Consider the significance of journeys in Tess of the d’Urbervilles
The journeys and phases in Hardy’s ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’ represent not only the landscape and economic position of the eponymous character, Tess, but also her emotional mentality subsequent to the consistent endurance of manual labour and exploitation. Tess withstands both physical and metaphorical journeys as she adapts from a “simple maid to complex woman” early in Phase 1, continuing her evolution into a strong woman through the perseverance of each journey and struggle she confronts. Tess embarks upon many journeys departing Marlott in search of new work opportunities, however ultimately returns back home to the familiar rural environment; the central compass point of her outward ventures. It could be argued that the physical journeys that Tess makes, such as from Trantridge to The Chase, Marlott to Flintcomb Ash and Flintcomb to Emminster, are all significant due to the tragic events or momentous challenges they put Tess through, however the metaphorical journeys that Tess overcomes could arguably be more significant in the moulding of the plot and character growth.
One of the most tragically significant journeys in the novel appears in Phase 5 ‘The Woman Pays’ as Tess returns from Emminster to Flintcomb Ash following the unsuccessful encounter with her in-laws. The journey appears to form the final breaking point of Tess as following her initial high pride, she’d eventually let go of her honour and left Flintcomb Ash in pursuit of making acquaintance with Angels parents, a harsh 15 miles away. However, subsequent to the realisation that the family were away at Church, Tess reverses her decision and decides to return back, only to be confronted with the first of her downhill misfortunes. The loss of the walking boots that Tess had previously hidden
Phase 5 ‘The Woman Pays’ – Journey from Emminster to Flintcomb Ash (Chapter 44)
-she runs into Alec again
-Bad omen from...