AO3 homework – Tess and Rapture

First of all, it’s bloomin ten-fifteen and whilst the blog may be up-to-date, my work/life balance is shot. Feel free to throw my ‘time management advice’ back in my face. Anyway, don’t want to hold you up with your homework submission, so please post your new ‘improved’ AO3 paragraph using feedback from the lesson.

Compare how Hardy and Duffy present illusionary love in Chapter 20 and any poem of your choice.

P.S don’t forget to also comment on someone else’s paragraph – remember it’s just business!

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58 Responses to AO3 homework – Tess and Rapture

  1. Kate Ferguson says:

    Although both writers place their lovers in a high position metaphorically, Duffy is more aware of her own romanticism, as well as the impending return to reality, whereas Angel is consistent in holding Tess highly, perhaps to justify his own feelings for Tess to himself. Tess is frequently described as ‘ethereal’ by Angel, as well as ‘no longer a milkmaid but a visionary essence of a woman’. Whilst some readers may argue that this is merely an idyllic description of Tess’ beauty in the light of dawn, there appears to be an undercurrent of pretence to this; the fact that Angel must negate the fact that Tess is in fact ‘a milkmaid’ suggests that even in the face of the liberal attitudes to class he purports to embody, he still needs to justify, perhaps subconsciously, his falling in love with a woman of lower social standing than he. This is the point when, according to George Wotton, their ‘material, physical relationship is replaced by a spiritual, idealised relationship.’ Duffy takes a different approach to idealising her lover by describing her as literally above, hence the extended metaphor of the Swing, on which the lover swings ‘out into the air’, ‘like something from heaven on earth, from paradise’. The religious allusion serves to attribute the lover with greater sacrament and beauty, just as the aforementioned descriptions of Tess do, and the repetition of ‘from’ conveys the child-like excitement of the speaker at the thought of her lover. However, Duffy, like the reader, is forced to become aware of the return movement of the Swing, which signifies the inevitability of the idealistic images of the lover being literally brought back down to reality. She is aware that she has lost herself in her imaginings about the engagement as she refers to ‘the vision that flares in my head, away from you now’, admitting that she has drifted from the reality of her lover and alluding to the potential danger of this through the word ‘flares’. By contrast, Angel ‘allowed his mind to be occupied’ by Tess, ‘allowed’ suggesting an almost self-indulgent attitude towards Tess, which in turn lends itself to Angel’s illusionary idealisation of her.

    • Mrs Taylor says:

      Very effective ref to another critic. Good independent learning. ‘the fact that Angel must negate the fact that Tess is in fact ‘a milkmaid’ suggests that even in the face of the liberal attitudes to class he purports to embody, he still needs to justify, perhaps subconsciously, his falling in love with a woman of lower social standing than he’ – a phrase of beauty.

    • Alex Snell says:

      Kate, you are a form of literary genius. Give me your brain for the exam?

      • Kate Ferguson says:

        Alex, you underestimate yourself! Your posts on here are very eloquent and you need more confidence in your writing because you have some really good insights, and I’m sure the teachers all agree. So you’ll do very well with your own brain for the exam young lady. But thank you for the comment; my English ego is beaming. 😀

  2. Kate Ferguson says:

    I’m going to comment on my own – far too long Kate.

  3. Alex Shaw says:

    Both Hardy and Duffy emphasise the idea of love as an illusion, Angels love for Tess is depicted as very shallow and stereotypical, the same is true in Duffy’s view of her lover. Hardy achieves this through his narrative, revealing Angels view of Tess as a ‘typical form’ and an ‘interesting species’. Suggesting that Angels love for Tess is based on a worshiping of her image as a women and not an individual. In ‘Rapture’ too the same markers are used to highlight that the relationship is superficial and false, Duffy describes her lover as ‘something from heaven on earth’, which very clearly shows Duffy imagining her lover as something she is not. This objectification by Duffy and Angel is what leads the reader to conclude that both of their loves are partially spoke of under a false impression, and a blindness caused by appearance and lust. While both authors present their loves as illusionary, Hardy focuses on Angels blindness caused by Tess’s appearance. He describes her as a ‘phenomenon’ and bases his love purely on the fact Tess is ‘close at hand, and the rest nowhere’. Using the term ‘phenomenon’ suggests Tess appears almost otherworldly, implying perhaps that its Tess’s looks which are ensnaring Angel. Hardy however also insinuates that Angels love is down to circumstance and that he is almost settling for Tess when he states ‘the rest nowhere’, suggesting Tess is simply convenient. Duffy however chooses to use lust as the illusion which clouds her judgement. She describes even her lovers name as a ‘charm’, suggesting, like Hardy, that Duffy is under her spell and enchanted by her lover. In the poem ‘Forest’, ‘You stood… pulling me in, so I swam’ shows effectively the physical attraction which enchants Duffy. The hints in ‘Rapture’ which suggest that Duffys love has an illusion like quality backs the idea that in a relationship ‘doom may creep in and attach itself to joy’ (Kate Kellaway). Despite the differences between the two texts, essentially both Angel and Duffy fall into the same trap at the beginning of their relationships. The differences between the texts can arguably be explained by each texts historical context. While Duffys poetry written in the 21st century can dare to talk about lust, Hardy cannot as in the 1900s talking so freely would have been scandalous, and despite the rise of sensation novels in Hardy’s time, he would have had a hard time publishing ‘Tess’, so he has to instead rely on mere words and phrases of suggestion in contrast to Duffys sometimes explicit language.

