Aftercourses: Tess of the d’Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure

  • Marlene Springer

Abstract

Hardy came of artistic age with The Return of the Native, and by this sixth novel had thoroughly learned the technique of allusion. But a study of Hardy would seem incomplete without some investigation of the final results of the long process of stylistic honing, without a look at his two final great novels, Tess of the d’Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure.1 By The Return, most key character traits were in place, and he continually intensified them: Eustacia’s sexuality becomes Tess’s passion; Thomasin’s virginity, Sue’s frigidity; Wildeve’s propositions, Alec’s rape; Clym’s asexuality, Angel’s devastating priggishness; and Jude’s dual nature has remnants of both Wildeve and Clym. Technique still complements content, as Hardy allusively elevates his prose, dignifies his plots, and undermines his characters.

Keywords

Dust Schizophrenia Assimilation Egypt Burial 

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Notes and References

  1. 2.
    J. T. Laird, The Shaping of ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’ (London, 1975). See especially 190 ff. See also Mary Jacobus, ‘Tess’s Purity’, E1C, xxvi (October 1976) 318–38.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Florence Emily Hardy, The Life of Thomas Hardy: 1840–1928 (London, 1962) p. 240.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    W. R. Rutland, Thomas Hardy: A Study of his Writings and their Background (Oxford, 1938) p. 240.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    Roy Morrell, Thomas Hardy: The Will and the Way (Singapore, 1965) p. 32.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    See Philip Mahone Griffith, ‘The Image of the Trapped Animal in Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles’, TSE mu (1963) 88.Google Scholar
  6. 10.
    Irving Howe, Thomas Hardy (London, 1967) p. 112.Google Scholar
  7. 11.
    See Benjamin Sankey, The Major Novels of Thomas Hardy (Denver, 1965) p. 51.Google Scholar
  8. 12.
    Dorothy Van Ghent, The English Novel: Form and Function (New York, 1953) pp. 208–9.Google Scholar
  9. 13.
    F. B. Pinion, Thomas Hardy: Art and Thought (London, 1977) p. 116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 15.
    Varley Lang, ‘Crabbe and Tess of the d’Urbervilles’, MLN, un (May 1938) 369–70.Google Scholar
  11. 17.
    David J. De Laura, ‘“The Ache of Modernism” in Hardy’s Later Novels’, ELH, xxxiv (1967), especially 392 ff.Google Scholar
  12. 18.
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  13. 19.
    For a review of Hardy’s attitude towards Shelley and a list of criticism on the topic see Lennart A. Björk (ed.), The Literary Notes of Thomas Hardy 2 vols (Göteborg, 1974) pp. 357–8. Of the other four allusions to modern poetry, two are appropriately from Swinburne, another poet of ambiguous sexuality, while two are taken from Browning and used ironically.There is no discernable pattern to these clusters.Google Scholar
  14. 24.
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  23. 29.
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  24. 42.
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  25. 43.
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  27. 48.
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  28. 49.
    See Norman Holland’s fine article, “Jude the Obscure”: Hardy’s Symbolic Indictment of Christianity’, NCF ix (June 1954) 54. See also Walter Gordon, ‘Father Time’s Suicide Note inJude the Obscure’, NCF xxii (December 1967) 299.Google Scholar
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  34. 65.
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  35. 66.
    For a discussion of this scene and a comparison with the death of Tess’s baby see Penelope Vigar, The Novels of Thomas Hardy (London, 1974) p. 207.Google Scholar
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    See Ward Hellstrom, ‘Hardy’s Scholar-Gypsy’, in George Goode (ed.), The English Novel in the Nineteenth Century, ’Illinois Studies in Language and Literature’, no. 63 (Urbana, 1972) p. 204.Google Scholar
  37. 74.
    Herman Meyer, The Poetics of Quotation in the European Novel trans. Theodore and Yetta Ziolkowski (Princeton, 1968) pp. 73, 89.Google Scholar
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    See David Leon Higdon, ‘The Sovereign Fragments: A Study of George Eliot’s Epigraphs’, unpublished dissertation, University of Kansas, 1968, pp. 1–2, 115.Google Scholar
  39. 76.
    Lionel Stevenson, The Ordeal of George Meredith (New York, 1953) pp. 322, 62.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Marlene Springer 1983

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  • Marlene Springer

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