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《德伯家的苔丝》中苔丝悲剧命运的写作艺术

添加日期:2011/2/6 11:01:59 访问次数:6872次

摘要:《德伯家的苔丝》不仅是一本极其优美的文学作品,也是一部极为感人的艺术珍品。在本文中我们将从语言特点和象征手法这两方面对一代大师托马斯哈代在其作品《德伯家的苔丝》中塑造“苔斯”这一悲剧形象的写作艺术进行剖析,并从中欣赏和借鉴其美学写作魅力。

关键字:写作艺术 语言特点 象征手法  苔丝

Abstract: Tess of the d’Urbervilles is an extraordinarily beautiful work, as well as an moving art treasure.In this paper we will analyze Thomas Hardy’s art of writing the tragic fate of literary image of Tess in Tess of the d’Urbervilles from the following two aspects:linguistic features;symbolism.So we can share and appreciate Thomas Hardy’s aesthetic charm.  

Key words:writing art,linguistic features,symbolism,Tess of the d’Urbervilles

I.         Thomas Hardy and his Tess of the d’Urbervilles

Son of a mason, Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) was born in Dorsetshire, southwest of England, the area that later became the famous "Wessex" in many of his novels. From his parents, hardy gained all interests that would appear in his novels and his own life: his love for architecture and music, his interest in lifestyles of the country folk, and his passion for all sorts of literature.

He completed his general education by attending classes reading widely: language,literature,history,philosophy and art.Moreover he interested himself in fiction and poetry.In his youth,Hardy had been greatly influenced by some liberal thinkers such as Darwin and John Stuart Mill. In his novels, Hardy incorporated many of these themes in order to portray a real world.Darwin’s challenge led Hardy to lose faith in Christianity,and this lack of faith gave his novels their tragic,bleak element.

Tess of the d’Urbervilles was the twelfth novel published by Thomas Hardy.He began the novel in 1889 and encountered roadblocks when attempting to find an editor and publisher for Tess of the d’Urbervilles.It was originally serialized in the Graphic after being rejected by several periodicals from July to December in 1891.Then,in December of 1891 it got finally published as a novel.After it was published it received great success and drew great public attentions.Also,it got harsh attack. Some critics attacked Tess’s morality and blasted Hardy’s suggestion in the novel that God was malicious. The outcry discouraged the author to such an extent that he ceased writing novels after that. At the age of sixty,Hardy turned entirely to poetry.On January 11,1928,Hardy-the last important novelist and poet of the nineteenth century-died.He was buried with impressive ceremonies in the Poet’s Corner in Westminster abbey.

Tess of the d’Urbervilles, like the other major works by Thomas Hardy, although technically the nineteenth century’s work, anticipates the twentieth century in regard to the nature and the treatment of its subject matter. The novel questions the society’s sexual mores by compassionately portraying a heroine who was seduced by the son of her employer and thus was not considered a pure and chaste woman by the society. Upon its publication, although having encountered brutally hostile reviews, Tess of the d’Urbervilles is now considered a major work of fiction. The critical realism of the novel puts it among the best works of the late Victorian period.

II.The Writing Arts

II.1.Linguistic Features

II.1.1.Rhyme and Rhythm in Expressing Emotion and Ideas.

    English modern writer Moumu ever said: “The word has its own power, shape and pronunciation. Just think about it, one can write out a shining and impressive sentence.” eq \o\ac(○,1)1 Any master artist, by ranging and combing phoneme skillfully, pursues beautiful language and wonderful rhythm to express their feeling and move the readers and get intense artistic effect.

    Hardy was not only a great novelist, but also an outstanding poet. His novel was often like a long poem. And because he had been influenced by his previous experience and also his talent on music, his works were just music aria. Just by this good talent, Hardy expressed his thoughts better. In Tess of the d’Urbervilles, the author often adopted the way of comparison to get the rhymed beauty. For example, in this segment:

“In the ill-judged execution/of the well-judged plan of things, //the call seldom produces the comer, /the man to love rarely coincides with the hour for loving. // Nature does not often say ‘See!’ to her poor creature at a time when seeing can lead to happy doing; /or reply ‘here!’ to a body’s cay of ‘where?’ till the hide-and-seek has become an irksome, outworn game.//” eq \o\ac(○,2)2

