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International Journal of English Language & Translation Studies

ISSN: 2308-5460

International Journal of English Language and Translation Studies

IJ-ELTS
e-ISSN: 2308-5460

Volume:1, Issue: 3
[October-December, 2013]
Editor-in-Chief
Mustafa Mubarak Pathan
Department of English Language & Translation Studies
The Faculty of Arts, the University of Sebha
Sebha, Libya
editor@eltsjournal.org

Senior Associate Editors


Dr Nicos C. Sifakis, Hellenic Open University, Greece
Dr. Anastasia Novoselova, Birmingham Metropolitan College, UK
Dr. Muhammad Abdel-Wahed Ali Darwish, Assiut University, Egypt
Dr. Abdurahman Ahmad Hamza, The University of Sebha, Libya
Dr. Firdevs KARAHAN, Sakarya University, Turkey
Dr. Sabria Salama Jawhar, King Saud bin Abdul Aziz University for Health Science, KSA
Dr. Claudia Porter, Oregon Health and Sciences University, Oregon, USA
Dr. Kuniyoshi Kataoka, Aichi University, Japan
Dr. Choudhary Zahid Javid, Taif University, KSA
Sayed Khaja Ahmad Moinuddin, MANUU, Hyderabad, India
Dr. M. Maniruzzaman, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh
Dr. Nagamurali Eragamreddi, Faculty of Education, Traghen, Libya
Dr. Zaheer Khan, University of Benghazi, Libya
Dr. Mzenga A. Wanyama, Augsburg College, Minneapolis, USA
Mirza Sultan Beig, S. R. T. M. University, India
B. Somnath, VNGIASS, Nagpur, India
Dr. Hassen ZRIBA, University of Gafsa, Tunisia
Dr. Sana Akram Saqqa, Al-Jouf University, KSA
Mariam Mansoor, The University of Sebha, Libya
Safia Ahmed Mujtaba, The University of Sebha, Libya

Assistant Editors
Omran Ali Abdalla Akasha, The University of Sebha, Libya
Dr. Prashant Subhashrao Mothe, Adarsh College, Omerga, India
Elena Bolel, Maltepe University, Istanbul, Turkey
Noura Winis Ibrahim Saleh, The University of Sebha, Libya

Technical Assistant
Samir Musa Patel, India

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International Journal of English Language & Translation Studies

ISSN: 2308-5460

Tragic Richness in the Major Novels of Thomas Hardy


[PP: 206-216]
Dr. V. Sudhakar Naidu
Department of English
Facult y o f Languages
Universit y o f Tripo li
Libya
Abstract
Thomas Hardy is a poet, short story writer and novelist of eminence. He has freely
adopted ideas fro m classical drama, Christian tragic element and Shakespearean tragedy
and framed his own tragic pattern. He has explored the depth of silent sorrow and
suffering in all his great tragedies. His heroes and heroines are all star-crossed souls,
struggling against the powerful cosmic forces. Henchard, Giles Winterborne, Clym,
Eustacia Vye, Tess, Jude, Sue and the other characters of Hardy meet with an end that is
tragic or miserable. For them, happiness is an interlude in the general drama of pain. It is
seen that the wrong cho ices and temperamental differences led to tragic gloo m in lo ve and
marriage. The elements of chance, fate or coincidence also play a vital ro le in creating
tragedy. To him, life is a struggle between man and impersonal forces and life is a fruit less
effort of man. This tragic content in his major novels, which is considered as an important
aspect of his novels by many crit ics, has been investigated and explored fro m a crit ical
perspective in the present article.
Keywords: Tho mas Hardys Novels, Tragic conflict, Temperamental differences,
Impersonal forces, Fate.

Suggested Citation:
Naidu, V. S. (2013). Tragic Richness in the Major Novels of Tho mas Hardy .
International Journal of English Language & Translation Studies Vol-1, Issue-3 , 206216. Retrived fro m http://www.eltsjournal.org

