19th Century Epic Romances discussion

Tess of the d'Urbervilles > Tess of the d'Urbervilles Discussion

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message 1: by Kylie (new)

Kylie | 77 comments Please post your thoughts as you read here! Can't wait to see what everyone thinks. Please remember to be respectful :)

message 2: by Melissa (last edited Jun 22, 2013 08:04PM) (new)

Melissa | 2 comments I am sur prised no one is discussing this wonderful book. It is one of my favorites.
One thing that I noticed is how men seem to over power women, and there never seems to be any justice. We see this in Tess’s rape, and rather then Alec being blamed we see Tess being blamed. The VICTIM is the one punished for the crime.

message 3: by Trudy (new)

Trudy Brasure | 95 comments Ack! Tess has just arrived at her new position, and I get all the signals that Alec doesn't give one whit for Tess other than a plaything that meets his fancy. Even mum back home got the bad vibes the night Tess left.
I'm curious if the boy who danced with the May Day village girls will ever come back into the story...I know nothing of the plot. (Except now I know something bad DOES happen - I figured it was likely anyhow.)

message 4: by Susan (new)

Susan Fonseca (susan_fonseca) | 6 comments I finished the book and it just captured me. The injustice that she goes through, the difficult decisions and situations in which she's found are just gut wrenching.

message 5: by Trudy (new)

Trudy Brasure | 95 comments Am loving the slow, natural attraction between Tess and Angel. So sad for Tess who believes she is ruined for anyone else. Hardy is very sensitive to the female burdens that society dumps on them. And the reflective descriptions of nature and man are wonderful. Very thought-provoking writing.

message 6: by Anna (new)

Anna (SylviaGrant) | 12 comments which adaption does everyone here love the best?

HEY TRUDY!!!!!!!

message 7: by Trudy (new)

Trudy Brasure | 95 comments Hi Anna. I've no idea about adaptations. I don't even know the end to this story, although I know Hardy doesn't really do happy endings.

message 8: by Trudy (last edited Jun 28, 2013 08:55PM) (new)

Trudy Brasure | 95 comments The double standard here is killing me! Angel cannot forgive her for being a victim of another man's trifling lust? It's particularly strange for Angel to cling to the notion that she is ruined, he being so fond of seeing beyond the unthinking ways other men follow societal rules and formalities. I guess it just goes to show how deeply the culture's interpretation of morality and innocence was imbedded in his thinking. I think it was mostly his pride was hurt, and he felt deceived. And he's not thinking at all about Tess's side of the experience. It's really a very selfish position and wholly uncompassionate. How utterly awful that all the while Tess is feeling guilty for what she never wanted to happen.
And so I still have quite a lot of story to read. I'm wondering how things will play out. Not good, I know...

message 9: by Sara (last edited Jul 14, 2013 02:00AM) (new)

Sara Weather (saraweather) The book is not really depressing, it is maddening in a good way. It does bring up the subject of women in rape culture. I wanted Tess to like Alec at first. I thought he was some romantic lead to sweep her off her feet(I do not know I was thinking ) I feel that she could have maybe liked him if he had not pushed himself on her repeatedly and worked for her affections. But I eventually after seeing Alec push himself on her time and time again had to come to the simple fact that Tess may never like him, ever. I honestly wanted to give him SHe's Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guysreplace guys with girls. That lies the problem women are forced to deal with men pushing themselves on them even though they do not like them. They are expected to give their affections to men who "deserve" to be with them.

The double standard killed me too. There is also the idea of loving someone for who you think they are versus who they really are.

message 10: by Jenna (new)

Jenna (jennadanae) | 1 comments I'd be curious to hear what everyone else thinks about this. I've tried to do some research to see what "literary geniuses" believe happened in the story, but no one seem to be sure. I can never be sure if Tess was raped in this story, or if she was a willing participant. I believe initially she might have been raped, and then perhaps continued to sleep with Alec. It's hard to be sure, but discussions Tess has with Alec lead me to believe it wasn't always forced. What are everyone else's thoughts? Whether she was raped or not does go quite a long way in understanding Tess and having (or not having) sympathy for her situation.

message 11: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Marion | 9 comments I think that Alec took a very young girl and took advantage of her innocence and raped her. Because Tess was so innocent there may have been more than one time. I do not think any one of those times was concentual. When she finally could, she ran away.

message 12: by Trudy (new)

Trudy Brasure | 95 comments She was raped. She may have not put up much of a fight, but she did not want to be violated. And if there were subsequent incidences, as it seemed there were by a few lines made here and there, she was coerced into doing it. What was she to do about it? Say no to her employer?
Apparently, there was no such thing as rape then. Only good girls and bad girls. If you were unlucky enough to be raped - sorry, you were now one of the ruined girls.
What's horrible about this is that this type of judgment system continues in some cultures and societies today. The women are besmirched for life, punished, or killed for honor's sake.
It's much easier to look at Western society and be grateful for the progress we've made for women to be treated as more than just vessels for men's use.

message 13: by Anna (new)

Anna (SylviaGrant) | 12 comments Wow, Trudy, your post is just...wow...deep and very thought-provoking. Did anyone see the adaption with Eddie Redmayne?

message 14: by Lena (last edited Jul 17, 2013 11:03AM) (new)

Lena | 19 comments I saw it several times, and I keep forgetting about how sad and depressing the last ten minutes are.

message 15: by Donadee's Corner (new)

Donadee's Corner (donade) | 51 comments Anna, is that remake on TV, Netfix or DVD (bluesy)?

message 16: by Trudy (new)

Trudy Brasure | 95 comments I have the DVD from my library. Haven't checked Netflix.

message 17: by Donadee's Corner (new)

Donadee's Corner (donade) | 51 comments Lena, I watched it tonight and cried the whole last half....they did stay very close to the book. In fact more so than any other movie adaptation I have seen lately! It was VERY GOOD. If your a Prime Member with Amazon you can stream for free. This was the BBC mini series. Worth the watch.

message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Melissa wrote: "I am sur prised no one is discussing this wonderful book. It is one of my favorites.
One thing that I noticed is how men seem to over power women, and there never seems to be any justice. We see..."

I completely agree! He gets away with it and then he wants to marry her! I couldn't believe the stupidity of Alec thinking Tess would want him after he raped her. It was very surprising that he actually convinced her that Angel isn't coming back for her. However, I absolutely loved this book and was very impressed with the first book I've read by Thomas Hardy.

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