bodily resurrection for all mankind – one for the saved and one for the wicked.
While those who endure to the end will be saved, reign with Him and enter the kingdom of God, the wicked in the end will be cast into the lake of fire where they will experience conscious torment forever. Angel’s disbelief in this doctrine was seen as he avoided answering Tess’ question whether they would meet again after they died.
On the other hand, Angel’s character also reflected the hypocritical society. The Victorians claimed that they had morality, but they are not more than just hypocrites.
Angel once spent a few nights with a woman in Italy, he simultaneously thought that Tess was “fresh” and “virginal”, a child of the soil, a fresh and modern bloom of a girl. And her without considering her feeling. Like all the people of Marlott, he did not distinguish Tess’ physical and moral purity. He did not even try to understand why and how Tess failed in avoiding Alec’s seduction. A son of a respected clergyman was not supposed to behave like a hypocrite as Angel did. He considered himself a modern man, but the way he behaved towards Tess’ confession proved that he was not different from the old feudal people, who could not accept a woman who was not a virgin anymore, though she did not do that on purpose.
Angel’s way of logical thought was also confused by the idea of a woman ‘belonging’ to the man who first ‘possessed’ her. In this way he saw Tess as the belonging of Alec because of the seduction in the Chase. Thus Tess was bound to Alec.
Angel blocked the way of the love he still felt for her because principles and standards re stronger in his mind that love, and he lacked forgiveness, in the sense that he was unable to forgive and take her as she was. In the same way that he could not accept Christ’s resurrection, he could not give his real forgiveness to Tess. There was no grace in Angel’s world and so any pursued relationship would give no good result. His ideas won in the battle against his love. In essence, the presentation of his behavior is Hardy’s condemnation of the entire repressive morality of the Victorian period itself; a morality that stood in conflict with the needs of a modern world. A society that would condemn an innocent girl for being raped, as Angel did, was out of step with the natural order.
c. Alec Hardy presents Alec to show his cynical thrust at the Christian institution and the social values. It is a fact that the rich people have the power over the poor one, as what happened in the society at that time. Alec gives a strong sense that he as a rich man never had an inside trust or value to believe in church as an institution. Alec gives a more perspectives wa that his a very cynical man that hardy describe as somewhat evil and twisted.
C. Hardy’s View on Christianity Revealed on the Plot.
The Providence of Tess’ simple faith is God of the Christians, whom she believed since she was a child. In this part Hardy took the words from the story in the Bible, when a few years after the death of King Solomon, Israel was under the reign of Ahab, the King who denied the Lord believed by King Solomon. Elijah the Tishbite, “the man of God,” came to remind him of the Lord. He said that the real God was the one who can send the rain. So the people of Israel prayed to their God, but the rain did not come. Then Elijah said, “for he is a God, either he is talking, or he is pursing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked” (I Kings 18: 27).
In the Bible, Elijah mocked at the other God who was not the Christian God. But in this novel, Hardy makes it seem that the God of the Christians is the same as the other God. This are Hardy’s way of showing his refusal in the doctrine, because what it says is not what happens in the real life.
The bible also mentions about the angels that guard the believers, as said in Psalm 34: 7 “when the afflicted man called out the lord heard and from all his distress he saved him” and in Psalm 91: 11 “For to his angels he has given command about you, that they angel keeping her in time when she needed helps. According to the line in Psalm only the man that god want to save and not all huaman being. That is why Tess feel that there are no guardian angels, and there are no help from God.
In this part of the story, which is of the pretty mid seduced by the squire, there is an ideological reflex of the ‘feudal’ social relations where individuals are imprisoned within a certain definition, whether landlord and ‘peasant’ or squire and milk-maid which appeared as a personal restriction of one individuals by another.
Hardy’ refusal in the Christian doctrine, as his attack on the Christianity, creates his conflict with the Victorian era. Another doctrine he cannot accept is that about the sins of the fathers visiting the children. The ancient d’Urbervilles, who were believed as Tess’ ancestors, might have done the same as what Alec did to Tess, seducing an innocent village girl, or at least more ruthlessly. “But though to visit the sins of the fathers upon the children may be a morality good enough for divinities, it is scorned by average human nature, and if therefore does not mend the matter” (Hardy, 1957: 119).
The doctrine about the sins of the fathers visiting the children is state in the Bible,
Exodus 20:5 which says, “I, the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.”
