Tess of the d’Urbervilles

Notes from class:


“So each had a private little sun for her soul to bask in; some dream, some affection, some hobby, or at least some remote and distant hope….” All of the girls in Tess’s village are working class, and their dreams are remote to them – unlikely ever to be fulfilled.

“I don’t know; but I think so. They sometimes seem to be like the apples on our stubbard-tree. Most of them splendid and sound – a few blighted.” Tess’s view of the world is based on the life she is forced to live; because life is hard for her, she believes that the world is “blighted”.

“Out of the frying pan into the fire!” Carr Darch understands the dangers for peasant girls when Alec takes a liking to them – he will use his higher social status to have sexual control of them.

“Every day seemed to throw upon her young shoulders more of the family burdens” – She must take responsibility for her family as her father and mother will not.

“The dialect was on her tongue to some extent, despite the village school.” – She is a country girl, not refined and not a woman from wealth.

“She was a fine and picturesque country girl, and no more.” Tess was no different in status to the other girls at the dance – they are all equally poor.