Lively and Hardy both make use of the natural environment to enhance their stories in many ways. By referring to the whole of the short story and chapters 16,20,43 and 47 of the novel, show what they do that is in common, what is different and say which you prefer and why.
Lively and Hardy chose to convey their story in different time spans as Tess of the D’Ubervilles is a novel whereas The Darkness Out There is a short story. The books centre around two young girls whose circumstances are very different.Tess has already undergone many dreadful setbacks as she journeys to her destination and has no assurance that life will be ‘good’ to her whereas Sandra has no reason to fear the world as she is just setting out in life. They both have hope but Tess hopes that her life will get better whereas Sandra hopes for a good day and is enjoying all life. Sandra is a schoolgirl in a relatively modern time compared to Tess who is also young being a girl of 21 and is living mid 1800’s.Both girls are portrayed to be very innocent but the difference is that Sandra at the end is portrayed to have evil inside her whereas Tess remains pure and innocent throughout the duration of the story. Similary both girls are initially naive as they have they have mapped out a simple future.
It did not occur to Tess that she would not live the same life forever and is naive to how close evil is to her and Sandra prepares an unevent dreamlike future. Both girls come ‘down to earth’ with a crash as they realise what reality is like.They both enjoy the natural environment and their spirits correspond to the kind of environment that they are in. The opening of ‘The Darkness Out There’ sets a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere The first sentence describes a setting which seems peaceful and idyllic,’She walked through the flowers, the girl’. The reference to Sandra as ‘the girl’ makes the opening seem very relaxing.
Replacing the noun with weeds creates the effect that ‘the girl’ is in a place where you would not want to stay as the surroundings are not pleasant and perhaps in the midst of evil.The further description of the flowers ‘ ox-eye daisies and vetch and cow parsley’ adds to the summery, dreamlike image. The image of the cottage, ‘shrugged down in the dip beyond the next hedge’ gives the impression that it is unthreatening and inviting. All this description is deliberately lulling the reader into a false sense of security as they think the story will be all cheerful and optimistic. Lively uses the natural environment as a tool to enhance Sandra’s character. Lively’s description of Sandra makes her seem very innocent and cherub like e. g.
Someone had said she had pretty feet, once: she looked at them clean and plump and neat on the grass. ‘ She seems at one with nature as it moves with her easily eg. ‘ bare brown legs brushing through the grass’ and ‘A ladybird crawled a cross a toe.
‘ Sandra also seems rather wimpish and childish e. g. ‘ She wouldn’t go in there for a thousand pounds’.’ The girl is extremely dreamy as she reflects into her past eg. ‘When they were small’and ‘After they were twelve’. She appears to love nature as she loves the sensations it gives her (‘felt it drag at her legs’) which spur her into a dreamy world e.
. ‘thought of swimming in warm seas’ and the reader too must become submerged in Sandra’s dreams of nature. Sandra is extremely naive and immature as she dreams of a future that is so simple it is far from the truth (She would fall in love and she would get a good job’ etc), which shows the girl does not know of the complexities of life.She has no concept of time which shows her immaturity, ‘One day, this year, next year, sometime’. She also is very gullible as she seems to be believe every rubbish ‘people said. It is more effective for Sandra to be pretty, dreamy, naive and gullible than some ugly and hard-bitten cynic because the reader enjoys the pleasant description of how she looks and the way she sees the environment and is taken away with her lovely dreams whereas if it were a cynic in the story the world would be seen in a different way. The reader probably laughs at Sandra’s naivety and gullibility and does not associate himself or herself to be like that. Sandra and the reader are also lulled into a false sense of security by the walk through the fields.
Lively carefully builds up from the beginning images, adjectives and strong verbs of the track so the reader can almost be experiencing what Sandra is. Alliteration is used to stress certain images eg. ‘bare brown legs brushing’ and ‘powdery plate’ which makes them very pleasant. The almost poetic language effects the reader as it makes them too fall with Sandra into a state of dreaminess eg. ‘grass,polleny summer grass’ and ‘pattern and petal. ‘ The imagery is sensory eg. ‘silken grass’ and ‘seething the corn’, these adjectives are very soft sounding and appealing images.
