In this essay I will contrast and explain the description of Flintcomb Ash and Tolbothays Dairy. These two places are very important, because each place shows an important time in Tess’ life. Hardy uses Tolbothays Dairy to represent the love and happiness she found and the chance for a new beginning after what happened with Alec. Alec raped her, he saw her as an object of desire. He took away her innocence. This was replaced with the burden of a child that dies.
At this time, having a child out of wedlock was a form of public shame. In comparison, Flintcomb ash is where she was unhappy and shows us the audience a time of hard ship. Tess goes to Tolbothays because she cannot face any one in her own town, this is because Alec raped her. Then her baby dies her mother might have been partly to blame for the rape because she dressed her as an object of desire, because of all this happening Tess leaves and goes to Tolbothays Dairy there she hopes to start over again.
Flintcomb Ash is a farm, She is forced to find work as a result of her husband (Angle) leaving her and going to Brazil. When Tess arrives at Talbothays she is feeling that there is great optimism and hope for the future. She has now recovered from her recent tragic experiences and feels stronger and healed. “Her hopes mingled with the Sunshine. ” This shows that she is happy and the colour yellow from the sun represents this. Hardy uses pathetic fallacy to represent the season and the greatness of the place in the narrate.
It shows images of fertilely, a new start and a new life for Tess, this is a happy time for Tess. When Tess is at Tolbothays it is in the month of May, “thyme scented bird hatching morning” this is a scene of joy and gives us images of growth and life. May is also a time of birth it is like Tess has been born again or she has been given a second chance. When Hardy is describing the landscape he uses lots of colours, “red, yellow, green and purple” to suggest the richness and the beauty of the place it also helps you to visualize the surroundings.
Hardy also describes Tolbothays as “the valley of the great dairies, the valley in which milk and butter grew to rankness” The word “great” makes it seem almost heavenly and a place where life is very easy it also makes it appear very large also as you would imagine heaven as. The people at Tolbothays are warm and hospitable for example Mr Crick offers food to Tess “well, I suppose you’ll a dish o’tay, or victuals of sum sort, hay? ” This shows he is friendly because he has just met her and is offering her something to eat, Tess prefers to drink milk to the surprise of Dairy man Crick but this suggest that Tess has renewed appetite for life.
As the season develops and matures so does Tess and Angles relationship. “The season developed and matured” This shows them getting closer. Hardy makes many references to the cycle and inevitability of nature and these seems to reflect the course of their relation ship “converging as two streams in one vale” Tess and Angel had early morning meetings they were first up this was a private time of day is was also a beautiful and a romantic time of day for them “violet or pink dawn” possibly suggesting their passion or love for each other.
Aqueous light which provided the open” makes or impresses them with a feeling of isolation, as if they wear Adam and Eve and the Dairy is the Garden of Eden because they seem to be the only people on the world or at least the only people who are in love and the dairy is a place where everything is abundant like the Garden of Eden. After the wedding Tess and Angel go to their house but after supper Angel sits Tess down because he tells her he has something to confess, which makes Tess feel better.
You have to confess something? She said quickly and even with gladness and relief” He tells he of when he had a fling with a girl prier to Tess’ arrival at the farm. “He plunged into eight-and-forty hours of depression with a stringer”. After Angles confession Tess is sure that he will under stand and forgive her. “O, Angel-I am almost glad-because now you can forgive me! Tess tells Angle about her past but she later regrets it as he is very angry and leaves, leaving Tess to look after herself.
Tess feels she must leave the farm because the farm was more part of Angels life than her own and she may not be welcome there anymore under the circumstances, So after talking to a friend about a farm who are always needing employees, she set off on her way to Flintcomb-Ash. As she made her way to Flintcomb-Ash winter drew in within days becoming shorter symbolising her hope for Angels return starting to disappear.
