Tomas Hardy is an controversial writer in the era of Victorian,his life span stretches over two centuries. In view of the influence of family life and the background of education, Hardy is aware of many ancient Greek fair tales and biblical stories.
In his representative fiction, Tess of The D’Urbervilles, Hardy used different types of symbols to expose the tragic destiny of Tess, just as the famous word which Hamlet says “Frailty, thy name is woman. ” Therefore, the whole symbols in this novel make immense effect on digging the deep meaning of Tess of The D’Urbervilles.My thesis will lay stress upon some characteristic symbols to argue about religious ideology and social significance. 1.
The symbol of carriage It’s obviously that the symbol of carriage appears from the beginning of Tess to the end. A point which must be mentioned is that the carriage originally dates back to a Greek myth. This myth talks about a carriage with curse. In this story, there is a beautiful princess, but the king is told that if anybody married with his daughter, he would die.
For this reason, the king asks everyone who wants to make a proposal to princess to race carriage with him.Consequently, he will kill them unless they get a triumph. Many participator is murdered expect a man, because of the god’s support, this power let him win the race and the king fall dead at last. The carriage in the Greek fair tale is an evil symbol that is in the name of curse to exist.
It is also stands for misfortune and death. In the basis of this Greek myth, we haven’t any difficulty in discovering carriage has a close relationship with Tess’s tragic fate. Firstly, Tess fell asleep on her way to market, so something terrible happened, the harness was entangled with an object which blocks the way.As a result, Princess, her father’s poor horse was killed.
Due to this accident, her family lost their sole source of income. Tess had to ask help for their relatives. Unfortunately, she encountered Alex who seduces her, this leads to the beginning of Tess’s tragedy. After a period, Tess was engaged as a milking-worker, and her charm and kindness attract angel’s attention.
Clare decided to marry with Tess. In their wedding Tess feels familiar with the carriage which is provided for them. Thereupon Angel told a carriage tale about the ancestor of D’Urbervilles.This carriage has the same meaning with the carriage in the Greek myth which.
It seems that something terrible would be happen. Indeed, Clare can’t put up with Tess’s false relationship. He even said“you are not the woman I loved but another woman in her shape . ” It’s a despair reality that Angel’s abandonment for Tess.
Her tragedy is never terminated. Finally, Tess’s father died, their house was taken away, at this moment, she met with Alex again when Alex appeared at the gate of door with riding a horse, Tess treat horse’s clop as the sound of carriage.Alex told the entire carriage tale to her, it described a beautiful woman who was kidnapped by a member of D’Urbervilles, she was forced to hide in the carriage, so she tried her best to escape from the carriage, then they fight against each other, as the ending of Greek myth, they died. It is similar to the plot of Greek myth, the king kills men, while he is killed by another man.
This carriage tale opens the final tragedy of Tess. She killed Alex when Angel returned to beg her pardon. At last, Tess was hanged.Just as the word in Aeschylean phrase “the president of the immotals had ended his sport with Tess.
” 1. The symbol of colour As we all know that the subhead of this novel is “a pure woman”. This article shows us many figures. For example, “innocent eyes added eloquence to colour and shape, and she was the only one of the white company.
She is a pure drop. ” In our regular knowledge, the colour of white is a symbol of pure. As a pretty girl, Tess looks like a holy angel with pure wings. In addition, in this novel also has an opposite colour-red.
Such as the horse’s red blood, Alex’s red blood and so on . all of this is combined with Tess’s tragic destiny coincidently. The contrast of white and red symbolize the fate of Tess is connected with tragedy and death. 1.
The symbol of dairy Tess enjoys herself with Clare on dairy. The dairy in the novel is a symbol of paradise. Tess is Eve just as Clare is Adam, they live together with happiness. After they married and leaved the dairy, it predicts that Eve and Adam are expelled out of paradise, hence they will be punished for their original sin.
This implies that Tess and Angel’s life will suffer from misery. Such is the case, Tess confesses her mistake to Angel, Angel criticizes the sham of her pure. These rough situations symbolize Eve and Adam lost the protection of paradise, meanwhile, the marriage of Angel and Tess will walk towards tragedy. Conclusion The symbols in Tess of the D’Urbervilles deepen the theme of novel.
Furthermore, Hardy makes full use of symbols, which increase the tragic power of Tess. It arouses our resonance of emotion. We will be moved by Tess’s sacrifice and shocked by the tragic power of Tomas Hardy forever.