    • Mrs Taylor says:

      Tight, careful comparisons throughout. Reference to a critical text – nice touch for the ‘alternative interpretation’.

    • Emily McEleny says:

      I like the links to literary context, with the sensation fiction, and contextual reactions towards the two texts. Your analysis of language is really good as well and links back lots to the idea of illusion, which makes it really focused.

  4. Jess Burrell says:

    Crikey, Kate and I are clearly going for the prize of most nerdy homework blogging.

    In Chapter 20 of ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’, Hardy clearly presents the reader with the idea of illusionary love though Angel’s elevated, idealised image of Tess. Although the same sense of illusion is perceived by the reader throughout much of Duffy’s ‘Rapture’, the final poem ‘Over’ presents a contrastingly strong sense of disillusionment.
    The idea of idealising love to an illusionary level is shown in both by reference to the name of the lover. Hardy shows Angel mythologising Tess with the names of Greek goddesses- ‘He called her Artemis, Demeter, and other fanciful names’, while Duffy recognises the bleak suffering the name of a lover now brings with ‘I say your name again, it is a key, unlocking all the dark’. It is clear to the reader that Angel is blinded by illusion in his deification of Tess, who, in reality, is a working class milkmaid. Perhaps Hardy is showing how such illusion would have been deemed strictly necessary by Victorian society to cause an educated man to fall in love with somebody from a lower social order. In contrast to Angel, Duffy presents cold self-realisation in her recognition that the name unlocks ‘all the dark’, which carries connotations of depressive suffering. Angel’s false image of Tess as ‘Artemis’ the virgin goddess of the hunt will, of course, be ultimately corrupted and come to cause him similar pain to Duffy’s. However, one could also argue that Duffy is indulging in misery, particularly the active voice ‘I’, showing that she is consciously deciding to think of her lover and perhaps creating illusionary pain. Arguably, her assertion ‘It is a key’ commits the same fatal error as Angel’s dramatic use of classical myth, as it shifts too much power and weight to the name.

    • Anon says:

      You made a spelling mistake in the first sentence “through” but I think that’s just proof reading. Really clever comments, with in-depth analysis. However, I feel you could use more alternative views (so could I) which is easy to do with revision. Apart from that it is rather brilliant.
      Love you Jebby.

    • Kate Ferguson says:

      Jess, the fact that you’ve left a reply makes me feel slightly less nerdy. I suppose two nerds are cooler than one. But now we’re going to look even less cool because the only paragraphs we can comment on so far our each other’s!

      I really like your writing style, and you’ve managed to make direct comparisons as well as giving alternative opinions. There’s even some AO4 about Victorian society (Dena will be excited :P). But we have to comment ‘constructively’ which in this case means I have to make up a fault where I don’t really see one. Maybe put a critic in to support an alternative interpretation? That’s the only thing I can think of that could possibly improve it! I really like it, anyway. 🙂

      • Dena Bahiraey says:

        That is very true Kate: I was incredibly impressed by the use of detailed AO4 within yours and Jess’ paragraphs 😀

    • Mrs Taylor says:

      Nerdy homework blogging is where it’s at. ‘Deification’ ‘cold self-realisation’ ‘active voice’ are highlights 🙂

    • Anon says:

      I thoroughly enjoyed your use of A03 Jebby- the analysis between Tess and Duffy was very detailed and precise. I also think that your use of contextual evidence for your explanation is very diligent and thorough- perhaps it is possible to mention how certain audiences would have conveyed this?

    • Jess Burrell says:

      Many thanks for the comments guys. Not sure whether to be honoured or concerned by the fact that my cheeky paragraph has become a bit of a hotbed for constructive criticism- I’ll just go with honoured, especially as Bookbabe of the week is here!
      I will be eternally embarrassed by the spelling error Cris ‘anon’ Criddle but I agree Kate, a critic’s view would add a bit more spice to this! Thanks again

      • Dena Bahiraey says:

        Your paragraph was great Jeb: I love reading your work :D…I definitely agree with your piece of advice- I really need to look and implement some critic views and I would love to share them!!