With the shortening of the days all hope of obtaining her husbands forgiveness began to leave her”, she doesn’t think that Angel will forgive her so therefore never returns again. She is also surrounded with a sense of death represented by the dead pheasants in the field, “rich plumage dabbed with blood”. This is another example of where blood is brought into Tess’ life as if Hardy is trying to tell us death and fear is never far behind and will soon catch up.
As Tess nears the farm she finds she is attracting unwanted attention of men but she feels that she can only let herself be loved by Angel so she scrapes her face and puts a shall over her head so her beauty cannot be seen. She arrives at Flintcomb-Ash to find that the landscape is bleak. The name Flintcomb-Ash brings in a sense of death by Ash being in the name.
Her beauty has left her and she has suddenly become one with the landscape, “a figure which is part of the landscape, a field woman pure and simple, in winter guise… here is no sign of young passion in her now”, compared to when she at Talbothays it as if all the life has been drawn out of her like the colour, happiness, love and lush lands have been taken out of her environment where there is hardly even any trees – “there are few trees or none”. It seems Hardy has used Tess’ surroundings to reflect her feelings. Tess’ state of mind has been reflected in some birds from the North Pole because of their strange appearance after rain and dry frost have left their marks on them, “from behind the north pole… aunt spectral creatures with tragic eyes… ” with this quote Hardy is trying to show us that these birds may be lost in life just like Tess is.
At this stage in Tess’ life she must feel very confused as everything has changed, for example the people she is around because the workers are very different compared to the workers at Talberthays greatly in their appearance as they were all made to dress in Hessian ‘whoppers’ and long sleeved pinafores as if to blend in with the fields with an earthy brown colour.
The two girls manage purely living on memories of happier days at Talberthays “where summer has been liberal in her gifts… memories of green, sunny, romantic Talberthays”. Tess finds it hard to work because unlike Mr Crick her new employer Farmer Groby dislikes Tess and constantly gave her a hard time only based on when Angel hit him after he told him that Tess had bin with Alec. As Tess is the closest he is going to get to Angel he is taking his revenge out on her.
Hardy then brings in the idea of they industrial revolution and it makes it clear that he doesn’t like this time which brought on a lot of changes and he does the through language that he uses for example making the threshing machines sound like a monster, “this one black, with a sustained hiss that spoke of strength “this one black, with a sustained hiss that spoke of strength” Hardy uses the threshing machine because it symbolizes her harsh and uncomfortable conditions in which Tess is made to live while at the farm.
Hardy talks about the machine as if it was alive and needs to be fed by the girls, “the red tyrant that the women had come to serve”. Hardy makes out that the girls need tit to carry on with their work, “endurance of their muscles and their nerves”. There thresher is made to sound ugly and scary through Hardys description, “black, sooty, grimy” as it is a “dark motionless being”. These words are made almost reflect Tess’ vulnerability, especially when she is forced to work on the machine, “shaken bodily” because it’s not just the machine that Tess is scared off.
She is also scared of Alec who decided to come and visit Tess. To Tess’ unawareness Alec entered the farm leaving the workers guessing who he was, “I’ll lay a guinea he’s after Tess”. Hardy uses the image of Tess being forced to keep feeding the machine with wheat to represent the fact that Tess has to constantly become a slave to somebody in order to survive through life. For example when she told Angle, “I will obey you like your wretched slave”.
Tess is currently at a very low part in her life and Hardy uses Alec’s appearance at the farm to represent this as she was also at a low point on her first meeting with Alec. In conclusion, Hardy has made these two different place (Talbothays and Flintcomb – Ash) very important parts in his novel because together with the use of colour, similes, metaphors, personification, pathetic fallacy and Hardy’s good use of description, it helps us to create two different parts in Tess’ life.
One of which was full of love with Angle, happiness and sunny days spent at Talbothays. But in total opposite to this she also spent an equally important part of her life at Flintcomb – Ash. Where she felt nothing but pain and suffering in the long cold hard months she spent there, to give an image of her break up with Angel and the thought that she may be left with a future of suffering compared with what she could have had at Talbothays.