Thomas Hardy

Deterministic view

Hardy and Wilde criticized the Victorian age, but in different way. Hardy was influence by Darwin and Schopenhauer. He found consolation in a fantastic place called “Wessex”. For him there is not solution. Hardy thinks that we are destiny to die due to the immanent will. Hardy wants to come back in a better period because he hates this period (industrial revolution). Wessex has a symbolic meaning. Hardy works deal with life,death, man and universe, they express a deterministic view deprived of divine’s order consolation. Hardy derived the notions of cruel gods from Greek tragedy. After the reading of Darwin, hardy perceived the intellectual consequences of the scientific theory and denied the existence of God. Human life was a purely tragic process over which man had no power. However Hardy is not totally pessimist but he believe, advocated (sosteneva) the need of altruism (cooperation and love); and the application if scientific knowledge.


Characters in Hardy are defined through their environment. Wessex is an area (semi-fictional), hardy with this name meant the old Saxon kingdom of Alfred the Great. Wessex transcends topographical limits combining the imaginative experience of the individual with a sense of man’s place in the universe.

Difficulty of being alive

The first main theme of hardy’s work is being alive that involves (comporta) being an existence,experience,passion structure of sensation, but also being in a place, an environment and surrounded by a set of circumstances which modify and partly determine the individual existence.

The second main theme is nature, presented as a co-protagonist with the characters. Nature is indifferent to man’s destiny; nature sets the pattern of growth and decay which is followed by human life. Nature also implies regeneration (cycle of seasons). Nature doesn’t influence the humans dramas.

Hardy thinks that Christianity is no longer capable of fulfilling (adempiere/soddisfare) the need of modern man.

Another theme is difficulty or failure of communication.

Language and imagery

Language is detailed, controlled and rich of symbolism; characters speak within their social register. The love of Hardy in nature is reflected by metaphor, simile and personification. Important role in Hardy’s art is the language of sense impression. (mainly the sense of sight). Use of colour is linked to emotion connected with the natural landscape.


  • Victorian omniscient narrator
  • Hardy presents action through the eyes of a hypothetical observer, with whom reader is implicity invited to identify himself. Hardy anticipates the cinema in his use of narrative techniques similar the camera eye and the zoom.