Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy (1891)

First, check out the painting that was on the cover of my book. It alone caused me to want to read this book. She looks so sad. The painting, by Francis Danby, is called "Disappointed Love". I find it haunting.

I will admit that I am a thief. I have had a high school copy of this book since 9th grade Honors English. I can remember glancing at the book thinking it looks too hard to read. It's not. In fact I loved it. I'm actually surprised since I usually don't enjoy fiction, let alone classical fiction. Tess is hands down the most depressing character I have ever met in a book. Nothing goes well for Tess. She was deceived by a man at an early age and works so hard to bring herself out of poverty and despair, but soon finds herself back in it. I hated Angel Care, Tess's husband. I hated that he could have premarital sex and yet not forgive Tess for being raped as a teenager. Stupid men. I also despised him when he asked another woman to run away with him after not being able to forgive Tess. This was while still being married to Tess. Even though he doesn't go through with it he still is scum in my mind. Her rapist, Alec, also is a piece of work. A lot happens in this book and I don't want to ruin the ending for future readers **AHEM, LINDSEY AHEM**.
This is not a happy novel. It is the kind of book which makes you reflect upon humanity and a woman's role in society. It also reminds one to be grateful for what they have.

Kim's Grade: A

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