Tess of the D'Urbervilles

The Use of Natural Imagery in Tess of the D'Urbervilles

In Thomas Hardy's novel, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, the reader is introduced to a character named Tess who comes to be known as a "Child of Nature" (Amazon.co.uk). The British author's novel flourishes with the use of natural imagery. Hardy uses natural imagery to mimic Tess's current situation and evoke an emotional response in the reader. Hardy's utilization of natural imagery is apparent in the similarities between Tess Durbeyfield and Marlott, the affects Tantridge has on her persona, the contrast between Talbothays Dairy and Flintcomb-Ash, the use of seasons to affect the mood, and the conflict between the city and the country.

"The village of Marlott lay amid the north-eastern undulations of the beautiful Vale of Blakemore...an engirdled and secluded region...this fertile and sheltered tract of country, in which the fields are never brown and the springs never dry...(12)." This description of Marlott notes that Marlott is a "sheltered" region, which does not have to face the peril of the world. Much like Marlott, Tess has been living a "sheltered" existence. Tess is a "simple...fresh...picturesque country girl...(15-16)" who has no clue what awaits her....

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