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1. Introduction
Tho mas Hardy is a great writer of novels and poems, a masterful reporter of a host of
memorable characters. Hardy has been classed variously as an old-fashio ned novelist, a
recorder of rural customs and superstit ions, a displayer o f his sensit ive ego and o f a tragic
interpreter of lifes co mplexit ies. The appeal o f Hardy, as a novelist and poet, has been
vital, increasingly so in the recent years. In this respect, Kramer (1979) believes that He is
read not only by hundreds of thousands of school and universit y students or by people
who buy paper backs for pleasure reading. His novels and stories are dramat ized on Radio
and Televisio n and made into movies (P.3). It is argued that one of the reasons behind
this popularit y of his novels is that they represent an intensifying series of assaults upon
the dark state of mind on matters of grave and social mo ment. Referring to the Mayor of
Casterbridge (1886), Stewart (1976) believes that Hardy is content with the single march
of a protagonist to his doom-the great ineluctable fatalit y o f things announcing loudly by
means o f a series o f sensat ional set-pieces en route (P.61). In Jude- the Obscure (1895),
there are the aspirat ions o f Jude and Sue as steadily and variously abraded by the
prejudices and insensibilit ies of the societ y. In the Woodlanders (1887), everyt hing flows
fro m the wrong-headed social ambit io ns of Melbury. However, for Hardy, the
Woodlanders (1887), is a book of restricted power as Stewart (1976) right ly remarks, for
he possesses the great writers abilit y to make extravagance, strong accentuations that
even the mo nstrous and bizarre, break in upon commo n experience and illuminate it
(P.37). The last part of Tess (1891), in particular, exemplifies the vulnerabilit y. In mo st of
his novels, Hardy has achieved the sheer painfulness which is almost unexampled in our
literature. The reason for this might be that in his native Dorset, he had wit nessed plent y o f
poverty, sorrow and misery in rural life. Such real life situations, during his lifet ime, might
have inst igated him to create unforgettable tragic characters in his major novels.
Most of Hardys novels have an atmosphere o f brooding melancho ly. They almost give an
impression that life is a punishment inflicted by an undiscriminat ing hand. For instance,
Henchard is foredoomed to death and disappo int ment in The Mayor of Casterbridge
(1886). Clym, Eustacia Vye, Tess, Jude, Sue and a host of other characters meet with an
end that is tragic or miserable. For these characters happiness is an interlude in the general
drama o f pain. It is co mmo nly argued that Hardys heroes and heroines are star-crossed
souls, struggling against the powerful cosmic forces. This tragic drama o f life, portrayed in
the most subtle ways in the unforgettable characters of Tho mas Hardy, has been crit ically
examined and explored in this article to invest igate this richness reflected in his major
novels.
2. Thomas Hardy: Major Literary Works and their Features
2.1 A brief background to Hardy and his writing
Tho mas Hardy was one of the greatest British writers. He has written remarkable
novels, short-stories as well as poems. One of the key features of his writ ings is that he
worked consciously in the tradit ion o f the great tragic art ists. His idea o f tragedy is a
combinat ion of Greek, Shakespearean and Biblical tragedy. He had Jesus and Paul in mind
when he created Clym Yeobright in The Return of the Native (1878). Similarly, Saul and
David were in his mind when he created Henchard in The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886).

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Like George Eliot, Hardy was influenced by Sophocles depict ion o f the great primit ive
emotions. He explored the depths o f silent sorrow and suffering in his great tragedies. In
this connect ion, Rehder (1977) superbly argues that for Shakespeare, tragedies end in
death, comedies end in marriage. For Hardy, so me tragedies begin in marriage and every
comedy contains a tragedy (P.23). The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886) comes closer to
Shakespearean pattern. In it, the tragic failure arises chiefly fro m character as in King Lear
or Macbeth. In this respect, John But ler (1977) reports that Hardy wants always to go
deeper and he is prepared to face anyt hing. Shakespeare merges the forms o f tragedy and
comedy to explore morally ambiguous situations and the world o f his imaginat ion. Hardy
fo llo ws him in an attempt to give a more complex view of ordinary life.
2.2 Classification of Hardys Novels
Hardy himself divided his novels into three groups- 1) Novels o f Character and
Environment, 2) Novels of Ro mances and fantasies and 3) Novels o f Ingenuit y. All the
major novels of Tho mas Hardy co me under the category of Novels of Character and
Environment. They are: Under the Green wood Tree (18710, Far From the Madding
Crowd (1874), The Return of the Native (1878), The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), The
Woodlanders (1887), Tess of the Durbervilles (1891) and Jude the Obscure (1895).
Norman Page (1979) pertinent ly argues that the first group contains all t he major
novels though they are given a pleasure o f a different kind of unit y by the reappearance
of environments. Writ ing about Under Greenwood Tree(1872), Page (1979) believes that
its brevit y seems to relegate it to minor status, its remarkable po ise and control are more
than adequate compensation (P.37).
2.3 Hardys skill of Plot Construction
Hardy was a great crafts man. This qualit y is considered to be one o f the key features
of his novels that has guaranteed him an important place amo ngst the most successfu l
novelists. His craftsmanship has probably been revealed through his plot-construction. In
his plots, one often wit nesses a lo ve-triangle. For instance, in The Return of the Native
(1878), Clym lo ves Eustacia and Eustacia loves Wildeve. In Tess, Alec chases Tess and
Angel also loves Tess. In Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), Gabriel Oak lo ves
Bathsheba and Bathsheba lo ves Sergeant Troy. In Jude- the Obscure, Jude Fawley lo ves
Sue and Sue in turn loves Phillotson. In The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), both Farfrae
and Henchard have lo ve affairs with Lucetta. In fact, in his plots, either two men lo ve a
lady or two ladies lo ve a man. It is also argued that his plots present a study of human
heart. All t he intricate human feelings have been revealed by him. His characters represent
truly different aspects of real life. In fact, his plots have universal appeal as they deal wit h
the human problems. There is also an emotional force in his plots. That is why; his
characters are very great in tragic intensit y. According to David Cecil (1960: 198),
Finally it is his emotional force which makes him able to rise to the heights of tragic
feeling required to do justice to his tragic themselves.
2.4 Hardys art of characterization
Characterizat ion is one of the appreciated facts of Hardys stories. Dale Kramer
(1979) remarks, Not only special perspect ives such as psycho-analys is, but more
traditional, broad character studies like Casagrandes reveal a range o f discontent with the

