Compare Themes of Heart of Darkness and Tess of the D'Urbervilles

1427 Words Mar 1st, 2016 6 Pages
Throughout the two novels, Thomas Hardy’s “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” and Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness,” the common theme of oppression by using psychological methods prevails. Tess’ parents and Alec can control her by leveraging guilt as a way of victimization which ultimately seals her fate. Mr. Kurtz in” Heart of Darkness” takes control over the weaker African natives to force them into submission. Both stories have this underlying theme of power and domination resulting in feelings of slavery and victims of fate.
“Tess of the d’Urbervilles” is a tale of the tragic life of Tess that results when she accidentally kills Prince, the family horse. Tess’ parents use the guilt that she feels to exploit her and force her to work for
…show more content…
Both her community and Angel strongly criticize Tess for her rape, which was not her sin but Alec's. She is seen as someone to be criticized and cast aside because of a terrible thing was done to her, rather than something she did herself. Her final execution draws attention to the feeling that (community of people/all good people in the world), situation/event, and some external force, whether Thomas Tough and strong or a god, have been working against her the whole time as the narrator, he also manages to appear as her only advocate against an unjust world. Tess's hardships are described as mere sport for the “President of the Immortals,” which contrasts with the Christian idea of a God who has a benevolent plan for everyone, and connects with the notes of paganism throughout the novel. Hardy points out and emphasizes the multiple unhappy coincidences that take place, like Tess overhearing Angel's brothers instead of meeting his father. The story keeps asking the age-old question “why do bad things happen to good people?” Hardy even muses over the possibility that Tess's sufferings are a punishment for her ancestors' crimes, or else that some murderous strain is in her blood, foreshadowed by the d'Urberville coach.

Both her community and Angel sharply criticize Tess because she was raped, even though she was the victim and this was not her sin. This act was done to her, rather than something she did herself. Her
Open Document