Before going to Talbothays Tess was staying at Trantridge, the home of people of the same surname which is why Tess had gone to try and benefit from their wealth by revealing that she was a family relative. Even though Tess learns the surname they owned was bought, she still works there as a servant were Alec D’Urberville pays her attention to attract her as his mistress. One night he rapes her and after this occasion after constant persistence from him Tess agrees to become his mistress. Unfortunately, unmarried Tess falls pregnant unknown to Alec the baby eventually dies.The events at Trantridge lead her to want to start a new life far way to escape her scandal.
The walk to Talbolthays by Tess includes many key images, which create an effect. Hardy makes Tess seem so beautiful as he describes she is ‘akin to the landscape’. The landscape especially in the historical/social background of the story would be God’s wonderful creation so this sole description conjures up many wonderful attributes that Tess must possess. He shows how the environment profoundly effects Tess’s mood and how she compares it with her homeland.Either the change in the quality of the air from heavy to light, or the sense of being amid new scenes where there was no invidious eyes upon her, sent up her spirits wonderfully. ‘ Tess is affected by the place and feels the change is for the better and so begins to feel less depressed as ‘she bounded along. ‘ Nature seems to be sending her signs of hope eg. ‘in every birds note seemed to lurk a note of joy.
‘ It is ‘the valley in which milk and butter grew to rankness and were produced more profusely, if less delicately than at her home.This means that that the cows that produced the milk and butter feed on plants which grew luxuriantly (rankness) to keep them producing good quality milk and ‘profusely’ which means in abundance but even though, it is produced less accurately or carefully than at Tess’s old home (delicately). Perhaps this signifies that Tess has journeyed to a new area, which will bring more promise but also a warning that all will not be perfect. ‘The world was drawn to a larger pattern here’, this means at the new environment works on a bigger scale.This perhaps gives the reader the idea that a different environment will bring a fresh start for Tess with different opportunities. ‘The birds-eye perspective before was not so luxuriantly beautiful, perhaps, as the other one which she knew so well; yet it was more cheering ‘, the new area seems full of promise for hope and this quote is reminiscent of the idea that great beauty which Tess has does not always bring the most cheer. Hardy elaborately compares the environments of the two areas eg.
‘heavy soils and scents’ compared to ‘the new air was clear, bracing,etheral’ conjure up different images.The first describing Tess’s homeland seems an environment that is more earthly and rugged whereas the latter seems to be not of this world and heavenly. Hardy describes the difference in the rivers, eg.
Homeland ‘were slow, silent, often turbid; flowing over beds of mud’ whereas the ‘The Froom waters were as clear as the pure River of Life’ The comparison shows that her homeland was more hostile and uninviting than the new which is calm and almost heavenly as the river is likened to one from the bible.Hardy by using the environment in this way is suggesting that gentle, pure Tess would obviously be more suited to the Tabolthays environment than her own. The description of the environment is what Tess is seeing through her own eyes, due to the time the book is set in Tess would have not been far from were she lived so the new environment must seem refreshingly different and exciting compared to her homeland. Tess is longing for a new start to forget her misfortunes and perhaps exaggerates the change in environment for the better to convince herself that her new life will be much better to lift her spirits.
The walk drives the plot forward as Tess reaches Talbothays feeling less depressed and so more beautiful which makes her immediately more attractive to Angel who would have not liked her as quickly if she had arrived miserable with her face pulled. Hardy obviously wants to create the image that Tess is humble and innocent from how he describes things. ‘In which the dairy stood as the aim and the end of her days pilgrimage’, the word pilgrimage suggests that Tess is humbly seeking a destination which she has pleasurable expectations for.This journey is one in the many stages in her life the book follows that could be seen as fate at work leading her towards her destiny. Hardy makes the reader feel sorry for Tess because of her helplessness through no fault of her own, as she sees the church he describes her reflecting, ‘the bones of her ancestors -her useless ancestors-lay entombed. ‘ A further description such as ‘a more troublesome walk than she had anticipated’ increases the awareness of the reader knowing that helpless Tess is vulnerable.He wants to make the reader feel that Tess does not deserve what has happened to her at such an impressionable young age eg. Being, even now only a young woman of twenty, one you mentally and sentimentally had not finished growing’.
