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An Analysis of the Images in Tess of the D’urbervilles

Author: WangXueMei
Tutor: LiMin
School: Shandong Normal University
Course: English Language and Literature
Keywords: Thomas Hardy Images Folklore Bible Nature
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Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2005
Downloads: 1838
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Abstract


Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) is an outstanding English writer who possesses a very important position in the history of English literature. Of the 14 novels he has written, Tess of the d’Urbervilles (Tess, hereinafter) is one of his greatest. Today, more than 100 years after it was first published, its moving plot and unique artistic charm still attract many readers’attention and argument. There have been a lot of researches on this novel. But the former researches mainly focus on the analysis of characters, the moral significance and the author’s viewpoint, etc.. The use of folklore, the Biblical and nature images are not given enough attention to. This thesis, therefore, attempts to analyze these images so as to throw more light on the novel.The first chapter intends to analyze the folklore that is adopted by Thomas Hardy in this novel. There are many places in the novel that are permeated with folklore, such as the club-walking that is connected with Ceres, a goddess of grain, agriculture and fertility, people’s worship of the sun, the legend of the d’Urbervilles’coach as well as the folklore about the d’Urbervilles’ancient residence. The allusion of folklore gives this story a sense of mystery and also makes the characters complete and the story convincing.The second chapter discusses the Biblical images in this novel. Bible is a great book which is widely read and appreciated throughout the world. It’s closely related to literature creation and has great literary value. Thomas Hardy was deeply influenced by Christianity and the story of the book is in someway similar to the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis. Also, the main characters Tess, Angel, Alec are very similar to Eve, angel and Satan in the Bible. Hardy uses churches as metaphors and symbols to pronounce his highly critical views on Christianity. Hardy’s use of images of churches as buildings, together with all the relevant references and episodes, is clearly integrated into the overall structure of the novel and thus contributes directly to its bitter and critical message. The church of Kingsbere-sub-Greenhill---the ancient seat of the d’Urberville family and one of the most important images in Tess---

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