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Tess of the D'Urbervilles Plot Graph

10/3/12
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Wesley KiPr

on 3 October 2012

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Transcript of Tess of the D'Urbervilles Plot Graph

Wesley Kirk
P.1 Sem. English Tess of the D'Urbervilles The novel takes place in a small farming area south of London in the 19th century. Tess' family is somewhat poor but likely they are living in average conditions for the time. The story opens with Mr. John Durbeyfield Tess' father being greeted as Sir John. After this he learns that he has familial connection to a great family of the past and begins to try to claim what he believes is his rightful power. He decides to send Tess to meet their 'rich relation' and to try to get money in order to pay for a new horse. Unfortunate it turns out that this acquaintance intends to be more involved in Tess' life than she would have chosen and the plot takes a turn for the worst. Exposition Tess' faces her first main trial after beginning to live and work for Alec, he begins to try to gain her affection, however Tess is not interested and she finds herself battling against Alec's physical attempts to attain her affection and they do not work what so ever. Eventually Alec forces himself upon her she storms off the estate as soon as possible. We later learn that she had become impregnated at this point and this scars her and results in great tribulation in her future. Narrative Hook 1. Baby Troubles Rising Action Because she still harbors a great love for Angel, Tess decides that the answer to her problem is very simple. All that she needs to do is murder Alec! This is the climax because it resolves the main conflict which was introduced in the narrative hook, which was her rape. Because she cannot be un-raped murder she decides is the next best thing, and in reality it turns out to suffice. Unfortunatley this will not be a permanent solution to her problems because now she is wanted for murder. This really is the most exciting part of the book because of the dramatic shift from a tone of depressing tragic events into a polar opposite of sort of a Jason Borne style action scene. Climax The Falling action mostly consists of the duo fleeing the authorities for as long as possible. However Tess bcomes content just staying in a temporarily abandoned mansion for the night to enjoy her last time with Angel even though it means being closer to her death. One of the biggest changes in this final section is that both of them simply give up on everything they know and give into their love. This cane be seen clearly in Tess' killing of Alec or Alec not thinking about the repercussions with his family if he stays with Tess. Falling Action Character Corner (corner) After being impregnated by Alec and then leaving Tess found herself with a child and no husband. This brought up issues of practicality when the baby became sick. The baby became ill, likely as a result of the harsh living conditions. The real issue came when Tess wanted to get the baby to a minister in order to have her christened before she passed but her father would not have a minister in his house. He claimed that it would damage what was left of their good name. (This was another demonstration of the fathers childlike inclination to cling onto his first opportunity at being distinguished.) As a result of this Tess decided that she would simply christen the babe herself however the minister would not accept such a ceremony so The baby could not receive a proper christian burial. This entire experience made Tess bitter toward the church and to rebel against her previous religious inclination 2. New Work :) After the passing of her baby Tess felt the need to move on to new and hopefully greener pastures. She went to look for new work and a way to create a new existence for herself. She found this new existence at a small dairy farm where she served as a milk maid. However the most notable part of this new change in scenery was the addition of a love interest by the name of Angel Clare. All of the other milk maids were infatuated with him. As always Tess focused on her work as she felt she should however the thought of Angel was always on her mind. Over time the two found themselves together and soon grew to be quite close acquaintances.
This new consensual relationship was something that we as readers had not yet seen in Tess and it was a very important point in the development of Tess' character to know that she was capable of it. 3. Loving Angel After Angle had been courting Tess for some time he consulted his parents and then asked Tess to marry him. Tess struggled with this for some time because she had made a promise to one of the other milk maids that if he proposed to her that she would refuse. She was torn between honoring her word and giving in to her incredible desire to marry Angel. Just the fact that she had shown resistant for some time against this urge for such a small reason showed her value for loyalty and that she still had some sense of right and wrong. Despite this internal conflict she chose to marry Angel anyway. Not without consequence though. On their wedding day the maid that Tess had given her word to attempted to kill herself by walking into a lake. This had a strong effect on her but Angel convinced her that it wasn't her fault. 4. Secrets After Angel and Tess get married they begin their honeymoon in the house of Tess' ancestors the great D'Urberfields. During their stay they receive a hand carried package and find a package containing a exquisite necklace from Angel's parents. The gift proves his parents support their marriage. After Angel puts it on things begin to heat up however they are again interrupted by another knock at the door. It is the new of the milkmaid Retty who tried to kill herself as a result of the marriage. After the messenger leaves Tess feels the need to tell Angel about her encounter with Alec. He tells her after he confesses living with a less than morally strait woman while traveling. However he does not take the news well despite his receiving forgiveness for his own fault. 5. Split After Angel learns of Tess' intimate encounter with Alec he decides to live in Brazil without her in order to protect his name. This decision devastates Tess who feels she is not at fault and was attempting to be honest with Angel. He gives her money and then leaves her. Upon her return home she gives all of the money to her mother to help pay for a new roof. She becomes depressed and gets up to move again. 6. Winter Job Tess' separation with Angle leaves her emotionally destroyed. She goes looking for a job just like she did after leaving Alec. Unfortunately this time she did not fall upon such good luck. She ended up working in fields earning next to nothing. Her boss/slave driver was already bitter towards her from previous experience and treated even worse than all of the other women working in the fields with her.