At such a vulnerable age, any event would have ‘left upon her an impression that was not in time capable of transmutation’ or in other words, her character would be changed by her experiences and as Tess has had some awful experiences, the reader should feel sorry for her. Hardy continues to try to get a plea for Tess eg. like a fly on a billiard table of indefinite length and of no more consequence to the surroundings than the fly.
‘Hardy is suggesting that Tess is so small and insignificant in the world like a fly, having no control over her life but likened to nature Tess does not effect her surroundings, which could mean that she is part of nature and is excepted. It seems very true that Tess does not have any control over her life as the natural environment is governing her feelings as if it is guiding her towards her destiny.This is a device which make Tess seem pure for her mind to controlled by the environment but yet she is not weak as she has bravely ‘rekindled’ her ‘natural energy of her years. ‘ Tess is portrayed to be very humble from Hardy’s description that she was ‘content with immediate and small achievements’ and that she had ‘no mind for laborious effort towards petty social advancement. ‘ This should indeed humble the reader, particulary the Victorian reader who social advancement would be very important to. Chapter 20 is when Tess is a milkmaid at Talbothays were Hardy again uses the environment to enhance the story.The chapter begins with ‘Another years instalment of flowers, leaves, nightingales, thrushes, finches’; this sets a very pleasant and cheering atmosphere.
The reader gets a very strong sense that the environment at Talbothays is perfect for Tess eg ‘The sapling which had rooted down to a poisonous stratum on the spot of its sowing had been transplanted to a deeper soil. ‘ This image means that Tess’s homeland was not good for her growth as a person but at Talbothays she flourishes as she is in ‘a deeper soil. ‘ ‘After the while they were converging, under an irresistible law, as surely as two streams in one vale’.Angel and Tess are being evitably drawn together like fate.
They are referred to as the ‘first two people….
. of all the world’, ‘as if they were Adam and Eve’, sole mates brought together by fate. The setting they are put in, ‘the spectral,half compounded, aqueous light which pervaded the open meed’ shows that they do not want for anything else but each other. The seclusion attracts Angel even more to Tess as he feels in awe of having a woman with such ‘disposition and physique’ to be with him alone in the open air at dawn.The environment enhances Tess’s beauty eg.
‘her face, without appearing to do so,had caught the cold gleam of the day’ which makes her seem so beautiful it was unearthly eg. ‘She looked ghostly’ Nature seems to be a part of them as Angel too has the glow making them even more attractive to each other. Every face of the day enhances Tess’s face as if Mother Nature is doing her best to bring the two people together. ‘Then it would grow lighter, and her features would become simply feminine’ Tess is endowed with precious of gifts of nature eg. inute diamonds of moisture from the midst hung, too upon Tess’s eyelashes’ and ‘her teeth,lips and eyes scintillated in the sunbeams’ The environment seems almost magical and spellbinding as if Mother Nature has placed an incantation apon them that will evitably draw them together whatever.
Hardy has chosen particular words and phrases to enhance his images.He uses onomatopoeic words such as ‘mingled’ and ‘prattled’ that make the images more life-like as the reader can associate with the sound. Occasionally he also uses alliteration eg. ‘soft soft wind’ for effect.
