Abstract：Thomas Hardy(1840-1928) is an outstanding English realistic novelist and poet. It was when British Capitalism invaded the country that Hardy created his works. Hardy witnessed the farmers’ miserable life in his hometown and in the vicinity of Dorset. Hardy described the suffering of those farmers.
Tess of the d'Urbervilles describes Tess, a country girl’s bitter experiences in her whole life. Beautiful and pure, industrious and kindhearted, clever Tess wants to live a happy life by her endeavors. However, under that social background, it is difficult for Tess to realize her dream. Instead, misfortunes come one after another. Tess’s tragedy is not only caused by external factors, such as social condition, worldly prejudice, hypocritical religion, Tess’s family and the two men in her life---Alec and Angel. There are also some internal factors that contribute to her tragedy, including her weak points and disadvantages in her character. Additionally, Tess’s tragedy is also a reflection of Hardy’s Fatalism.
This thesis attempts to analyze Tess’s tragedy from three aspects---- the social background which is a determining factor; the weak points of the main characters and finally Hardy’s Fatalism in this novel. Furthermore, implications from Tess to modern women are concluded: we should learn from Tess’s kindness and purity; on the other hand, we should have the awareness to be a modern woman, knowing how to regard ourselves and how to handle love.
Key words: Thomas Hardy, Tess, causes of Tess’s tragedy, implications
摘要：托马斯·哈代（Thomas Hardy, 1840-1928）是英国杰出的现实主义小说家和诗人。哈代的创作时期正值英国工业资本主义侵袭农村的时期。哈代目睹了这一时期他的故乡多赛特郡和附近地区农民的悲惨生活，并描写了这一地区农民所遭受的不幸和灾难。
关键词：托马斯·哈代 苔丝 悲剧原因 启示
In conclusion, Tess of the d'Urbervilles is an outstanding one written by Hardy, from which we can see Hardy’s doubts towards the traditional morality and religious ethics. We can appreciate this novel’s deep thinking and artistic beauty. About the causes of Tess’s tragic life, many experts and writers have given their opinions.
The present author has analyzed the causes of Tess’s tragedy from perspectives of social background, the main characters’ personalities and fatalism. First of all, Tess’s tragedy is determined by that social environment---the invasion of capitalism and the break up of the farmers. The awkward economic condition demands Tess, the oldest child in the family, to help her parents to release the heavy burden. The customary morality and hypocritical religion also lead to Tess’s tragic fate. During that time, woman’s virginity is considered to be her husband’s privilege. After losing virginity, Tess is reduced to vulnerable position by social prejudice and prevalent moral standards. She actually falls prey to the conventional thinking that “once sinned, sinned forever”. Alec and Angel are the two main causes of Tess’s tragedy, one is like Satan and the other one is like Angel. Alec ruins Tess physically and Angel destroys Tess mentally. And in this novel, we can also see some supernatural thing, that is fatalism, a mysterious and unconscious will uncaring to the individual. So in order to avoid Tess’s tragedy, the present writer holds that modern women should be resolute, confident, independent, and straightforward.