These conditions weakened her spirit even more than it had been. This is likely the lowest emotional point she reaches in the whole book. Between feeling abandoned by Angel and being bullied by the boss. 7. Visits Clares After nearly hitting rock bottom Tess finally convinces herself to visit Angel's Family in order to try to get some financial assistance. Unfortunately upon arrival Tess overhears demeaning talk from Angels brothers and loses her courage to ask for help. It is surprising how much pride she can retain even through all of her experiences. She decides to go back to the unpleasant farm. However she does not make it all the way back without facing another challange. She goes into a tent to take breif shelter and finds none other than Alec D'urberfield preaching a sermon. He steps outside and talks to Tess, he says that he has changed his ways and taken up religion however his religious ways are not to last very long. 8. Letter to Angel By this point Tess has live a pretty rotten life and is beginning to become outright bitter almost just as a way of life in general. She sends a letter to Angel telling him how much of a jerk he is for leaving her and then tells of how awful it has been without him. This is not such an extreme event on the outside but it showed how Tess had began to fall apart at the seams and was slowly wearing down. This kind of action would have been very out of character for her at the beginning of the book but now she had entered a new reality.
After this on top of her already poor condition she began to be hunted by Alec who had clearly by this point fallen from his religious podium. He claimed that she could try to avoid him but in the end he would have her. 9. Father Lies Ill While Tess was still at the farm she was surprised one day to find her younger sister Eliza running up to her exhausted. She brought news that their father was likley on his death bed and that he wanted to see her. She left her job even though it meant forfeiting her three months of hard labor. When she arrived she found that he had fat closing in on his heart. Despite his grim condition he clung to his new found royalty in his conversation. Although this would seem like a very key event in her life it had little effect on her because of all of the other catastrophic events occurring all around her life.
However a very important change did come from this. As a result of the death of her father there was no one to look after her family and she had only one option available. In order to provide for her family she had to accept Alec as a husband. They lived together unhappily for Tess. But her mother was satisfied with her end of the deal so she was forced to stay with him. 10. Alec Returns Tess' letter did make it all the way down to Brazil where it reached a sickly Angel. Even though he was in very poor condition he still chose to take a ship home in pursuit of his wife. He arrived and found Tess had moved from her house and after much pursuit she found her mother who refused to give up her location claiming that she did not know her whereabouts. Luckily for him Tess' sister Eliza was willing to disclose the city in which Tess was located but that ws as specific as she could be.
He eventually found her living in an apartment with Alec. At first she refused him saying that it was too late and that she was already committed to Alec. However this was obviously not her desire based on her actions afterward. Tess is the main character in the novel. She has a strong sense of morals and she tends to look out for her family often times at her own expense. Her attractive looks make her the target of many immoral men. Tess Durbeyfield - Angel Clare Angel is a well educated young man who also sports attractive looks. He meets Tess at a dairy farm and they immediately fall in love. He aspires to be a successful farmer in Brazil. Alec d’Urberville One of the only similaritied between Alec and Angel's personalities is their shared loved for Tess. Other than that Alec is also well educated but he uses it for manipulation. Mr. John Durbeyfield Tess' father who is a lazy slob and a drunkard. He is unable to provide adequately for his family. He allows for Tess to be taken advantage of in many cases and is not very much of a father to her. Eliza Louisa Durbeyfield Tess' good good willed little sister. She loves Tess and has a hard time when she gets into trouble. The two sisters support each other. Theme The main theme I found in this book was innocence cannot exist without adversity. This theme was present in almost all of Tess' trials and eventually is proven when Tess let's go of her innocence and in turn finds true happiness. Another clear example of this is when Tess visits Alec and is taken advantage of because she does not understand the danger that was presented. By: Thomas Hardy Alec Dialectical Response My main dialectical response during the book was when Retty the milk maid was going to try to frown herself. I found this art particularly stirring because it is something that I have seen first hand so I really connected with being in Tess' position during this section of the book.
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