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plat itudinous responses to famous characters (P.13). He further adds that If his
characters are difficult to catch in a phrase and their roles in societ y to place in a verbal
frieze, perhaps, it is because only part of his imaginat ion saw, in his characters, figments
of general truths(P.13). Hardys imaginat ion was large enough to project complex
characters without needing to reach for abstractions to reduce them to explainable ent it ies.
The characters presented by Hardy are individuals and types both. They are divided into
protagonist characters, side characters and chorus characters. Hardys protagonist
characters have ident it y or personal individualit y. His side characters are merely shadows.
His chorus characters provide humour and relief. In all the variet ies o f his characters,
Hardy has given matchless universal appeal.
Hardys sensit iveness and abnormal sympathetic mind was oppressed by the general
tragedy o f existence. The novels o f Hardy were unrivalled for their sheer artist ic
perfect ion both in plot and in at mosphere. Grant the characters and the environment, the
rest of the tragic sequent of events fo llow with logical precisio n. So met imes as in The
Return of the Native (1878), there is severit y o f treatment which challenges co mparison
with the Greek tragedy. The at mosphere of Greek tragedy pervades in all his tragic novels.
2.5 Hardys male and female protagonists
One of the key features of characterizat ion o f Hardys is that he gives more
significance to the representation o f male characters. For instance, in The Mayor of
Casterbridge (1886), Michael Henchard, in selling his wife and daughter to the sailor
Newson, repeats startlingly blatant from the definit ive patriarchal act of exchange. The
women o f The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886) are at once the instruments for the probing
of the significance o f patriarchal power for the male. Taken as a who le, The Woodlanders
(1887), Tess (1891), Jude (1895), and the Return of the Native (1878) are expressive,
irrefutable crit icism o f societ ys debilitat ing versio n of wo manhood. Hardy was
consistent ly interested in wo men and became mo re compassio nate towards them. That is
why Stubbs (1981: 80) observes that Wo men are almo st always at the centre of Hardys
tragic, unco mpro mising visio n, not merely o f the universe, as is so often claimed, but of
men and women in societ y.
Such characterizat ion o f men, in part icular, and wo men in his novels poses quest ions
like: what is Hardys view o f his men and wo men? And how does he judge them? Hardys
men have certain basic characterist ics which are often ambivalent. Male egoism contrasts
with the noblest self-renunciat ion. The aggressiveness o f Henchard is at odds with his own
needless ret icence, apart from the contrasts with Judes tender selflessness. There is
opposit ion within Judes nature rendering him almost ineffectual. The number and variet y
of characters created by Hardy is amazing. It is impossible to group characters into rigid
types.
The rust ics, who form another group of characters, are all varied in their peculiarit ies
Oak, Giles Winterborne and Diggory Venn are dist inct in their characters and ro les. But
Dr. Fitzpiers is different fro m other prototypes like Wildeve, Sergeant Troy or Alec. The
posit ive virtues are encountered by the negative weaknesses. For instance, a strong Farfrae
chooses his wo men rather too practically and even unwisely. The view of Man as
potentially noble, patient and hero ic, is often accompanied wit h weaknesses leading to

