‘A VERY PRETTY BREW IN TAP AT THE PURE DROP’: SOCIETAL PARAMETERS IN TESS OF THE D’URBERVILLES

Juan de Dios Torralbo Caballero

Abstract


This paper studies Victorian society through references included in Tess of the d’Urbervilles that provide the novel with a sense of vividness and realism, to the extent that it merits consideration as a documentation of the social context within which the narrative is developed. It will examine the topography presented by Hardy, the exactitude of which lends a remarkable degree of verisimilitude to the story. It will also analyse the references to taverns and drinking houses, considering these to reflect a distinct aspect of the English society of the 19th century. Additional elements to be considered are Hardy’s portrayal of the traditional May Day dances, the allusions to schools and education, the superstitious beliefs held among the inhabitants of Marlott, and the moral laxity exhibited by the residents of Trantridge. The awareness of class divisions and the social ambitions of certain characters also merit attention, along with aspects of legislative and regulatory practice that are reflected in the work.

Keywords


Victorianism, Hardy, society, class, costumbrism.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.13165/SMS-19-11-1-05

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"Societal studies" ISSN online 2029-2244 / ISSN print 2029-2236