Saturday, August 3, 2019

Tess of the d’Urbervilles and Perfume: The Story of a Murderer Essay

Control is the social construction constituting exercising authority over other beings. It can take many forms, the most prominent of which between Tess of the d’Urbervilles and Perfume: The Story of a Murderer being physical, psychological, capitalist and patriarchal. Both novels are of the Bildungsroman genre, however whilst Jean-Baptiste  Grenouille has a predatory and psychotic personality, this is something to which Tess  Durbeyfield  is subject without reciprocity until the end of the novel, and it is ultimately this  hamartia  which leads to her oppression. Physical Under the historical influence of Darwin’s natural selection, Hardy attempts to highlight the physical control that Alec has over Tess through an animalistic comparison. In a reference to the rape of Lucrece, and thus to Tess’ rape, he states ‘the serpent hisses where the sweet bird sings’. This imagery highlights the sly, predatory tendancies of Alec, and diametrically opposes them to Tess’ delicate predispositions. Later, Hardy implies  that she  is raped. ‘Feminine tissue, sensitive as gossamer’ displays Alec’s unconscious urges to control such a virgo intacta. The sibilance in this phrase contributes to Alec's presentation as a predator she is also described as ‘blank as snow’, a tabula rasa, a form of innocence Alec physically destroys. These factors, along with the traditional norms of wedding days, culminate to create a grotesque parody of a wedding night. The  moon’s later description as ‘tarnished’ is symbolic of how Tess’ has been physically abused  by Alec, although it also exposes a disrupted parallel between the moon’s 28–day cycle, and Tess’ menstrual cycle due to the development and birth of Sorrow. Lucrece, just like Tess is described as if she wer... ... of the works of D.H. Lawrence Study of Thomas Hardy and Other Essays, D. H. Lawrence, page 99, Cambridge University Press,  25 Jul 1985 [2] Barron’s Book Notes Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles, page 114 – Douglas Brown: Social and Individual Fate in Tess from Thomas Hardy, 1961 [3] John Berger, Ways of Seeing, Chapter 1, The social presence of men and women, page 5, 1972 [4] "Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy." 04 Jan 2014 . [5] Sin, Society, and the Double Standard, Male and Female Transgressions in Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Scott Fowler [6] Twentieth Century Interpretations of Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Albert J. LaValley, 1969 [7] Kristen Brady, Tess and Alec: Rape or Seduction? 1986 [8] Cruel Persuasion: Seduction, Temptation and Agency in Hardy’s Tess, James A. W. Heffernan

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