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failure, and self- destruction. The characters of Henchard and Jude illustrate Hardys
intuit ive understanding o f Man. This is the greatness o f Hardys success as a novelist in
spite of the crudeness and inept itude in his design and st yle.
The central figures in The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886) and Jude- the Obscure
(1895) are the products of Hardys mello wed wis dom gained fro m his writ ing experience
of twent y-five years. They are all the sum o f all his knowledge of Man and his place in the
universe. Henchard, Tess and Jude each is a tragic figure. They have all qualit ies in
commo n but their dest inies are different. Some characterist ics of Jude link him with
Henchard in The Mayor for instance as po inted out by Guerard (1949: 152) the commo n
sensit iveness to music, the imprudent early marriages, the addict ion to drink, the need to
punish and degrade the self publicly (P.152). Henchard and Jude are the tragic figures o f
frustration and failure. Though they are simple and earnest in their pursuits, they are given
to fits of gloo m and depressio n. Both are sensit ive and basically kind and unselfish. The y
are vict ims of their self-destructive impulses directing them to their individual doom.
Comment ing on the ending of the two novels in relat ion to the two characters Guerard
(1949) aptly remarks that Jude Fawley might have signed Henchards will (P.152) and
their deso late state at the end of the novels being almo st similar. Henchards
possessiveness is strikingly different fro m Judes self-abnegat ion, though these trends are
curiously mixed in both. In Judes case, physical passio n causes his tragedy; for Henchard,
the lack of such intensit y result s in his losing Susan and later Lucetta. That is why Guerard
(1949) comments about the passiveness o f Hardys men that His attitude to other forms
of passiveness- toward sexual passiveness in particular is ambiguous where it is not
frankly crit ical (PP.43-44). This aspect of Henchard and Jude is handled wit h so me
amount of reticence.
2.6 The Openings and Endings of Hardys novels
Hardys novels open and end in such a way that they form a key feature of his writ ing
style. In the opening chapters, Hardy creates the physical world for his readers in which
the novel takes place and the first episode of his stories and novels reveal the personalit ies
of his characters. The first four chapters of Jude- the Obscure (1895) are among the great
openings in the English novel. In these chapters, Hardy dramat izes a young bo ys
discovery o f the moral and metaphys ical geography of the hostile world in which he lives.
According to Daniel (1990), The purpose of early novels is to show that Judes
experience is universal rather than particular and idiosyncrat ic (P.31). His another novel
The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886) begins by posit ing a world where civilizat ions
convent ions and moral reason are in a state of suspensio n. In the atavist ic scene, Henchard
ritualist ically casts off his wife as if she were the evil influence that has caused what he
regards as his miserable plight.
The endings of his novels are also subtle. They fulfill the prophesy of the beginning. In
The Return of the Native (1878), Clym duplicates the narrator as a modern consciousness
who understands the dist inct ion between mans aspirat ions and the circumstances o f his
life. The last view of Clym is not of a man, who has triumphed, but of, one who has been
defeated. In The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), Henchards demise and the marriage of