He overloads his nouns with adjectives eg. The spectral half compounded, aqueous light’ which shows that he wants to make his story exquisitely life like. Lively’s story is set on a Saturday afternoon, the time is more specific in comparison to Hardy’s were it does not state the day but the time of year because it is covering a longer time span not just one afternoon. Both writers enhance their stories by using the time and weather to create an atmosphere. A Saturday afternoon in Summer (‘polleny summer grass’) conjures up a relaxing and cheery atmosphere as the girl is likely to be on her Summer holidays without worries of school and Summer is pleasant time of year for the weather.If the story had set in Winter, it would have created totally the wrong atmosphere for the story’s themes to be achieved to the maximum. Hardy also uses the time of year to create an effect for example Tess is walking to Tabolthays in Spring (bird-hatching morning) which is reminiscent of the fact thatTess is beginning a fresh start and leaving the desolation of her old life behindIn nature the old makes way for young and like this Tess is trying to make her old life die in her mind making way for the fresh start to grow over it but it must be remembered that like in nature everything eventually dies.Both writers similarly chose to have pleasant weather for the scenes, which captures the mood.
Lively has the sun shining (‘It was all right out here in the sunshine) and Sandra ‘brushing through the grass’ in ‘bare brown legs’ as it is warm. The weather creates the right atmosphere for the walk as Sandra and the reader become dreamy from the effect of the environment, which makes ther end of the story more hard-hitting for both parties. When Tess is walking to Talbolthays Hardy too has the sun shining down eg. her hopes mingled with the sunshine’, like Lively the weather creates a positive feeling for the characters and the reader.
Hardy also sets the scene with Tess and Angel at Talbothays with the weather reflecting their joy as there is sun beams, the summer mist and the violet and pink dawn which help to create the romantic, dreamy atmosphere. Both girls are journeying hopefully to their destination with good expectations of what they will find. Sandra expects Mrs Rutter to be ‘really sweet’ and ‘ever so grateful’ for her visit and is hopeful for a good day.
Tess similarly but more complexly is looking forward to a new life which she has good expectations of like Sandra eg. ‘her hopes mingled with the sunshine. ‘They both appreciate the beauty of their environment which seems to make their moods cheery. The environment encourages Sandra too fall into an idyllic dream world and makes her run away with her plans for the day, ‘ she would walk like this through the silken grass’. Unexpectedly Tess is also dreamy due to the environment, as she almost seems in a trance seeing the landscape before her like a vision from heaven.
Both girls are extremely high-spirited forgetting the hardships of life but looking forward with a one-track mind to their destination. It is important for Lively to create this impression so the reader becomes entranced in the story so they to journey with Sandra in high spirits. Both writers are aiming to create a dreamy and pleasant atmosphere and so similarly, they use alliteration and onomatopoeia to create the effect. The both write poetically as there description seems to be rhythmical which entrances the reader so they can manipulate there feelings.Both writers have chosen to write in the third person for specific reasons. Lively has chosen third person to be able to describe everything in detail, if she had chosen to write in first person for example not all the details such as what Sandra looks like would be as easy to describe. It would also be more difficult for the reader to feel they are journeying alongside Sandra if they were within the character.
Hardy benefits from using third person in many ways.He can describe how the forces are working on Tess which in first person would be impossible as Tess can not see herself and he has the freedom to write in depth and get across directly is personal opinion eg. views on industrialism. Differently, Lively even though she is writing in third person just concentrates on the thoughts of Sandra, but perhaps this is because her character is the main focus for the story as it is only is short whereas as the novel deals with a more complex plot. Hardy uses the third person to delve into the thoughts into other characters as well as Tess eg.
Angel.I think both stories are successful in this respect. Both stories in comparison to description do not contain much dialogue but have lots of description, Lively hardly has any traditional dialogue until Mrs Rutter comes on the scene which is because the first part of the story is mainly describing the natural environment. The dialogue with Mrs Rutter is necessary as it is logical that an old woman living on her own will talk overpoweringly in company, so her character is revealed through speech and the conversation between all the characters at the end brings the story to the final conclusion.A great percentage of dialogue is Mrs Rutter talking which shows that she is enjoying telling the two children what she is talking about as the climax builds up as they, especially Kerry get more disgusted with what she is saying. In the chapters of Hardy I am comparing like Lively’s story would not have the maximum effect if there was a lot of dialogue, as it would break up the images. Both stories have a pleasant side and an unpleasant one and the following paragraphs are investigating the darker side.
