Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Book Review: Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Book: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Genre: Victorian Literature
Published: 1891
How I Got the Book: for a class

Synopsis (from b& Using richly poetic language to frame a shattering narrative of love, seduction, betrayal, and murder, Hardy tells the story of Tess Durbeyfield, a beautiful young woman living with her impoverished family in Wessex, the southwestern English county immortalized by Hardy. After the family learns of their connection to the wealthy d’Urbervilles, they send Tess to claim a portion of their fortune. She meets and is seduced by the dissolute Alec d’Urberville and secretly bears a child, Sorrow, who dies in infancy. A very different man, Angel Clare, seems to offer Tess love and salvation, but he rejects her—on their wedding night—after learning of her past. Emotionally bereft, financially impoverished, and victimized by the self-righteous rigidity of English social morality, Tess escapes from her vise of passion through a horrible, desperate act.

My Thoughts: You must go and read this book. It's dark and moody one of the most observant books I have ever read. It a complete literary food for for thought buffet. This is an onion of a book, layer after layer of themes and issues. One thing I love about this book is that it is complete backhand to Victorian ideals. Rape culture is a tangible real thing is you believe in it or not and it is mind blowing how little has changed in 120 years. From victim blaming, lack of help, and the scary notion that many people today, like in the 19th century, actually THINK that Tess(or any woman in general) may have wanted it. My brain weeps for humanity. Regardless, this book is a true masterpiece. The prose and the description of the countryside to the Gothic-like scene are incredible. The ending is genius.

Characters: Tess is sympathetic. Angel Clare is a wolf in sheep's clothing, weaker than Tess in so many ways. Alec is one of the creepiest characters I have ever read. I'm getting the willies just thinking about him!

Cover Art: A painting of a woman doing something? So original! lol not.

Overall: ★★★★★


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