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Farfrae and Elizabeth would seem fina lly to restrain and reso lve the concatenat ion of
events set in motion by Henchards selling o f his wife.
3. Hardys Philosophy and most Recurrent Themes of his Novels
3.1 Hardys Philosophy of life
Hardy had a certain philosophy o f his own. His philo sophy o f life is a struggle
between man and impersonal forces. In the words of David Cecil (1960), Fro m the time
he began to write, he was confirmedly directed by so me automat ic principle o f life
unknown, pursuing its mysterious and utterly indifferent to the feelings o f morals (P.24).
In fact, to Hardy, life is a fruit less effort of a man. Man is a puppet in the cruel hands of
fate. As a wanton bo y kills a fly for his own sport, the cruel fate kills human beings for
sport. The part played by malignant fate in human life creates the peculiar at mosphere o f
hopelessness. The terrible philo sophy embodied in The Mayor, Tess and Jude aroused a
storm o f contemporary protest. These are so mber stories o f broken lives, o f frustration and
of all the pathetic futilit y o f human effort.
Hardys this philosophy and pessimis m towards life marked his writ ing. His last
novels express his tragic visio n, which is often wrongly defined as pessimis m. Hardy
had always reacted sharply against this label attached to him. He argued that
Shakespeares tragic writ ings did not charge him similarly of this crit icism. The classica l
tragedies and the plays o f Shakespeare both showed Man pitted against a malign force.
Hardys contact with the scient ific theories of Darwin, Herbert Spencer and Tho mas
Huxley also accentuated his awareness o f mans pain and struggle in the universe. As
Hardy o ften said, there can be no tragedy without revo lt and consequent conflict. He said
that he was a pessimist in the Sophoclean sense, in that, given the chance; he would prefer
not to be born in this world. Almost all the tragic characters echo this feeling. In this
respect, Scott-James (1950) believes that Hardy is pessimist ic about the governance of
the universe, but not about human beings (P.27). Hardys characters have both power and
endurance which is defined by Dobree (1947) as the tragic richness co louring his
pessimism.
Pessimism in Hardys fict ion consisted of his rational enquiry into the problem and a
basin of human suffering. His doubts about the governance o f the human dest iny remained
as quest ions. This basis o f Hardys tragic vis io n, unfo lded in his novels and poems, is akin
to the modern existential awareness o f the pain of being. To put in the words of Brooks
(1971), Hardys double visio n of mans greatness, in values and litt leness in the cosmic
scheme, keeps the tragic balance between fate and personal responsibilit y (P.18).
3.2 Most recurring themes of Hardys novels
Hardys novels reflect his philosophy towards life. His major novels depict various
themes reflect ing his philosophy. Some of the major themes are briefed below.
3.2.1 Love and marriage
Love is the do minat ing mot ive in the major novels o f Tho mas Hardy. He pictures
exquisitely the peaceful, idyllic lo ve of Dick and Fancy; the faithful, enduring, hopeless
lo ve o f Gabriel Oak and Mart y, and Eustacias searing passio n. Arabella in Jude- the
Obscure (1895) is the only hateful wo man in Hardys books. For the most part, Hardy
treats women wit h sympathy; the sufferings o f Tess, Elfride, Mart y, and Bathsheba are

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touched wit h pathos. In Hardys view, marriages, that are the result o f lo ve at first sight,
generally end in unhappiness. The problem of marriage and lo ve is best illustrated in Tess
(1891) and Jude (1895). In Far From the Madding Crowd (1874), Hardy countenances the
possibilit y of lo ve based on affect ion and on mutual invo lvement in a jo int enterprise.
Hardy had reservat ions about marriage. His main object ion was the irrevocabilit y o f
the marriage contract. Marriage, more particularly unhappy marriage, is a key theme in
Jude (1895), embracing not just the central characters but other marginal figures as well.
Judes family, for instance, had a lo ng history of bad marriages. Other figures are brought
in purely to amplify the theme. Hardy attaches cynical co mments about marriage to quite
unimportant characters. Judes landlord, for example, observing a show of affect ion
between Jude and Arabella is about to give them notice on suspicio n o f their not being a
married couple. Hardy explored the divorce law in The Woodlanders (1887) where Grace
Melbury is mis led by her father and is able to divorce her unfaithful husband Fitzpiers.
She then discovers to her cost that this is not in fact possible. Grace has allowed herself to
look forward to marriage with her old lo ver, Giles Winterborne. That is why, Stubbs
(1981) aptly remarks that They are both scrupulously moral people, who unlike Sue and
Jude, accept contemporary patterns of behaviour (P.80).
3.2.2 Nature and its Symbolism
Nature is another theme, wit h Hardys philosophy of life, recurring in his major
novels. Nature is so met imes benevo lent to his characters, sometimes hostile and
sometimes indifferent. In Jude (1895), nature is almost uniformly host ile, represented by
stuck pigs, worms, stoned birds, nettles and dying rabbit s. In Tess, landscape and season
fo llo w the hero ines fortunes from Stony upland to Stonehenge. In The Woodlanders
(1887), Hardy presents with a world that is both fruit ful and diseased, both friendly and
harsh. It is harsh but familiar to Marty South. It entangles the town-bred Felice and the
town-educated Grace, and it finally kills its o ld friend Giles Winterborne. Egdon Heath in
the Return of the Native (1878) is nothing but a heath to Thomasin. In Far From the
Madding Crowd (1874), in a tragic scene, Bathsheba runs fro m ho me to find herself in a
poisonous swamp. Nature in fact, is likely to be snare as a co mfort. Although Hardy
reinforced his picture of the harshness of nature with the alarming ideas o f Darwin, his
response to that was personal. As a child, he had seen a frozen bird, a starved man, and the
images remained wit h him. In The Woodlanders (1887), owls catch mice as remarkably as
rabbits eat winter-greens and even the snake, that kills Mrs.Yeobright, is beaut iful. The
dog that destroys Gabriel Oaks sheep is over-enthusiast ic, not malicious.
3.2.3 Education
Educat ion, especially in Tess (1891) and Jude (1895), is presented by an instrument of
social change and usually shown as generating unhappiness. The superiorit y o f Tess
(1895) in educat ion to the average girl of her class renders her especially vulnerable to a
gent le man-seduce. In Jude (1895), education becomes a major theme indeed, init ially it
is the theme o f the novel. For this reason only Norman Page (1979) pertinent ly remarks
thatIf Jude has the makings o f a fine scho lar motivated by a dis interested
intellectual passio n, he is also an at-least averagely sensual man; and his

