Description: This study examines the forces which shaped the main character--Tess Durbeyfield--in Hardy's novel in terms of the effects which her alcoholic family had upon her mental and emotional potential and which ultimately become the determining factors in her self-destruction. Using the elements and patterns set forth in the literature regarding the dynamics of the alcoholic family, I attempt to show that Hardy's novel may best be understood as the story of a woman whose life and destiny are controlled by the consequences of her father's alcoholism. This interpretation seems to account best for many elements of the novel, such as Tess's destruction, and provides a rich appreciation of Hardy's technique and vision.
Date: December 1992
Creator: Alexander, Elizabeth Chenoweth
Partner: UNT Libraries