  5. Criddle says:

    The use of metaphor and symbolism in both Tess and Answer is particularly significant. Hardy’s meanings tend to be positive, describing mist on Tess’ eyelashes as “diamonds of moisture” adding wealth and value to her appearance, whereas Duffy’s metaphors are negative, describing her lover’s eyes as “sightless marble”. This could be due to the stage of the relationships, as Duffy is writing at a low point of the relationship, depicted in the incomplete last stanza. However, one could argue that Hardy’s allusion shows signs of fading; the reference to herons can symbolise bad news but another interpretation of this symbol is a messenger to the gods. Duffy uses Greek mythology too; the use of Greek gorgon Medusa in Answer creates a visual image of a woman turned evil but also shows signs of Duffy’s literary influences. Similarly, Angel calls Tess “Artemis” and “Demeter” which are Greek goddesses, portraying Tess as a superior being. Hardy uses this device to show the educational gulf between the couple as “she (Tess) did not understand them”. The religious semantic field in Chapter 20 emphasises the illusion as Tess is compared to “the Magdalen” which resonates holy “divinity” however, it is interesting to refer to Magdalen who is fallen. This connects to Angel’s description of the setting as “Resurrection Hour” which has sinister implications. Answer’s illusion is one of hatred with ugly metaphors such as “litter” and “red-hot poker”, personifying the speaker’s pain at the time, whereas Chapter 20’s illusion is “ethereal” deifying Tess, however this illusion has subtle indications of negativity as when the time changes Tess has to “hold her own”.

    • Mrs Taylor says:

      Very clever to focus on the use of allusion (AO2) as well as demonstrating very effective comparisons (AO3) – 2for1! You could extend your alternative interpretations with a reference to a critic…

    • Becky Lam says:

      Your focus on the symbolism in both Tess and Answer is really effective in contrasting the different stages of both Tess’ and Duffy’s relationship. I really like your comparison between Tess’ “diamonds of moisture” to Duffy’s “sightless marble”. It demonstrates really well how both Angel and Duffy have objectified their lovers in a way; they both expect something from the relationship that neither Tess nor Jackie can provide. I too also really like the focus on allusion 🙂

    • Mia Delve says:

      A very interesting read Criddle, especially as we decided to write about a similar point! I fear yours is much better… however a quotation from a critic would be good? Maybe? Can’t fault you on context though or those short (and excellent) quotations from Tess and Answer! Nice work. xxx

  6. Maisie says:

    Here goes my ‘improved’ paragraph!

    The feeling of isolation is prtrayed in both Tess and Forest. ‘she turned her eyes as she rested against the cow, full of sly inquiry upon him’. Here Tess is being secrative and trying not to be seen gazing at him. ‘Sly inquiry’ suggeests she is curious of Angel, but as she is hiding by the cow she is witholding information.. Alike ‘followed you in’ conveys vulnerability like Tess when she is watching Angel. Here both Hardy and Duffy create a sence of feeling minute and not in control.However Duffys quote could be perceived as angry and ofa more aggressive nature with ‘follwed’. This suggests that she is demanding love from her partner. With this more stalker like approach it contrasts tp Tess’s spft affection.

  7. Emily McEleny says:

    Hardy emphasizes the contrast between Angel’s idealised perception of Tess and her realistic appearance enhancing the idea of his illusionary emotional attachment, ‘Tess had lost her strange and ethereal beauty… she was again the dazzlingly fair dairymaid only’. From the fantasized perspective of Angel, Tess seems perfect and idealised in the languor and the haziness of the environment, yet she returns to being somewhat indistinguishable from other pastoral women; ‘only’ implies indifference. ‘Ethereal’ alludes to the supernatural, suggesting an unrealistic perspective. It is arguable that Angel’s social circumstance and his values relating to women could have unconsciously influenced his perception of Tess, in creating a visionary image of her: ‘what he values in Tess, her “purity” is at the core of the ideology and value system that, implicitly, he hopes to transcend’, (Kevin Swafford). This enhances his disillusionment during their confessions. However, in ‘Swing’, the irregular meter and uncontrived stanzas show a lack of contrived constraint, suggesting that the speaker is under no illusion in her affection. Duffy portrays an oscillation between idealism and reality with the fluctuating metaphor of the swing. The feelings of elation are portrayed as transient, ‘swung out’, suggesting impermanence and vulnerability. However, the image of the swing suggests a varying sense of solemnity in the speaker’s portrayal of the relationship, although there is an intermittent return to illusion, ‘like something from heaven on earth, from paradise.’ The simile relates to divinity and conveys the sense of liberation and exultation the speaker feels. Whereas the idyllic nature of ‘Rapture’ has been described by Janet Lewison as ‘too removed and idealistic to be sustained’, the alternating sincerity in ‘Swing’ suggests otherwise.

