Literary Terms for Tess of the D'Urbervilles

545 Words3 Pages
Hidden meanings can always be found in a novel upon close inspection, and this is true for Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles as well. Each object in the novel can point to greater detail, even objects as uninspiring as a blade of grass or a wooden spoon can be the way to find understanding. Through the symbolism used, the story is foreshadowed and once the reader understand the signs they are able to understand the intricate details that Hardy has put into his novel. In the time that Tess lives in, girls are expected to be pure and chaste. At the dance in the field, all of the girls are wearing some shade of white. For Tess this shows her youth and virginity. “She wore a red ribbon in her hair and was the only one of the white company who could boast such an adornment,” (25). Although her white frock is a way of symbolizing her purity, the red ribbon is a warning for what is to come. The red acts as a flag foreshadowing the rape that she is to go through once she leaves Marlott. Another potent symbol in the novel is birds and how they affect Tess. She encounters birds on her journey to Flintcomb-Ash shortly after a hunting party tries to kill as many as possible. She finds many birds wounded and waiting for death as she wanders and attempts to put as many of them out of their misery as possible. “Tess’s first thought was to put the still-living birds out of their torture, and to this end with her own hands she broke the necks for as many as she could find,” (297). Tess is similar to the birds in that she is feeling pain also. Her loss of Angel is like the slow death of the birds, she wants someone to end it. Her killing of these birds also foreshadows the Tess’ future as just like the birds her neck is snapped when she hangs for the crime of killing Alec d’Urberville. Despite her trying to be as Christian as possible, Tess finds herself connected to

More about Literary Terms for Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Open Document