Christine Bush 12NAL - Byford
AO2 – Demonstrate a critical understanding of how language shapes meaning in a literary text
Initial Presentation of Tess
Hardy's initial presentation aids the readers understanding of the protagonist and her character. For example the quote “her mobile peony mouth” establishes her personality, experience and develops the readers knowledge of her upbringing. Firstly ‘mobile’ suggests her expressive nature though her active speech which causes her mouth to be mobile as Hardy describe, this enables Hardy to further place her in the lower class with her manner of speech as Tess is a somewhat oppressed and voiceless character in the novel, for example it takes her until their wedding night to talk to Angel about her rape, whereas Hardy uses the word ‘mobile’ to accompany the description which is suggestive of expressive animated speech which both Hardy and the reader know is not the true nature of Tess.. However some readers may interpret this as an ironic observation or idea asAs well as this colour symbolism of ‘peony’ a flower whose colour can range from light pink to a deep red, may be symbolic of the multiple interpretations and opinion of Tess held by both the reader, Hardy and the characters in the novel. On one hand the light pink can be symbolic of youth and innocence an idea which Hardy makes explicit in the opening of the novel, it may also be suggestive of delicacy and vulnerability – the typical Victorian opinion of women being like delicate beautiful flowers. On the other hand the deep red, which may be considered a motif which represents both love lush and danger throughout the initial section of the novel and evokes such ideas in the reader, it may also be foreshadowing her future rape. Moreover the colour can relate to societies view of farm girls as many, unlike Tess, were ‘impure’ from rapes which usually occurred between the ages of 10 and 16 – relates to hardy’s theme of the injustice towards lower classes –...