Tess dei d'Urbeville di Thomas Hardy: riassunto, analisi e commento

Riassunto, analisi e commento in inglese del romanzo di Thomas Hardy, Tess dei d'Urbeville (1 pagine formato doc)

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Thomas Hardy (1840 - 1928).

Thomas Hardy has been from time to time defined as a regionalist, a pessimist, as well as a realist, a romantic and a naturalist. Romanticism: the total immersion in nature and his belief that only in rustic life men can express their passions to the full, make Hardy a romantic. But, while for the Romantics Nature usually meant joy and consolation, for Hardy it came to mean something else, that is an hostile power, indifferent to men's destiny.
Love, which is the basis of  all his novels, and which is another romantic content, quite often ends in disillusion and failure, destroyed by institutions like marriage or by society and by Fate. Pessimism: the influence of the latter scientific discoveries and the reading of philosophers such as Darwin and Schopenhauer led him to work out a pessimistic theory, according to which man is an insignificant insect in an indifferent universe. Man is therefore the victim of an obscure fate; this led Hardy to work out the idea of a kind of predestination.

Tess dei d'Urbeville: trama e analisi


The Wessex, which is the land of much of his novels is presented as a world in decline, in fact mechanization is destroyng  isolation and rhythmos of country life. Tess is mainly a rich portrait of country dile  disruped by the economic and social changes brought by the industrial revolution. The downfall of country life is not only a historical consequence of industrialisation, but embodies a deeper vision of the negative forces shaping human life and destiny. Tess's fall is simbolically linked with disappearence of the idealized country life. Tess is the victim male-dominated society with unjust moral code. Tess is the victim both of Alec and of Angel, in fact Alec blakmails and seduces her without thought of marrying her. On the other hand Angel, whom Tess truly loves, abandons her, overcome by traditional values and ordinary prejudices. A web of symbols envelopes the whole novel (she is often described in terms of plants, compared to a small defenceless bird to suggest her grace and the  association with a serpent simbolizes her corruption by Alec).


The recurrence of white and red in the novel emphasizes Tess's innocence and passion, besides red is the colour, together with black, of the mechanical world. But Tess is also the victim of fate and a disordered world. Tess is as relic from the past who is unable to find her own place in the evolution of modern civilization. She is split between two contrasting worlds: the old aristocratic order and the new bourgeoisie; the agricoltural world and the new world of money and commerce. The final words "justice was done" ironically epitomize the fatalistic concept present in all the book.