We can divide it into three groups. We can see every group’s rhyme is almost identical. It is very dulcet when reading. In the first group, the author used the vocal of/i/,/ʌ/,/e/,/ɜ/ and so on. So the speed of reading was up and rhyme also became short and quick.This shows the author’s indignation. In the other two groups, the author mainly used the long vocals and double vocals like /ɔ:/,/i:/,/u:/,/ɜ:/, /əʊ/,/ai/, /au/,/ei//ɪə/,/ʊə/, the speed slowed down.This shows Hardy’s emotional heaviness: Fate was so cruel,God was so merciless to send Tess,an innocent girl,into "monster" Alec’s hand.The people’s fate was so unforeseen,with much torture.Fate was just like fire which had being licked up the protagonist Tess.

    Hardy,apart from using the pronunciation,also using "o" directly instead of "oh",added the artistically visual effect once more.For example,in the letter which Tess wrote to Clare with her heart,the author used many "o":

“O,I know you cannot,because you are so far away! ...I am desolate without you, my darling,O,so desolate!I do not mind having to work,but if you will send me one little line,and say,‘I am coming soon’.I will bide oh,Angel-O,so cheerfully!” eq \o\ac(○,3)3

   This is the call of the protagonist in desperation.The sound of "o" seems to ramble around our ears.Just by this,Hardy gave us aesthetic taste.

II.1.2.Various Dexterous Syntax

    Tess of the d’Urbervilles is enjoyed by so many people,not only because the author molded the immoral image of Tess,but also because the author used different syntaxes under different circumstances.Sometimes the sentence is like a heavy boat sailing against the wind;sometimes the sentence is like a light boat sailing along the torrent.Contrasted with his previous novels,this novel shows Hardy’s more mature skill of the language.Look at the following paragraph:

   “They worked on hour after hour, unconscious of the forlorn aspect they bore in the landscape,not thinking of the justice or injustice of their lot.Even in such a position as theirs it was possible to exist in a dream.In the afternoon the rain came on again, and Marian said that need not work any more.But if they did not work they would not be paid; so they worked on.” eq \o\ac(○,4)4

In this paragraph,Hardy used the only syntax of "they and verb" repeatedly;objectively giving us a feeling of flatness.And it is this flatness that strengthened the atmosphere.

Sometimes the structure of sentence is loose and frigid,which can achieve a particular effect in the certain circumstances.For example:      

“Imagination might have beheld a Last Day luridness in this red-coaled glow,which fell on his face and hand,and on hers,peering into loose hair about her brow, and firing the delicate skin underneath. A large shadow of her shape rose upon the wall and ceiling.She bent forward,at which each diamond on her neck gave a sinister wink like a toad’s;and pressing her forehead against his temple she entered on her story of her acquaintance with Alec d’Urberville and its results, murmuring the words without flinching,and with her eyelids drooping-down.” eq \o\ac(○,5)5

In this short segment,the author used six "and ".This made the structure of sentence loose and flat,but it gave us a direct power and made the readers follow the author’s eye to observe the character.This frigid syntax seems the prelude of a storm and foresaw a more cruel and merciless tribulations and trials being going to happen on Tess. 

II.2 Symbolism

II.2.1. Mobile Symbolization

In this story,by describing the change of seasons and circumstances where the protagonist occurs,Hardy symbolized the change of Tess’ fate.In the story there are different seasons and for each season there is a different mood to the story.The seasons are like moods;they both change after a period of time.For example,the season was spring when Angel and Tess fell in love with each other at the dairy farm,which symbolizes a happy time.Spring symbolizes happiness,while winter is used to symbolize a time of sadness because it is in the harsh winter at the dairy farm when Angel decided he could not accept her and left her for a while.

“On a thyme-scented, bird-hatching morning in May,between two and three years after the return from Trantridge-silent reconstructive years for Tess Durbeyfield -- she left her home for the second time.” eq \o\ac(○,6)6

In this spring after recovery from her most deepest and fortunate experience.Tess set off to go in for happiness.There was full of hope of happiness in her heart.For this time,she left home once again and went to work at Talbothays Dairy as a dairymaid “on a thyme- scented,bird-hatching morning in May".While at the dairy Tess hoped to be able to plan out her new life and it surprised when she saw a man who knew her in Marlott. This man, Angel Clare, vaguely recalled seeing her before but was impressed with her freshness and pureness.They became interested in each other and developed a relationship while the summer went.With the summer going by, the fruitful autumn came.Angel declared his love for Tess and asked her to marry him and they got married.

