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7. Wandering Preachers and Fanatics
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about the presentation of religion in the novel, beginning with the man who goes round with a paint-pot and who paints Biblical phrases on stiles and barn-walls, but also thinking about Mr Clare’s Anglicanism, Joan Durbeyfield’s ‘paganism’, and Alec’s conversion to Christianity—but what did Hardy himself think about religion?
In this course, Ms Karen Hewitt (University of Oxford) explores Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles. As we move through the course, we think about the social context of the novel—particularly Victorian ideas about female sexuality—and the ways in which Hardy approached, evaded and dealt with these problems in his early portrayal of Tess. After that, we think about Hardy’s poetic imagery, the way he sees the world, his attitudes to nature and man’s impact on the world around him, before ending with religion and the meaning of life—particularly the response of Tess and those around her of what Tess calls “the ache of modernism”.
A tutor in Literature at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education. Karen Hewitt MA, MBE (Oxon) teaches regularly at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, and also in Russian universities. She has written books and edited anthologies on English Literature including Understanding English Literature.
Cite this Lecture
Hewitt, K. (2018, August 15). Hardy: Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Wandering Preachers and Fanatics [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/hardy-tess-of-the-d-urbervilles/wandering-preachers-and-fanatics
Hewitt, Karen. "Hardy: Tess of the D'Urbervilles – Wandering Preachers and Fanatics." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018, https://www.massolit.io/courses/hardy-tess-of-the-d-urbervilles/wandering-preachers-and-fanatics