SANDHAN (AGIC): Thomas Hardy's Novels

good morning friends this is him on Zeus reverse though today we have gathered here to discuss on the novels of Thomas Hardy we have two experts today in the studio towards my right is fuse Joshi is the coordinator of PG classes at HM Patil Institute will not with Anika and towards my left is loopy Patel she is also a senior lecturer at a subtle arts college without wasting much all the time I'll just ask to discuss about the background of Thomas Hardy and thereby really focusing on the novels and different aspects of Thomas Adi sir good morning today but before we take up the discussion it would be really important to talk about the Victorian age which happens to be a very long age in which intellectual fermentation continued for a very long time in fact the age was the age of contradiction compromise or prosperity and number of other facets however if we look into the age we are we are baffled at times by the variety that will come across and I am interested in talking about how Hardy one of the major novelists of the time tried to capture the sense of the time in his novels as well as poems hard if we remember him he wrote for almost six decades he continued to write poetry he continued to write novels and the novels he wrote but he was not very happy with his novels or fictions he said that I am basically a poet and he continued to write poetry for six decades and the novels that he wrote continued to be written between 1874 to 1895 it was probably in 1995 when he wrote the last novel Jude the Obscure and the literary critics were so unhappy with him they were so hostile with him that they criticized him so rigorously that he can't stop writing novels and he switched over to writing poetry today in the modern times people remember Hardy more as a poet then as a novelist however hardly happens to be an interesting and very serious kind of a novelist and therefore we need to look into his problems the problems that he projects about the time the time when you talk about is a wonderful time it was the reign of Queen Victoria who gave stability to the age stability brought prosperity it was Industrial Revolution prosperity of the rich people he talked about several things but Harding basically was interested in a small section of society which he was trying to project then Hardy basically if you compare him with the Stahl words of his own times such as Dickens Thackeray George Eliot Matthew Arnold Tennyson Browning he stands out because he has his own way of looking at life which is basically different from others and personally if you ask me I would say Prince Hardy is a difficult knowledge to degrade he's a challenge because he has in the study of human character in the study of nature and he talks about various facets of life but before we enter into that it would be very interesting to know what kind of age he was in as I said it was an industrial age prosperity was their organization was taking place people felt that it was a period of transition and crisis and therefore Matthew Arnold wrote in 1869 a text called culture and NRT he was worried about the society that the society was moving into the direction of an Archie and who could check this and he located that good literature good art should be there to check this on the other hand Browning remained a firm believer in God and the benevolent Providence he said the God is during his heaven and therefore everything is right on one hand we have people like Browning who had complete faith in this God and Almighty only present omniscient omnipotent God on the other hand people were shaken for people's faith in God were shaken it was just because Darwin's theory of Genesis an Origin of Species King it was with this book he shook the foundations of Christianity the authority of church was challenged now and look at the book the book is Origin of Species when he wrote what was he doing he just put forward a theory that man and it have descended from the same ancestor II that means man is not created by God man is a product of evolution natural process of evolution and this man has not come all of a sudden on the scene now this was contradictory to the message given in the biblical myth or book of Genesis there it was said that it was God who created things it was God who created Adam and for the recreation of the world it was God who created even the woman so Adam and Eve with the creations of God and the book of Genesis proved to be wrong and that's why people were baffled and people didn't know what to do and that's like hardly as a man of science and technology or temperament technique scientific temperament also did not believe in the devil and God he had his own views he felt that this God is ruled this world is ruled by for this universe is ruled by an eminent will some power is there some energy is there which rules this whole thing and this energy is not benevolent it is rather malignant it is indifferent it is cruel and it comes it doesn't care for the human beings and that's why he used this eminent will and he describes this eminent will earth as a kind of fate and destiny and when you look into this in order to understand Hardy the first thing that we need to understand is why I did hardly differ from the other writers other writers were talking for example Dickens talks about the social evils especially out of industrialization Eliot was talking about the problems of women how women were suffering how their remains situation should come up how the voting rights should be restored to them or they should be given the voting rights all these issues were being discussed hard is the man who is trying to project Wessex an area which is in the southwest of England now this was the area where he was he was brought up he grew up he knew the area very much he was so familiar with the nature and the background the topography that he projected that so research becomes an important thing so howdy is whenever we talk about hardy Hardy synonymous with Wessex and Wessex is an area which is very well projected in his almost all his novels secondly which is very important for us to and remember ease Hardy was looking at the issue of as I said malignant power which doesn't care for that and that's right he was not happy with those people who say that God is there who looks after things he on the