When the winter came and when Clare knew about Tess’ past,he abandoned her on New Year’s Eve.New Year’s Eve,the date of exchange of an old year and a new year,symbolizes the turn of Tess’ fate.In the next winter,Tess was forced to work in Flintomb-Ash,a world of ice and snow where she led a hard life with strenuous work.

In the following May,Clare finally came back with Tess after he recognized his unfairness to Tess.Tess spent the sweetest and most happy life with Clare in her final phase of her life.

No mater where she is--in the location of her birth- place,a sheltered little town,or in the comfortable landscape that surrounded the dairy where Tess’s beautiful and sweet love was aroused and born,or even in the harsh scenery of the farm;No matter what the season is--in “thyme-scented, bird-hatching May”,in fruitful autumn of love, or in harsh winter of hard work,Tess’ life and fate change quite dramatically according to the change of seasons.

II.2.2.Static Symbolization

Apart from using the way of mobile symbolization to symbolize the change of Tess’ fate,Hardy also used the way of static symbolization to symbolize Tess’ character and fate,moving the reader deeply and getting the aesthetic effect and charm. For example, in the beginning of the book,the author unfolded the scenery of Tess’ birthplace before the reader’s eyes.Form this description we can know Tess’ character.

“The village of Marlott lay amid the north-eastern undulations of the beautiful Vale of Blakemore or Blackmoor aforesaid,and engirdled and secluded region,for the most part untrodden as yet by tourist or landscape-painter,though within a four hour’s journey from London.” eq \o\ac(○,7)7

The beauty of Vale of Blakemore or Blakemoor aforesaid symbolizes Tess’ beauty;the region’s seclusion symbolizes Tess’ pureness and innocence.Just like the most part of Vale of Blackmore "untrodden as yet by tourist or landscape-painter",Tess was ignorant of outside world. She didn’t know how dangerous and cruel the world was and how harsh the life was.The author looked at this place from a bird’s-eye to foresee the journey of Tess’ life being going to start.

   When the time came to the winter,correspondingly,on New Year’s Eve,they discussed their pasts and previous involvements.Angel told Tess about his previous involvement with an older woman and Tess forgave him but when Tess told Angel of her affair with Alec d’Urberville,“…This red-coaled glow,which fell on his face and hand, and on hers…” eq \o\ac(○,8)8“Imagination might have beheld a Last Day luridness in this red-coaled glow” eq \o\ac(○,9)9.In the western countries, the red color often represents “blood,violence, sexual passion and evil”. This just foreshadows the beginning of Tess’ tragedy and Tess’ “Last Day”.Tess told Angel the truth,but he could not forgive her and abandoned her. This resulted in the murder and Tess’ death.This “red-coaled glow” is a bad and static symbol.

When the story comes to the end, Hardy arranges this plot:Tess was arrested on “the stone of sacrifice”  eq \o\ac(○,10)10when she slept quietly.In the ancient days,this stone was just used to offer a sacrifice to heaven.Tess was arrested there--this just symbolizes Tess is a sacrifice to be offered to “heaven”.The only difference between a real sacrifice and Tess is that a real sacrifice is offered to heaven while Tess is offered to the authority --exactly speaking--the capitalistic moral standard.She is just a “scapegoat” eq \o\ac(○,11)11

III. Conclusion

   Since Tess’ fate moves the reader very deeply and profoundly,which somewhere obscures the beauty of the book,its aesthetic depth and subtlety. In fact, Tess of the d’Urbervilles got so excellent success because not only the thought which Hardy reflected in the book, but also aesthetic skill. Thomas Hardy,applying to linguistic skill and the method of symbolization, unfolded the lively characters, exciting plots, picturesque sceneries and ingenious construction before readers’ eyes with his familiar local life.By doing this,he set up a tragic image of Tess,and set up his position in the history of English literature and his position in the history of the world’s literature.

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