  8. Chaps says:

    Illusionary love through the use elements.
    Both Hardy and Duffy use of the elements creates the idea of illusionary love and as they both explore the use of prophetic fallacy; Hardy using the elements to show how the paths of Tess and Angel are “converging” and Duffy using elemental metaphors to exaggerate how “perfect” and “blessed” her love affair is as she tells us that she is able to “surrender” her heart in ‘Rain’. As both writers explore a doomed relationship, they also both incorporate the use of prophetic fallacy where the elements and elemental imagery mirror the condition of their separate relationships. On the one hand, Hardy uses a continual stream of natural imagery to highlight the actions in Tess and Angel’s growing relationship as he suggests that their relationship is blooming much like an “opened petal”. Hardy then goes on to contrast this imagery, by suggesting that their flowering relationship is doomed from the beginning, “The sapling which had rooted down to a poisonous stratum…” Hardy realises this connection, “she was…mentally and physically suited among these new surroundings”, suggesting that at this point, Tess is so involved in the perfection of the relationship that she does not notice the ill-fated future that lies ahead, signifying that the relationship is not realistic. Hardy continues with a link between the illusion of their relationship and the “violet and pink dawn”….let me explain…. Dawn is recognised as a being quiet and solitary time of day and as Hardy later describes the majority of the time, Tess and Angel have an extra fifteen minutes alone in the mornings, suggesting that their relationship is enjoyed just between themselves, “…they seemed to themselves the first persons up of all the world”, which is significant in portraying that their love is more of an illusion than a reality. However, I think that Tess realises (when the fantasy is stripped away) that their relationship does not hold the actuality that she desires.
    But on the other hand, Duffy appears oblivious to the tragedy that we as a reader are sure is about to ensue. Duffy introduces her links with the elements in ‘Forest’ where she describes how the “rough bark” grazes her back, and although this can be seen as passionate and erotic, I think that there are serious sinister undertones; nature harming her could be seen as a bad omen when nature is seen as the foundations of purity and virtue. I think that at this point in time, when the passion in their affair is ripe, the relationship is portrayed as being real enough that Duffy enjoys the sense of masochism. However, I think that much like in Tess, Duffy begins introducing the idea of a pre-conceived doom, which relates to the idea of an illusion of their relationship. Unlike Hardy who is very clear in his intentions with relation to his use of prophetic fallacy, Duffy is quite ambivalent as she explores the links between her love affair; the attitude of the elements and the idea of being deluded into believing that their relationship will survive. In ‘Swing’, Duffy quite literally swings between the idea of threatening elements where the water is described as having a “mist” over it and perfection or “paradise”. This hesitance to commit to an emotion could once again suggest that because of the lack of clarity of their situation their love affair is not a reality.
    Duffy is a contemporary writer so she does not face the same discriminations that both Tess and Hardy do, but I think that she enjoys the idea of her relationship being challenged, making it seem more thrilling and real than it actually is.
    ‘ADVICE NEEDED’- sounds like a wanted ad in the Herald….

  9. Dena Bahiraey says:

    My Improved Paragraph:
    In order for one to accurately compare and contrast the presentation of illusionary love between Tess of the D’ubervilles and Duffy’s, ‘Rapture’, poem, it’s crucial to consider the outcomes and didactic aims of these pieces of literature. Hardy uses the idea of illusionary love to convey and achieve his aim of questioning medieval stereotypes about a woman’s nature from religious influences: the mistrusting Eve or virtuous Mary. Such illusion of Tess being physically pure afflicts both Angel and Tess- unravelling the controversial truth about Tess’ unfortunate past provides insight to the intricacy of his love that was fooled by the underlying appearance of her being a pure country girl- asserting how, ‘the woman’, he has, ‘been loving is not’, Tess. Duffy uses the understanding of illusionary love as a didactic method of depicting the underlying appearance and reality of the nature of relationships and the consequences of naivety- similarly to Angel, suffering is endured because of the discovery of such illusion. The extremity of her delusional persona is emphasised by lexis such as, ‘heaven’, and, ‘paradise’; recognising her unawareness of reality and belief of an ever-lasting love without pessimistic subject to causation. Hardy also uses illusionary love as a device and outcome of strengthening the understanding and virtue of Angel and Tess’ relationship- allowing Angel to eventually appreciate Tess in a more meaningful manner, as he converts, ‘from being her critic’, to an, ‘advocate’. In contrast, although Duffy’s love contains the similar, ‘desire and passion’, it unknowingly creates an illusion of the nature of her relationship that ultimately deteriorates it from her delusional expectations. A modern audience would be more understanding of Duffy’s feelings because of the liberal and intense freedom of expression within society, whereas may possibly condemn Angel for obeying sexual double-standards within the Victorian era. Ultimately, within didactic means and through the device of illusionary love, Hardy and Duffy pinpoint how the concept of reality and circumstance is important within love (situations should not be judged by subjective ideals) – Angel acting and being influenced by classical theism and Duffy, desire and romanticism. 😀

    • Mrs Taylor says:

      Your best writing to date Dena 🙂 Superb

    • Jess Burrell says:

      I love this Dena! (no ‘anon’ necessary in this case). Really thought-provoking stuff about didactic methods- I’ll definitely be considering this in our next bit of writing. Also, impressive mentioning of the reception from different audiences. Only thing to add- a critic’s view to back up your claims? I forgot this as well, maybe we should find some and share them!? Much love

    • Chaps says:

      Dena, I must say I definitely enjoy your links to religion and there’s nothing that thrills me more than good religious links….. I’m also digging the research that you’ve put into this and it really pays off. And I really like your comparisons between a 19th and 21st century audience. Hats off.

