Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Use of Setting Sample Answer
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Usually, we can look at the setting of a novel as a small portion of a work. With Tess, however, nature is a close second only to the main characters. Therefore, the reader is obligated to examine Hardy's use of setting and environment in Tess. Tess of the d'Urbervilles takes place in Wessex, a region encompassing the southern English county of Dorset and neighbouring counties Hampshire, Wiltshire, Somerset, and Devon. The setting consists of more than the location, however, particularly in this novel. Nature, as a part of the setting, is an essential element in understanding the novel. In addition, the countryside and the folk who inhabit the area provide more than a mere backdrop upon which Hardy tells his tale. They are, in fact, unnamed characters in the novel.
In Tess of the d'Urbervilles, the characters and setting mirror each other. Tess moves from a world that begins in the beautiful regions around Marlott. She goes to The Slopes to "claim kin" and the environment is lovely and formal, but also contrived (consider the new house where she expected to find an old one). The setting at Talbothays, where Tess experiences her greatest happiness, is lush, green, and fertile. Flintcomb-Ash, on the other hand, is a barren region, reflecting the harshness of the work and the desolation of Tess' life. The story ends in the equally mysterious Stonehenge ...