“Happiness was but the occasional episode in a general drama of pain.”
― Thomas Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge.
In this patriarchal society where women has no voice, sometimes I feel like those female characters from the books portrayed by Thomas Hardy. Those females whose eyes are filled with dreams, to whom the world is a mystery and their heart is as pure as a full moon. All they want is their right in the society and a little love and affection. However, they are the ones who are unwanted to the society and are objective to the errors of the society. I am not only the victim to their injustice but also subjected to torture- oppression.
Just as they hide their little dreams in the corner of their mind, accept their fate and get down to face the struggle of life – I cannot do that. I have seen dreams and I have seen them getting fulfilled. Perhaps Hardy wanted to show the society that these soft-hearted girls can also dream. But he himself confined their lives with tragedy. They didn’t only see their dreams getting lost, they saw the chapters from their lives getting erased. To Hardy the moments of their lives were like those sand castles beside the ocean, which break easily with the surge of the ocean waves.
Thomas Hardy, an English novelist and poet who was born in Higher Bockhampton, Dorset on June 2, 1840, reflects a dark naturalistic realism in his works and his characters are haunted with tragic and self-destructive fate. His writings are frequently considered to represent the ache of modernism which is quite clear in Tess of the d’Urbervilles. Hardy contends to suggest the obscurity of time and change and human reason against divine power through family-betrayal, class perceptions, sex and material longing. He uses several naturalist references about Tess that represent earthly ideals through showing how she was abused by the representatives of both high culture and Christianity. Hardy reflects his pessimistic outlook towards civilization, religion and high society as fraudulent influence that eventually corrupts the good and earthy heroin.
Couldn’t Hardy organize their lives differently? Couldn’t he let those heroines see their dreams getting wings of reality? Perhaps, Hardy was dissatisfied and never got for himself what he had wanted. Perhaps, that was why he refrained his imaginary female characters from getting what they wanted. Or he had a dark soul which kept him from giving his characters what they deserved. He might have tried to explain through his works that there was a brutality in the society; a selfishness that echoed through civilization which Thomas Hardy portrayed through these characters. But they also portrayed a reflection of his own dissatisfied heart.
Hardy is the visualization of the thoughts of people of that period and his female characters are ever-present. Whether it is the impersonation of Hardy, or the grudge of his heart, or his realization, would our relinquishment be still now similar to his works of tragedies?