  10. Sophie Payne says:

    Both authors present love through the use of metaphorical emphasis. Hardy continually presents illusionary love throughout Chapter 2 through comment on Angel’s perception of Tess. Duffy on the other hand, frequently alternates from symbolic language to focusing on the reality of real feelings and love with her relationship.
    Hardy presents strongly throughout Chapter 2 Angel’s sightlessness caused by Tess leading to false impressions. ‘In that strange solemn interval.. Violet or pink dawn’ […] ‘merely a soul at large it was then that she most deeply impressed him’. In the non natural light of twilight, these quotations present the idea of an illusion of Tess being formed to Angel. This could be interpreted as Angel simply being struck by Tess’ beauty in the early morning light however with the addition of ‘she most impressed him’ at this time suggests he is very much deceived. Similarly to Hardy Duffy presents the idea of an allusion being created by the lover – ‘mist was the water’s slipping veil’ the use of the veil in this quotation creates connotations of something not being as it seems. Although with the introduction of the verb ‘slipping’ evokes the idea previously mentioned of Duffy restoring reality in areas of Swing.
    ‘Projecting innocence upon female characters seems, moreover, to produce violence towards them’ (Keith Wilson) This criticism is very much apparent in Tess of the D’Urbervilles. It is clear from Chapter 2 not only that Angel perceives Tess with innocence, but Hardy also alludes at an impending doom as a consequence of this erroneous belief by Angel. ‘The sapling which had rooted down to a poisonous stratum… to a deeper soil’ This quotation establishes the idea metaphorically that Angel and Tess’ attraction is increasing yet the negative of the ‘poisonous stratum’ undeniably creates a negative effect towards the reader upon this desirability. In the same way, Duffy creates a connotation of negativity towards the love presented in Swing – ‘…looped a rope’. Creating the idea of the engagement illustrated being constricting; this quotation even goes as far to denote a connotation of death. However as in many of her poems during in the collection, Duffy presents this innocence of herself or her lover by utilizing the theme of nature throughout much more noticeably than Hardy in his extract.

  11. Becky Lam says:

    A clear illusion which is presented by Hardy is the illusion that both Tess and Angel project of one another. Tess thinks of Angel as ‘perfection’, whereas his treatment of her would suggest that he is anything but, and Angel is in love with the projected view he has of Tess; that she is an unblemished, angelic country girl – “a rosy warming apparition”. The fact that Angel sees Tess as an “apparition” in itself would suggest that he has fallen victim to what he wants to see – Tess has been mounted upon a pedastool, which realistically, no woman could ever have lived up to. Hardy demonstrates that Angel is choosing to fall in love with the illusion of Tess by describing her as an “interesting specimen of womankind”. The use of the word “specimen” is extremely clinical and impersonal suggesting that Angel does not even see Tess as a woman, but as a creature who should be moulded into what he thinks her character should be; this is further evidence of the fact that Angel is not seeing Tess as her true self, but basing his love perhaps more superficially on her looks – “she was no longer the milkmaid, but a visionary essence of woman”. The word “specimen” also has connotations of Angel’s hypocrisy. It separates women into a lower and higher class ‘breed’ of woman; on the surface, Angel may preach morals, and convince himself that he does not care for social class, and yet his treatment and abandonment of Tess indicates the very opposite; “Angel Clare, the hero, is a thought too perfect; his errors are readily condoned by himself,… one is driven to ask whether the touch of satire suggested by the name has prompted Mr. Hardy’s representation of the character.” (The Athenaeum 9th January 1892) In the same way, Duffy’s ‘Hour’ demonstrates the dangers of falling in love with an idealistic view; “Your hair like treasure on the ground; the Midas light turning your limbs to gold.” The ‘treasure-like’ lexis emphasizes the pedastool Duffy has placed her lover on, and is similar to the underlying sinister aspect of Tess and Angel’s relationship, the reference to Midas is provoking – ultimately, Midas was unhappy because of the loss of his family through his greed for gold, and this conclusion can be applied to both Duffy and Angel and Tess. Furthermore, the fact that Duffy has compared Jackie Kay’s hair to “treasure on the ground” cements the fact that her view of her lover is not real – Jackie Kay had dark coloured hair, and “treasure on the ground” would suggest she was blonde! Although Hardy’s portrayal of the beautiful early mornings aptly provide the illusion of the lover’s seclusion, this is all it is – an illusion. It is necessary to go beneath the superficial beauty of the sunrise; “the spectral, half-compounded, aqueous light which pervaded the open mead, impressed them with a feeling of isolation, as if they were Adam and Eve.” The lexis within the semantic field of ‘ghostliness’ such as “spectral” and “aqueous” alludes to the supernatural world they are in the early hours of the morning, and also Tess’ etheral beauty which Angel puts so much importance on – “fair women are usually asleep at Midsummer dawns. She was close at hand, and the rest were nowhere.” The atmosphere is fluid, and signifies how in the end, the relationship of Tess and Angel is based on the projected illusions of perfection which they have of eachother. This comparison of Tess and Angel with Adam and Eve forwarns the ultimate downfall of their relationship, in the same way Adam and Eve were thrown out of the Garden of Eden, emphasizing the illusion of happiness in their relationship. Similarly, Duffy’s ‘Swing’ can be interpreted as the projected illusion of the life she wants; “the water’s slipping veil”. Although happiness may be superficially presented, the “water’s slipping veil” has connotations of the fact that the illusion of love ultimately will not last, and will fall. The main illusion of happiness which is presented by Hardy is important because of the fact that it is simply that – an illusion. Tess’ sad fate is can alluded to the fact that she could not live up to the illusion Angel had created of her – “the pure and beautiful and heroic Tess, doomed to many sorrows, done to death, not by slanderous tongues, but by the tyranny of man.” (The Pall Mall Gazette 31st December 1891).

