Tess Title's

In: English and Literature

Submitted By edenolivia
Words 686
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The title of the novel, as it is now, is Tess of the d’Urbervilles: A Pure Woman. Although, there are many people whom dispute the idea that Tess was a pure and virtuous woman, Hardy remains strong in his ideals of what Tess is and what she stands for. Within the title, Hardy is insisting that Tess is ‘pure’ despite the knowledge that she has a child out of wedlock. Tess is still the moral centre of the novel, Hardy refers to this as "paradoxical morality”.
One title that Hardy was considering was ‘The Body and Soul of Sue’. This highlights Hardy’s opinions of Tess and where she should stand in society. A line taken from one of Hardy’s other books entitled ‘Jude the Obscure’ states, “a deadly war waged between flesh and spirit”. From this, one could take that Hardy believed that what happened to her body is juxtaposed by the true nature of her soul. She did not want to be so-called raped, “and upon her eyelashes there lingered tears” and now her soul is fighting the negativity of the consequences. This quote also dictates the pathos that Tess felt when experiencing her fate. Her hamartia could be argued to be her naivety and innocence hence, she has to fight what has happened to her body to keep her soul pure.
Another title Hardy was thinking about adopting for the novel was ‘Too Late Beloved”. Here, Hardy was utilising a phrase from Shelley’s love poem “Epipsychidion” which was said to be one of his favourite poems that influenced much of his work. This title could apply to the protagonist’s relationship with Angel, or to his strange return to her after his surprise travels to Brazil. When Angel returned from Brazil to ‘forgive’ and find Tess, she told him “too late" for them. “Epipsychidion”, where this title is said to derive from, is cited by Sue Bridehead in the one of Hardy’s later novels, Jude the Obscure. The poem shared the controversial doctrine, at the…...

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