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frustrations stem part ly fro m the lack o f provisio n for working-class bo ys to


enter the universit ies, but also from the very different kinds o f problem
represented by Arabella and Sue different fro m his intellectual
disappoint ments (P.57).
4. Tragic Gloom in the Major Novels of Hardy
As discussed in the previous sections, Hardys philosophy o f life do minated the themes of
his master-pieces. His mo st of the characters are victims at the hands o f fate or societ y and
suffer and meet tragic end. He portrayed this theme and his philosophy in such an
excellent way that his characters are observed in many living human beings today.
4.1 Brooding melancholy in Hardys major novels
His novels present an atmosphere of brooding melancho ly. They offer an impressio n that
life is a punishment inflicted by an undiscriminating hand. For instance, Henchard is
foredoomed to death and disappo intment in The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886). Clym,
Eustacia Vye, Tess, Jude, Sue and a host of other characters meet with an end that is tragic
or miserable. For them happiness is an interlude in the general drama of pain. Hardys
heroes and heroines are, thus, star-crossed souls, struggling against the powerful cosmic
forces.
Each of Hardys finer novels is a project ion of his state of awareness. The content of
the world, when he wrote Under the Greenwood Tree (1872), was the Wessex o f life and
all memories o f youth it included. The village, which is the scene o f act ion, stands for all
the English villages whose life is cast in the tradit ional mould. The country life in Far
From the Madding Crowd (1874) is in essent ials the same, on a large scale. When one is
arguing that a thought or an attitude comes increasingly into focus in a writers work, it is
always to claim too much. The Return of the Native (1878) has a half-tragic ending in its
present form, and Hardys original intent ion would be to make it more tragic. Throughout
the novel he stress on the revitalizing power of rural life than urban modernit y.
Henchard is a major figure in The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886) who stands integrally for
the tradit ional qualit ies. From beginning to end, Henchards course is downward.
Whenever his o lder way o f life meets the new, it is defeated. Step by step, he comes to
work for the man, who m he once emplo yed, and in the end, he feels himself driven away
to his death. In the words of Holloway (1953),
He is vio lent and a liar and in one sense intensely selfish, but his generosit y is
true magnanimit y, and he has reserved o f affection and humilit y. Farfrae
prospers through skill, which the new mode o f life has impersonally taught
him. Henchard blocks out something like the full contour of the human being
(P.236).
The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886) is a tragedy on Aeschylean lines, in as much as
Henchard submits and accepts, whereas Hardy elsewhere rebels and accuses. The sarcas m
at the end of Jude (1895) is not aimed at anything external to man, but at Arabellas
callous indifference towards the husband who m she has ruined. The jest in Tess of the
Durbervilles (1891) at the expense o f the President of the Immortals may be taken as a
mere rhetorically sally. However, the main charge is that Tess is the vict im of mens