  12. Amy Hudspeth says:

    Sorry its late, I found this really hard :L

    Both Hardy and Duffy present the illusion of love in different ways to separate their characters. In Duffy’s poem ‘River’ she portrays herself as two different people. She is one person when on land with everything balanced, stable and safe around her, however, she is another person when in the water as everything becomes exciting, but with an element of danger continuously flowing. It is this side of life life that she chooses to lose herself in, “You step from the shade, and I feel love come into my arms and cover my mouth” Metaphorically, this represents the difference between her heterosexual relationship with her husband and her homosexual relationship with Jackie Kay. Jackie Kay is presented as a siren luring Duffy into the dangers of the water with “watery hands” away from the expectation and traditions of society, because although today’s era homosexuality is accepted, it is something that remains experienced only by a select few, culminating in not every person understanding. The concept of illusion is held with the level of domination Duffy feels Jackie Kay has with her God-like qualities presented throughout ‘Rapture’, the lack of equality is unexpected between two women as in history inequality was always experienced between men and women, proven with the lack of women’s rights with a lower pay rate and the stereotypical view of women belonging in the home while the men went to work. Similarly, In Hardy’s ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ the character Tess follows Duffy in her transition between two characters. When she is with Angel Clare, “ The sapling which had rooted down to a poisonous stratum on the spot of its sowing had been transplanted to a deeper soil.” Metaphorically, symbolising the blackness of Tess’ past, and how she feels as though it never happened when with Angel, she can be the virtuous girl that she used to be. However, when away from Angel, reality returns to the truth of her circumstances. The illusion is presented through the difference between her reality and her dream with Angel, knowing her lack of virtue would ruin their relationship she hides the truth from him, but in a similar way Angel doesn’t attempt to see her any different. On the other hand, it could be argued the concept of illusion is in itself vague. A common theme throughout Hardy’s ‘Tess’ is class difference, what a modern day audience may perceive to be illusionary love could be each characters differing perception of the emotion. Due to Angel’s upbringing and lifestyle, he would have a different approach to love than Tess does making his seem less obvious, likewise the lifestyle Tess has led and the circumstances that she has endured could encourage her to hold on to anything that makes her happy for as long as possible, it is more obvious to a reader because we see her depressive state throughout the novel, happiness is a contrast. With Duffy also, she advertises her adoration for her lover purely because she has been trapped in an ordinary life for which she didn’t fit and her experience with Jackie Kay set her free. Therefore maybe it isn’t illusionary love at all, but individual characters showing the emotion the only way they know how to.

    • Mrs Taylor says:

      I really like the independent interpretations you offer Amy – you have engaged meaningfully with the individual circumstances of the characters. Be careful to remember too step back from the fiction of Tess and consider Hardy’s intentions and craft.

  13. Jodie Thompson says:

    Well, lets see how this eventually ends up. Sorry for the tardiness, and shortness in the comparison of others.

    Both Hardy and Duffy manage to convey the presentation of illusionary love in very similar ways in Rapture and Tess. Alas, in Tess illusionary love is more evident than in Rapture as she is younger and is therefore bound to be naive and love can easily be mistaken for lust. Although, that isn’t to say that Rapture doesn’t have this also, as Duffy’s speaker is entering a new relationship of a dissimilar kind. Both texts have themes of mystery and the writers use nebulous undertones as illusion is spread; Tess and Angel walk in a “mixed, singular, luminous gloom,” showing that not everything is clear and there is ambiguity apparent in everything but it could also be seen that the couple are shrouded in a smog of love which is consuming and strong. The speaker in Rapture’s Swing explains how the “mist was the water’s slipping veil,” the fact that water is associated with the happy image of a wedding veil means there are slight negative undercurrents in this illusion of marriage, on the other hand, Duffy might not be trying to portray this notion at all, she may be presenting a beautiful image of nature combining to wish the couple happy sentiments. The imagery used in both can be seen as obscure and uncertain, leading to the illusions in which the writers could be creating. Greek mythology is also a key part to both texts, in Rapture’s Hour, the sunshine is compared to “Midas light”, this is the illusion in which everything he could possibly wish for would turn to gold, but this also lead to his death – meaning that love can be the most desirable thing in your life, but it could also end you leading to feelings such as numbness and relinquishing all hope. Tess was addressed as “Artemis” and “Demeter” by Angel, she didn’t appreciate this but they are both very respectable goddesses of nature, but great power leads to downfalls and this could represent how Tess’ love for Angel is so uncertain that it is the reason for her real breakdown and eventually leading to her death. Hardy and Duffy are both metaphysical writers and their use of nature and mythology helps to construct their ideas of possible illusionary, not just including love.

