Chapter 11 Analysis

Karima Ranieri
Mind Map by Karima Ranieri, updated more than 1 year ago
Karima Ranieri
Created by Karima Ranieri over 5 years ago


Analysis of Chapter 11, Tess of the D'urbervilles

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Chapter 11 Analysis
  1. Symbolism in Chapter 9 & 10
    1. Tess's job as a caretaker of birds interlinks with her image as both a symbol of the natural world and a pagan Nature goddes.
      1. Mrs. D'urberville's blindness foreshadows the lack of control she has towards Alec's spiteful intentions. Her age also foreshadows her weakness. 'Mis'ess is a old lady, and blind'
        1. Mrs. D'urbeville's reaction to Alec's name confirms suspicion. Illustrating Tess's apathy towards confronting her righteous instincts. 'He! Pooh! The old lady's face creased into furrows of repugnance, and she made no further reply'
      2. The circumstance of society, wealth, and gender all work in Alec's favor against Tess. She is essentially powerless, and must rely totally on his whims and good humour.
        1. Yet she still manages to stay hopeful in her innocence and is able to take pleasure in working with the birds. This foreshadows her vulnerable characteristics.
          1. Pressure from the matrons inflicted upon Tess to join the weekly pilgrimages symbolises her kind and easy nature. It is pressure that she cannot avoid.
            1. Reference to alchol symbolises arising conflict and hasty actions that drive Tess towards further danger.
          2. 'Take, o take those lips away' serves as an allusion. Foreshadowing his role in 'taking away' innocence.
            1. 'Temptation' is inevitable, they are hard to fight so at the mentioning of the word, the audience is inclined to expect his temptation to evntually be fulfilled.
        2. Crafting of language to build tension
          1. The silence of Tess between her dialogue with Alec contribute in crafting tension. It also illustrates her subordinance in comparison to his dominant characteristics.
            1. 'She did not reply' 'She was silent'
              1. Alec's slow and suspicious touching foreshadow his ultimate forecful contadictory physical approach.
            2. Descriptions of nature Mystery and ambiguity
              1. 'Faint luminous fog' describes eery setting. A fog is unclear, referring to theme of blindness.
                1. 'Hung in the hollows all evening' the worse things happen in the dark. Reference to darkness illustrates awakening of evil nature. While the word hung foreshadows Tess's downfall.
                  1. 'Hold the moonlight in suspension'
                    1. Setting of the Dark Chase builds up even more the sense of foreboding.
                    2. Power and Desire and Dialogue
                      1. 'She was inexpressibily weary' her tiredness leads to her lack of control.
                        1. Actual drowsiness
                        2. Absent-mindedness sleepiness illustrates vulnerability and lack of conscience.
                          1. 'put her on the defensive' although she can stand up for herself, she always ends up relenting.
                            1. 'She gave him a little push from her' although she shows act of defense, the word 'little' illustrates her lack of power and weakness as a 'woman'.
                              1. 'She relented quit humbly' her passive nature contrasts to his dominance.
                            2. Murmured 'I don't know' her unsureness makes her an easy target.
                              1. 'Meer chit like you?' reference to class differentiation allows Alec to be put up on a higher level of superiority.
                                1. 'You will not leave' His tone is heavily dominant, ordering Tess around as though she is his slave.
                                  1. Alec angrily reminds her of his power over her, both as a stronger and wealthier man.
                                  2. 'On one condition' Alec repeatedly mentions phrases as such in order to get what he desires.
                                  3. Sexual inferences
                                    1. 'Head sank gently against him' her tiredness indirectly gives him false ideas.
                                      1. 'Enclosed her waist with his arm to support her' he is taking advantage of her by touching her to 'support her' when his intentions are rather clear.
                                        1. 'He touched her with his fingers' after realising his flirting will not do the trick, the audience can percieve force is the only way.
                                          1. 'Her breath warmed his face'
                                          2. 'Muslin dress' her appearance contributes to the rape, her white gown, heavily illustrating innocence, is a temptation to change.
                                          3. Fatalism
                                            1. Sleeping victim of catastrophe
                                              1. The being lost in the woods means Tess must depend on Alec.
                                                1. The reminding of family origin ensures Tess sticks to her ideals to keep her bound to sacrifice herself for her family's well-being.
                                                  1. When she falls asleep again she is once again represented as the passive victim. Tess is presented as a figure of tragic innocence, light set against the dark.
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