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misdeeds and lack of understanding. Henchards calamit ies are principally due to his own
fo lly and circumstances.
4.2 Pastoral elegy in Far from the Madding Crowd
Far From the Madding Crowd is in the form of pastoral elegy. Hardy has adopted the
tit le fro m Tho mas Grays poem, Elegy Written in a country churchyard. In this novel,
Hardy paints a gloo my and tragic picture of life. He believes that man is born to suffer.
Gabriels hope o f beco ming an independent and shepherd-farmer is frustrated at an early
age. His lo ve for Bathsheba does not bear any fruit for a long t ime. Boldwoods passion
towards Bathsheba drives him crazy, and his ult imate fate is very sad. Bathshebas
experience o f lo ve and marriage is very bitter and painful. Her love for Troy leads to the
tragedy of her life. The principal characters in the novel suffer mainly owing to their own
errors, fo llies and faults. Hardy hates life because life is so unpleasant, so bitter and so full
of distress and misfortunes. The only people who are happy in the novel are the rust ics
who have no desires and aspirat ions.
4.3 Marital pathos in the Woodlanders
The main tragic co mponent in The Woodlanders (1887) is marital themes. In his
preface to the novel in 1895, Hardy himself stated, . it is tacit ly assumed for the
purposes of the story that no doubt of the depravit y o f the erratic heart who feels so me
second person to be better suited to his or her tastes than the one with whom he has
contracted to live enters the head o f reader or writer for a mo ment (P.35). Almost every
character in the novel has more than one partner. The final chapter in The Woodlanders
(1887) is concentrated on the contemplat ion o f Giles death. Also, it is the speculat ions of
the future married life o f Grace and Fitzpiers. Hardy cynically fixed up a happy ending for
his hero ine to please the readers. The ending o f The Woodlanders (1887) upset many
contemporary readers because Fitzpiers is awarded rather than punished for his sins.
4.4 The tragedy of a pure woman in Tess
Tess is the hero ine of the novel. She ranks wit h Elizabeth Bennet, Jane Eyre, Beck y
sharp and a few other great female characters of nineteenth century fict ion. It is argued
that the temptation o f Sue, the endurance of Marty, the troubled consciousness o f Grace,
come together and find a fresh definit io n in Tess. However, Tess was a Dorset milk maid,
but she is in her own right, a queen in English literature, with Rosalind, Cleopatra and
Lady Macbeth. It is widely acknowledged that the strength of the novel mainly rests on the
tragic characterizat ion of Tess. It is believed that in a novel, the heroine is so central to
every important consideration, an outstanding o f how her character shapes her fate is
essent ial for an interpretation of the meaning o f her tragedy. In Tess of the Durbervilles
(1891), Tess is the vict im o f irony of fate. According to Draper (1975), Tess is the loving
demonstration of these tragic ironies. She attracts the incompatible forces represented by
Alec and Angel. That is why she, who is a lover, is also a killer (P.205). The grotesque
incongruit y between Tesss crime and its punishment is the like sin o f Oedipus and his
punishment.
Towards the end o f Tess (1891), Hardy remarks, Just ice was done, and the president
of the immortals in Aeschylean phrase, has ended his sport with Tess. It implies that the
power that rules has no shape and attributes. Secondly, it is conscious of its own act ions.

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Thirdly, it is malicious and takes pleasure in causing suffering to poor mortals. Therefore,
Cox (1970) very apt ly remarks that the last scene fit ly and terribly ends story, having read
which, we could not wish for any other, dark and tragic almo st beyo nd co mparison as the
ending is (P.183). According to Butler (1980), Just as Sophocles appears as a sort of clue
at the beginning of The Woodlanders; Aeschylus appears here at the end of Tess (P.107).
5. Conclusion
Tho mas Hardy has been universally acknowledged as a great tragic novelist. It is
obvious that he elevated the funct ion o f the novel, and succeeded in placing it amo ng the
greatest of the literary forms. Each episode in his life became a tale in his literary works.
In addit io n, each character in his novels is faithfully drawn from his own persona l
experiences. The act ion is significant in all his works. It moves to a pattern of all life, and
ult imately to the universe. Thus, all the major novels o f Tho mas Hardy portray and
exemplify his philosophy o f life the hero ism and futilit y o f the human will against the
fate. The result is always a grandeur that stuns the reader into an aweso me acquiescence
making one oblivious o f the limit ations o f the artist. This is the essence o f Hardys
integrit y as a tragic novelist.
About the Author:
Dr. V. Sudhakar Naidu works as an Assistant Professor of English wit h the Depart ment
of English of the Facult y o f Languages, Universit y o f Tripo li, Libya. He ho lds PhD in
English fro m S. V. Universit y, Tirupat i, India. His major areas o f research interest
include- Brit ish Literature, English Fict ion, ELT and Theater Studies and he has published
widely on these topics in various internat ional journals.

