The Function of the Landscape Description in Tess of the D’urbervilles

5353 Words Apr 23rd, 2013 22 Pages
Chapter 1 Introduction
Tess of the D’urbervilles is an extraordinarily beautiful book, as well as an extraordinarily moving one. Tess Durbeyfield, the daughter of a poor foolish peasant, who believes that he is the descendant of an ancient aristocratic family, first is seduced by Alec, the son of the neighboring family by the name of D’urbervilles. Then Tess encounters Angel Clare, a man of liberal mind and the son of a clergyman, and they fall in love with each other. On the evening of their wedding ceremony, Tess confesses to Angel her seduction by Alec, and then Angel abandons her and leaves for Brazil by himself. Subsequently Angel comes to understand his moral and intellectual arrogance and searches for Tess, only to find that the
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She wears the white gown and the red ribbon and “she was a fine and handsome girl—not handsomer than some others, but her mobile peony mouth and large innocent eyes added eloquence to color and shape”(ibid.: 51).
It seems that Tess, a fragment of the natural world, a natural phenomenon herself, so innocent, pure, naturally beautiful, is in complete harmony with the beautiful and historical place as well as the comfortable and happy atmosphere. But a carriage carrying her drunk father breaks this harmony and some people begin to make jokes of her father which drops naïve Tess in a deep shame. Then a young man of “superior class” takes part in the dancing. That beautiful place, such beautiful Tess and a handsome young man, these are, undoubtedly, the complete elements of romance. However, nothing romantic happens but the regretful and lost chance. Although the young man feels a little bit sorry that he didn’t dance with the pretty maiden, yet he is anxious to walk and “dismissed the subject”(ibid.: 23) quickly and easily. The contrast between the beautiful landscapes and what Tess has encountered enables sensitive people to feel some tragic atmosphere, but it is so dim, thin and light, like the haze just emerging in the morning that people will soon forget its existence and ignore it. But after reading through the whole novel, we can find it very romantic that Tess and Angel encounter with each other at the beautiful May; but it’s really

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