    • Jodie Thompson says:

      P.S. – Mrs Taylor, I haven’t been sent the powerpoint with all of the context slides! This must be karma for my photographic memory…

    • Becky Lam says:

      I love your ideas Jodie! I’m especially liking the “alas” and the “nebulous undertones as illusion is spread” 😀 I think you make a very valid point about the naivety of Tess – she was stunned by Alec, and I agree with you that lust was easily confused for love. I also really like your symbolic ideas about marriage in ‘Swing’ and greek mythology 🙂

    • Mrs Taylor says:

      This is an excellent example of how to successfully and closely compare quotes from different texts – very tight and purposeful links Jodie. Not sure about karma for your photographic memory – possibly teacher being too busy and hasn’t got around to sending the e-mail! Have to say though the photographic memory ….bad move!

  14. Georgina Welsh says:

    Both Hardy and Duffy employ a number of visual and sensual images in ‘Swing’ and chapter 20 of ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’, in order to manifest the scenes of fantastical romance which are depicted in each. The unvarying pastoral environment which has entrapped Tess prior to chapter 20 in ‘Tess…’ has ‘developed and matured’ at this stage of the novel; it is now enriched with aesthetic beauty, and as Hardy explains, ‘another year’s instalment of flowers…’ has contributed to the picture, adding colour and life to Talbothays Farm. Perhaps this period of seasonal change acts as a reminder to Tess that time is an unyielding phenomenon which affects all things, including Tess herself; she must attempt, at least, to subdue the memory of Alec D’Urberville in order to move on from her troubled past. Hardy explains that the character finally feels ‘mentally suited’ to her surroundings, and the unfaltering optimism which this installs within Tess finds her ‘stood as yet on the debatable land between predilection and love’ as she begins to form a relationship with Angel Clare. It is this image of renewal and resurgence perceived in chapter 20, which also dominates Duffy’s ‘Swing’. The poet repeatedly alludes to the celebratory image of birth throughout the poem, employing gentle adjectives such as ‘soft, moist, foam’ and ‘frothed’ to convey the speaker’s feelings of absolute contentment. Additionally, Duffy’s allusion to the sky’s ‘affirmative blue’ indicates that the speaker feels secure in the ‘new love’ which has manifested itself. Perhaps Duffy intends the speaker to be portrayed as a mother-like figure who is about to embark on the adventure of parenthood for the first time; however, one might equally envisage the speaker as the new-born itself, who is being propelled by ‘unbearable dawns of desire’ into an unknown reality. Moreover, the speaker’s sense of ecstasy impels her to compare her lover to ‘something from heaven on earth’; a biblical reference, which accentuates to the reader the influence which Duffy’s Catholic upbringing has upon her poetry. Even so, the allusion could suggest that Duffy, in hindsight, realises that her lover was always too good to be true, and was both wonderful and unattainable, like some divine creature. Furthermore, the speaker asserts that the wildlife also responds to her happiness and attempts to take part in the celebrations-she explains that ‘a line of Canada geese crowded the other bank, happy as wedding guests’. By personifying the geese, Duffy certainly introduces an element of fantasy or illusion into the picture, for it is unlikely that the birds are even aware of the lovers’ presence.

  15. Mia Delve says:

    I’m sorry if this is terrible, I found it really hard to start without writing an introduction (hence the little sentence at the beginning) but here it is anyway…

    Compare how Hardy and Duffy present illusionary love in Chapter 20 and any poem of your choice.

    Though Duffy and Hardy present love as a romantic ideal in ‘Forest’ and chapter twenty of ‘Tess…’ the reader begins to question the authenticity of this love and whether it is, in fact illusionary.

    One method both writers share is their use of nature as a setting for romance. In the first two stanzas of ‘Forest’, Duffy describes her surroundings; she uses romantic imagery – “in the gowns of the moon” “we […] kissed, kissed” – using both repetition and vivid metaphors to create a scene much like one from a fairytale. However, as in many fairytales, there is a sinister undertone, especially in the last stanzas, where the imagery changes from romantic to lustful and, at times, disturbing – “thorns on my breasts, rain in my mouth” – and even the personal pronouns change from plural to singular. The turning point of the poem is the ambiguous “didn’t we?” at the beginning of the third stanza, which leaves the reader questioning both the reality of the scene and the authenticity of the love Duffy describes. In ‘Tess…’ Hardy describes the ‘summer fog’ lying ‘like a white sea out of which the scattered trees rose like jagged rocks’; not only does the simile itself create an impending sense of danger, but fog is often used to symbolise confusion and hidden truths, hinting to the reader that the love Angel feels for Tess may not be entirely genuine.