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Works Cited:
Bailey, J. O. (1945). The Imbedded Fossil- Studies in Philology: Vol.42, 1945.
Baker, E. A. (1957). The History of English Novel. Newyork : Vol.9.
Blunden, E. (1958). Thomas Hardy. London : Mac. Co.Ltd.
Butler, J. (1980). Thomas Hardy. Cambridge: Cambridge Universit y Press Ltd.
Carpenter, R. (1976). Thomas Hardy London: Mac & Co. Ltd.
Cecil, D. (1960). Hardy the Novelist, An Essay in Criticism. London: Constable& Co.
Cox, R. G. (1970). Thomas Hardy: The Critical Heritage. Newyork: Barnes & Noble, Inc.
Daniel, S. R. (1990). Beginning and Ending in Hardys Major Fiction. Critical
Approaches to the Fiction of Thomas Hardy, (Ed). by Dale Kramer.
London: Mac. Co. Ltd.
Draper, R. P. (1975). Hardy: The Tragic Novels. London: Case book series, Mac & Co.
Ltd.
Guerard, A. J. (1949). Thomas Hardy: The Novels and stories. Cambridge: Harvard
universit y press.
Hardy, E. (1954). Thomas Hardy: A Critical Biography . London : The Hogarth Press.
Hardy, F. E. (1962). The Life of Thomas Hardy. London: Mac & Co. Ltd.
Hardy, T. a (1975)Far From the Madding Crowd. London: The Mac. Co. Ltd.
b. (1958). The Return of the Native.. London: The Mac. Co.Ltd.
c. (1923). The Mayor of Casterbridge. London: The Mac. Co.Ltd.
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e. (1949). Tess of the Durbervilles. London : The Mac. Co.Ltd.
f. (1949). Jude the Obscure. London : The Mac. Co.Ltd.
Hawkins, D. (1950). Thomas Hardy. London: Arthur Barker Ltd.
Howe, I. (1968). Thomas Hardy. London: Weidenfeld & Nico lson.
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Delhi : Oxford universit y press.
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Stubbs, P. (1981). Women and Fiction. London: Matheun & Co. Ltd.

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Table of Contents
Sr.
No

Paper Title / Author(s) / Country

Pages

1
2

Editorial
A Crit ical Study of Iranian EFL Environment
-Arezoo Molavi Vardanjani, Iran
Adaptable Analyt ical Vistas Illumine a Touchstone: Langston Hughes
as Minor Author/Poet
-Mzenga A. Wanyama, USA
An Explorat ion of English Language Teaching Pedagogy in
Secondary Yemeni Educat ion: A Case Study
-Yehia Ahmed Y. Al-Sohbani, Yemen
Applied ELT: A Paradigm Just ifying Co mplex Adaptive System of
Language Teaching?
-Masoud Mahmoodzadeh, Iran
Brit ishness and Co mmunit y Cohesio n in Muslim News Online
-Hassen ZRIBA, Tunisia
Building an EFL Curriculum for Young Learners: A Brazilian
experience
-Telma Gimenez & Juliana Reichert Assuno Tonelli, Brazil
Communicat ion Strategies between Chinese Employers and their
Basotho Emplo yees
-Ko lobe Mabo leba, Lesotho
Cross-cultural Co mparison of Non-native Speakers' Refusal Strategies
in English
-Mehmet ASMALI, Turkey
Cross-Linguist ic Influence in Third Language Acquisit io n:
Acquis it ion of syntactic structures by students Bilingual in PersianAzerbaijani, Persian-Armenia, and Persian-Gilaki
-Farzaneh Khodabandeh, Iran
Invest igat ing the Difficult ies and Problems Faced by the English
Language Students of Al Quds Open Universit y in Legal Translation
Process
-Ahmed Maher Mahmoud Al-Nakhalah, Palestine
Teaching English Accept ing Mult iple Intelligence Types through Arts
Ivana CIMERMANOV, Slovakia
The Poet as Translator: The Poetic Vision of John Betjeman
-Wisam Khalid Abdul Jabbar, Canada
The Socio linguist ic Status of Islamic English: A Register Approach
-Zaidan Ali Jassem, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Tragic Richness in the Major Novels of Tho mas Hardy
-V. Sudhakar Naidu, Libya

03
04- 19

6
7

10

11

12
13
14
15

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20- 39

40- 55

56- 71

72- 87
88- 97

98- 105

106- 128

129- 156

157- 175

176- 183
184- 194
195- 205
206- 216