Flintcomb Ash is a harsh comparison to Talbothays in every aspect.Tess again seems vulnerable to the environment’s influence but this time for the worse. She is also once again falling victim to bad treatment by the male gender. The spell of Talbothay’s seems to be broken, a place where Tess’s femininity was to her advantage but now because of this she struggles eg. ‘It wants harder flesh than yours’ Hardy bombards the reader with unattractive images eg ‘the outcrop of siliceous veins in the chalk formation, composed of myriad’s of loose, white flints in bulbous, cusped and phallic shapes.This description is full of repulsive sounding words, which a strickenly different to the dainty and beautiful descriptive words of Talbolthays environment. Nature seems in its element at Talbothays, unspoiled by nothing but at Flintcomb Ash there is ugly machines on the landscape that are ‘sooty’ and ‘grimy’.
Tess’s old life seems so far away in Talbothays but at Flintcomb Ash her past comes back to haunt her when Alec arrives. Tess is overwhemeled with constant pressures at Flintcomb Ash ontop of the harsh environment.The reminder of Angel by Marion brings tears to her eyes. Farmer Groby who treats her unkindly because of their past meeting and brings up the past as he knows it.
To add on to it all, Tess hears the news about Angel asking Izz to come with him to South America, she is obviously deeply distressed as she is very unusually sharp to Marion eg. ‘He did’nt take her! ‘She also has a visit from Alec. The pressures on Tess drive the plot forward so she writes a letter to Angel and leads the plot into her journey to find his parents to deliver the letter for her.
The constant pressures also evitably draw her to Alec like the environment drew her towards Angel. Hardy’s harsh setting of Flintcomb Ash shows the reader how Tess behaves in these circumstances. Hardy again makes Tess have a heroic character, even more so comparing her next to Marion who is consoling herself by turning to alcohol eg. ‘Marians will had a method of assisting itself by taking from her pocket as the afternoon wore on a pint bottle corked with a white rag’.Tess even though she has been through some terrible ordeals and has lost Angel does not stoop down to drinking liquor and very politely takes ‘the merest sip’ to oblige Marion.
Marion is a gossiper as she tells Tess about Izz but Tess even when her husband is attacked she still has the kindness and love in her heart to defend him eg. ‘He had to go-he was obliged to go. ‘ Marion also makes Tess seem vulnerable and dainty with her physical appearance eg’her stoutness of build’ Hardy obviously is trying very hard to win his Victorian audience onto the side of Tess.Tess’s time at Flintcomb is a time of great change in the world eg. the industrial revolution and through her experiences on the farm he speaks his point of view on the new machinery. This is a theme of the novel as in his opinion the industrial revolution was not a change for the better and he wanted to stress the disruption that he thought it made.
He uses very emotive language towards the machines eg. ‘ red tyrant’ , the colour red suggests danger .He trys to turn the reader against the machine by describing it keeping up ‘a despotic demand’ which means a ruler who has no sympathy for workers and inflicting pain in the workers ‘muscles and nerves. ‘ He suggests the machines are spoiling the natural environment which brings happiness to the world and its filth will bring sorrow as in parallel Tess in this chapter is very unhappy. There is a parallel in Alec as his Father came from the industrialised north and moved into the area and so like machinery does not belong there.There is also a strong sense of coincidence in the two chapters I have studied. Tess is just happening to work for Farmer Groby who recognised her when they met before and the Amazonian sisters crop up who she has met before. Has Hardy done this obvious patterning which occurs at many other occasions in the book to stress the idea of fate and coincidence, how many things that occur in the future are because of what has happened in the past? The idea that everything happens part of a big plan for your life.
How many things happen in your life because you were in the right place at the right time and will your life whatever route you take end up the same ? These are the questions that this novel wordily throws up. Perhaps as many critics have said that the novel relies too much on coincidence which makes it less believable but is the coincidence understandable because of the enclosed community the book is set in. Initially a strong comparison is made between the track and Packer’s End in ‘The Darkness Outhere’ with the descriptive language.In the description of the track Lively uses alliteration which is pleasant but in Packer’s End there are ‘blank eyed helmeted heads’, this is a very hard sounding group of words. In the similar way she appeals to the readers pleasant senses in the track she now appeals to the other side with hard and unattractive sounding words such as ‘dark slab’ and ‘clotted shifting depths. She has ‘clawed hands’ in the wood which suggest that they are dangerous compared to a very enjoyable ‘ dry burning cap. ‘ Packer’s End stops all Sandra’s and the readers idyllic thoughts as the description is very hard hitting and unpoetic.
