The Tragic Consciousness of Hardy's .
"Novels of Character and Environment".
He has enriched aesthetics of tragedy with his " novels of character and environment" and his works have great influence on Victorian literature. The Wessex girl Eustacia, the mayor of Casterbridge, Tess of the d'Urbervills and stone-mason Jude, as described by Hardy, vibrate our heart with the profundity of tragic vision and intensity of tragic feeling. What on earth makes these tragedies so profound and rich? The central task of this essay is to define the tragic consciousness, which is the key, from three aspects: tragic consciousness of society, tragic consciousness of fate and tragic consciousness of life.
I. Tragic consciousness of society.
The most powerful of all the influences on Hardy was the spirit of the age in which he lived. It was an age of transition, disturbing in itself for a sensitive mind. The old agricultural England was in the process of being devoured by the industrial development and old ties were breaking. Hardy was not in any sense opposed to material progress, but, as a countryman, he belonged, emotionally, to the world that was passing. Therefore, he landed himself into suffering and perplexity, in view of which, he reflected the tragic lot of men and women caused by the collision of the two kinds of civilizations authentically. It forms the tragic consciousness of society in his works.
Under the attack of bourgeois industry, agricultural economy collapsed and peasants were caught in poverty, which gave rise to the tragic changes of their life. The commercial competition between Herchard and Farfrae is just the competition between agricultural form of operation and capitalist form of operation. Herchard's defeat causes his failure in politics and in love. In the end, he died in poverty and loneliness. .
As a realistic writer, Hardy not only exposes the economic tragedies, but also reflects the crisis and division of people's mental world.