Tess of d’Urbervile,
as mentioned in the previous chapter, shocked the society because of its two-fold polemic, which are against the social prejudice and the presentation of “The President of Immortals.” These two are presented in Hardy’s narration in the scene of the death of Sorrow, Tess’ child. bastard gift of shameless Nature who respects not the social law; a waif to whom eternal Time had been a matter or days merely, who knew not that such things as years and centuries ever were; to whom the cottage interior was the universe, the week’s weather climate, new-born babyhood human existence, and the instinct to suck human knowledge (Hardy, 1957: 146). There is a cynical trust in the world “gift” Hardy used to identify Tess’ baby. A gift is supposed to be something which can create happiness but that did not happen to
Tess. “The President of Immortals” – Hardy’s call to the unknown Power – gave the baby to Tess, but it was not in accordance with the social law. Tess’ having an illegitimate baby is an affront to accepted moral standards. “An immeasurable social chasm was to divide our heroine’s personality thereafter from that previous self of hers who stepped from her mother’s door to try her fortune at Trantridge poultry-farm” (Hardy, 1957: 199).
For the society, what had happened to Tess made her seem as if she had changed so much and were different from the others, as they did not care that Tess never intended to commit adultery. Those people even forgot one of their religion teaching, that “Christian religion distinguishes inward moral purity from external physical purity” (Feverbach, 1957: 32). This is also Hardy’s point of view of the social value. He cannot accept the values in the society. The values that the people in Marlott held were unfair to Tess. Hardy denies that Tess had done anything wrong. The values in the society, together with her fate, which were wrong, and not she.
But this encompassment of her own characterization, based on shreds of convention, peopled by phantoms and voices antipathetic to her, was a sorry and mistaken creation of Tess’s fancy – a cloud of moral hobgoblins by which she was terrified without reason. It was they that were out of harmony with the actual world, not she… Feeling herself in antagonism she was quite in accord. She had been made to break an accepted law, but no law known to the environment which
Cross (1959: 27) says that Hardy is out of joint with the codes of conduct sanctioned by a Christian civilization, and she shows a cynical thrusts at Sunday- school teachers and well-intention gentlemen in black. Hardy’s cynical trusts at the clergyman – whom Cross calls as gentleman in black – is shown as he presents the scene where Tess wanted her baby to be buried in the churchyard. First she asked the priest if the way she had baptized the child was right, “… will it be just the same as if you had baptized him?” (Hardy, 1957: 146). And the priest said: “It will be just the same” (Hardy, 1957: 147).
But when Tess asked if he would give the baby a Christian burial, the priest refused. He said that it was not a Christian, for it had never been baptized in the church. This incident was a vulgar one for the faithful Christians, and Hardy shows his objection to the orthodox religion doctrine through this. Still in this part Hardy puts the Christian church at its worst position.
As mentioned previously, Hardy’s confrontation with the society and its values is also caused by his presentation of “The President of the Immortals.” Tess’ tragedy was created as something that The President of Immortals considered as a kind of sport. It ended when Tess’ life ended, tht is when she was hanged for murdering her wicked husband, Alec, when she wanted to take a second chance with her beloved angel. Hardy describes Tess’ death as “Justice” was done, and the President of the Immortals, in Aeschylean phrase, had ended his sport with Tess” (Hardy, 1957: 489).
Physically the main character lost the battle against the society and its institution that was based on the religion, but her faith and conscience won against hypocrisy and . circumstances that caused her downfall.
CHAPTER V CONCLUSION Tess of The d’urbervilles
is Hardy’s first novel that gives his perspectives and conflict with the society. It is the association with a man passions and desires. In trying to reveal the life of Christianity, it is trying to give the moral ethic of Christianity in Victorian era to the modern world. He presents the clash between the pagan and modern doctrine – and the Evangelical – is shown from the characters and the plot.
Thomas Hardy gives his perspectives in Christianity through the character and the plot. He reflected his view first by using the word questionable about Christianity.
Everything that he sees in Christianity at that time are not without any mistake at all. In Tess of The d’urbervilles hardy freely tried to expresss his feeling about Christianity.
Hardy’s opinion about human exsistence was reflected in Tess. Tess was pictured as someone that move away from God when she found out that a lot of misfortune happen to her. There are so many things that made her think less of God.
In Tess of The d’urbervilles Hardy reveals his feeling toward Christianity. He felt that everything that is written in the Holly bible, or what he learn in church, does not explain anything. It is doubtful and questionable. He shows also how the moral of Victorian people at that time how they claimed to be a high moral society but they are not more than just hiprocityies. They speak other and act other. How they they condemn an innocent girl for being raped eventhough that little girl was the victim. They seem to have a high pride but they are morality corrupted themselves.
Hardy’s trying to explain to the reader that what is written in the holy bible or in the religious doctrine does not always happen. In the bible it says that an angel will come to everyone that is in trouble but the fact is when Tess was in trouble no one come. When she got raped no one seems to hear her voice. It seems that her whole life was filled with unpleasant things and she got no help.
In the end Hardy created a main character that seems to lose everything and gain nothing but fortunately she wins against society. She keeps faith on what she believes and hypocrisy and circumstances that caused her downfall.
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