Primarily this story seems to have a very simple plot as a girl is peacefully and safely journeying to her destination along the pleasant track. The nice setting just seems to be building up to a climax as Lively introduces Packer’s End intending to make the reader feel uneasy (cloth and…. bones? ‘ . Sandra goes on about how people get attacked in Packer’s End which falsely makes the reader wait for the climax of the story when Sandra is faced by the danger of Packer’s End either on the inward or outward journey.The twist in the end makes it clear why Lively used the environment to enhance her story.
Sandra realises that evil and danger are not from places in themselves like Packer’s End but emanate from what is inside people so whatever something looks like it can not be classed as either good or evil eg. the wood is not to be feared anymore as evil is not just there ‘The wood sat there in the afternoon sun. ‘ The darkness is outthere and inescapable as it is permanently embedded within the core of the earth and within the heads of the human race.The reader is likely to be profoundly effected at the end because of the clever build up throughout the story.
It is likely that they felt more warmed to the track than Packer’s End because of the careful build-up of pleasant images, adjectives and strong verbs creating the atmosphere of a happy and safe environment compared to an unpleasant and seemingly dangerous world of Packer’s End. They were taken in by the appearance of the natural environment and felt cautious about Packer’s End, like Sandra.The reader should feel humbled, perhaps embarrassed with themselves and ashamed that they reacted in the same way as Sandra who is a girl that they probably laughed at for her immaturity, naivety and gullibility. As the reader realises how they behaved in the same way as Sandra the message strongly gets across that they too must have the ‘inescapable darkness’ as a part of them. Mrs Rutter has a different association with Packer’s End as she likes it eg.
‘aren’t I lucky-right up beside the wood. ‘ She sees it in a different light to Sandra, a pretty place with lovely flowers.This is another device which makes Sandra and the reader realise that evil is within the wood.
Tess is at Flintcomb Ash in the harshest winter for years, so cold that ‘strange birds from the North Pole began to arrive’ whereas Lively’s Packer’s End is set in the same time as her pleasant environment so the year, time of day and weather are the same. The weather reflects the desolation of Tess’s life as it throws out every unpleasant element possible in contrast Talbothays is in the Summer and has lovely weather.Hardy creates images at Flintcomb Ash that are as harsh as the images at Talbothays were pleasant eg.
‘ ‘but raced horizontally upon the yelling world sticking into them like glass splinters till they were wet through.. This image effectively makes the reader beware of the severity of the rain. Lively does not describe how nice the weather is when she is describing Packer’s End as it would create the wrong atmosphere but makes it seem dark and cut out from the sun ‘The dark reach of the spinney. ‘In conclusion, I prefer ‘The Darkness OutThere’ compared to ‘Tess of the D’Ubervilles’even though I prefer the character of Tess to Sandra, as I like the way Hardy has deeply delved into it instead of Lively’s light touch.
I admire her as heroine for her valour, her will to not give up and her beauty. Sandra irritates me with her fickle behaviour on such things as dirt but I suppose she has the intelligence to learn from her mistakes and except what she has learnt. Lively has with her simply imagery wonderfully capturing the imagination yet also I like Hardy’s in-depth description although it is perhaps too lengthy sometimes.
Lively is much more to the point than Hardy who I feel sometimes loses the plot by invading too much into the narrative clearly expressing his own personal views in too much detail. The main reason for preferring ‘The Darkness Outhere’ was the theme. The ending really had a profound effect on me and it made me reflect on life and question myself as a person. The themes of ‘Tess of the D’ UberVilles were not as effective towards me personally because the messages seemed distanced to just applying to the story.