    • Anon says:

      I love your fairytale idea because it immediately creates the type of setting in which illusions are likely to take place. And then you completely turn it on its head by suggesting that there are some dodgy undertones- original 😉 I like it. Perhaps make it a little longer, but by the exam you’ll be better prepared anyway, so I doubt that’ll be a problem 🙂 Nice one x x x

    • Mrs Taylor says:

      Your interpretation is good. If you review the paragraph for comparison, you only really do so in the opening sentence. Try and signpost and argue for your comparison as you go rather than leave it implied from the cue at the start of the paragraph.

  16. Millie Long says:

    Illusionary love is a recurrent theme presented by both Thomas Hardy and Carol Ann Duffy throughout ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ and the complete ‘Rapture’ collection. In Chapter 20, through the eyes of Angel, Hardy describes an idealised image of Tess. Echoing her comments in chapter 18, Tess begins to become less and less real for him “a soul at large” metamorphosing into a “visionary essence of a women”. This along with Angel’s reference to mythological figures such as Artemis, the Greek goddess of chastity, and valuable jewels such as “pearls” and “diamonds” when describing her appearance presents an image of illusionary love as he is blinded by her beauty and the idealised image he has created of Tess, perhaps causing him to forget her social class and background. The Eden motif is again present within this chapter reminding the reader of the fall of Tess and her uncertain moral position which is highlighted by the reference to “the Magdalen”. These references to the Bible and the book of Genesis highlights Hardy’s literary context. A number of Victorian writers at the time such as Hardy and Dickens concerned themselves with the sexual hypocrisy faced by women in contemporary society. This gives rise to the “fallen women” label applied to women who exhibited any form of sexual activity, such as Tess. The idea of an idealised love is also prominent in Duffy’s poem ‘Swing’. Duffy’s use of mythical and religious imagery “vision”, “silver air” & “heaven on earth” present an idealised image of her partner as they suggest she is other-worldly and almost god-like. The image of a “veil” reinforces this idealised image as it suggests that there is a part of the person that is hidden or disguised suggesting that Duffy is blinded by the positive aspects of her personality or how she wants to perceive her rather than her actual character. The biblical reference to “paradise” at the end of ‘Swing’ links to Hardy’s biblical references and also suggests that the relationship is perfect and pure reinforcing her idyllic view.

    I did it finally! Sorry its so late!

    • Jodie Thompson says:

      Absolute codswallop.

    • Mrs Taylor says:

      You have made your fashionably late entrance to the blog Millie -hurrah! Want to see frequent contributions from now on please. This is an excellent paragrpah which demonstrates efficient but articulate interpretation wtih effective use of the text. The comparison are clear and purposeful. You could push for a more rigorous evaluation at the end in terms of comparison – you tie things together a little too easily.

  17. Jodie Thompson says:

    ONLY JOKING! I am thinking that these ideas are groovy, lots of religious linking. Congratulations on joining the blog fest, after a vast amount of time. ;D

  18. Georgina Beechey says:

    In both texts, the authors give a sense of forboding in the relationships shown. Where Tess follows Angel into the meadow in the early morning the land scape is described as, “like a white sea out of which the scattered trees rose like dangerous rocks”. The meadow’s colour is described as ‘white’, showing the purity and innocence Tess appears to have, but the ‘dangerous rocks’ pose a threat to both the relationship and landscape. An idea/image of boats crashing into these rocks, parallels with Tess’s dark past being revealed to Angel through one false move. The ‘rocks’ depicted could represent a variety of judgements and preconceptions from the society surrounding Tess or even Alec’s ‘evil’ tricks. The current joy and happiness felt between Tess and Angel shows to have a potentially corrupting weakness from these past offenses. Both relationships (including in Duffy’s Swing) are at the start of the relationship, and the idea of forboding in Duffy’s poem is shown even before a proposal, “someone had looped a rope over a branch”. There are two interpretations of this quote that can be seen. For one, the rope could symbolise a loop or a swing of faith into the relationship, jumping into the unknown – the exciting. Or maybe even the physical loop of a wedding ring around a finger – ‘a branch’, binding their marital status. Yet another more sinister interpretation that can be seen is the illusion of a noose, trapping, confining and killing the relationship. To a modern reader, the imagery of the rocks is an unforgiving omen of the merciless aspects of the victorian society and their view of puritism. Yet a reader in the victorian era would see these rocks as a justice, bringing Tess’s crime of infidelity to light.

    Tah-dah! 🙂

  19. Maisie says:

    who is anon? Reveal yourself!

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