Books and Movies Reviews

Tess of the Durbervilles

In the novel Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy, Tess is faced with many different levels of happiness, from pure joy to absolute unhappiness. As she moves from location to location, the setting of these places portrays Tess’ joy. From her pure happiness at Talbothay’s Dairy, to the turning point of Tess’s joy at the old D’Urberville house, to her most unforgiving stay at Flintcomb-Ash, to her final contentness before her death at Bramshurst Court, the reader sees atmospheric changes that diminish then climb back up. Hardy thoroughly demonstrates through his descriptions of her surroundings how Tess will feel while stationed in each place.
After Tess’s life has been torn apart by Alec D’Urberville she needs to seek refuge. By leaving her home town of Marlott, she is able to start her life anew. She escapes to the jovial atmosphere of Talbothay’s Dairy. As Tess crosses over the ridge of the hill it seems as though she is switching worlds. Hardy’s description portrays the field as “a billiard table of indefinite length” (Hardy 98) with “a carpeted level, which stretched to the east and the west as far as the eye could reach” (97). The land is described as being as limitless as Tess’ joy. The area is plush and beautiful, and here, Tess is able to relax and be free of her past. Tess’ “whimsical eye” (98)sees “vivid green moss” (98). This gives the area a childlike appeal, as though you can be young and happy while at Talbothay’s Dairy. Tess feels warm as she watches the “shadows… with as much care over each contour as if it had been the profile of a Court beauty on a palace wall” (98). Even the cows have a majestic magnetism as the “white [of their horns] reflected the sunshine in dazzling brilliancy” (99). Talbothay’s Dairy is glowing with joy and this warmth finds its way to a well-needing Tess. Tess is able to feel happy again and “that she really had laid a new foundation for her future. The convictio


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