contrary say this imminent will which is indifferent comes in the life of people in the form of faith or chance and disturbs their it is so cruel at times that it crushes the man arm and spit that's what people say that Hardy is pessimist but when we look at his novels and major characters we find that these heroes and hero in spite there are a few instances where they crush under the power of the fate or destiny but there are people who fight out and that's why when they fight out their goodness comes to the surface and we realize that they are basically optimistic characters so it is wrong to say that he is a pessimist completely he is an optimist and he presents his characters in a very beautiful manner my intention in talking about this age when you underst you when you talk about the novel's you will have to understand his attitude of this and out of this two important words come here which I think as students of literature you should understand one is agnosticism and the second is arte ISM the word agnosticism or agnostic means a person who does not believe who does not believe in God or who feels that he wants to believe in God but he needs a proof that means he believes in natural phenomena around him but he feels that if there is of some supernatural power then he should be no able that which is not knowing then he would not like to believe the agnostic is a person whom he can call skeptic a man who doubts at the very existence of God on the other hand you have a term called a taste at a ISM they are non-believers so there is a slight line of demarcation between agnosticism and atheism agnostics believe that there is some power but then since it is unknowable they would not be able to believe in that that is on the other hand are not interested in that so these two terms when you when you enter into his novels you realize that he is his novice and his characters have this kind of a attitude that they would not they do not blame or they they do not be trust the God or they have a non-traditional view of God or destiny secondly the two more important terms that you need to understand are one is realism and naturalism hard is associated with naturalism let me tell you friends so what is the difference between realism and naturalism realism is a mode of presentation of reality of objects and things as they are as they seem to be it is unromantic presentation of reality or it is unglamorous presentation of reality if you apply it to literature and art then it becomes very clear that realism is trying to project life with all its seamy side or you can say all the ugly sides of life when Dickens wrote the novel's he was talking about the ugly side of life and he says that he was interested in realism he would do that but there is another term which is called as naturalism if you look into the dictionary they would say naturalism means it is more or less a kind of realism or if there is a similarity between the two however there is a slight difference between the two in realism we are interested in what is being projected in naturalism we are interested in what is being projected worried about that why is it so so we go into causes and effects for example if a man behaves it irrationally you want to know who is this man why does it behave like that or what are the reasons behind that so from realism when we move to naturalism we are reminded of two persons one is Emile Zola a man who presented his novels in that way where he was talking about the element of heredity and environment there is another man who is known as stained ta ine Dane was a man a social philosopher who talked about milieu the race and the man these two people came from different fields there was the arrival of psychology and the arrival of sociology affected even literature and art and that's why when we talk about naturalism we have to say that naturalism would enter into the field of reality but also explore and probe into the reasons why people behave in that way so that two more terms come toward discussion that is harry dt and environment hurried it is something that you inherit from your parents forefathers and all those things so it's a psychological obstacle on the other hand environment talks about it is environment which shapes the psyche and consciousness of the man so two forces are being put together in Hardy's novels when we say realism naturalism then we have to look into heredity and environment and we are concerned with two more words which are called nature versus nurture nurture is how the child is brought up again environment and nature is basically the heredity that he has these two things are very important and in Hardy very significantly man is shown sometimes as a pawn or tool which is controlled by these forces either it could be heredity it could be environment or it could be the eminent will which is nearing mysterious and that's why man happens to be a poor instrument in the hands of these forces if at all he tries to resist or protests that then he has is crushed or he has to sacrifice himself so all his novels more or less are basically tragedies and one more they thing that Hardy perhaps wanted to do during his lifetime goals he was in love with Wessex area and he was interested in the rustic life of these people he loved those people he loved the environment below the customs and morality and everything the conventions and he wanted to capture them in his novels and that's why all through his novels there is a movement from urban to rural but no other novels of the contemporary novelist we feel people are under the spell of urbanization and they are moving from rural areas to urban areas here is people though they have gone to urban areas are trying to come back to the Wessex area and second down so this is a different kind of approach when he here and lastly when I talk about this this kind of fascination for this tight idea behind his in his mind wall that he wanted to capture and preserve and conserve these Wessex area always six people the customs and traditions for a longer time in the form of history before I switch were to another thing or before I ask my fellow professor to talk about this I would just quote a poem where he talks about how fate and destiny the blind force handles man it's a beautiful poem which talks about how human beings are treated by or or projected here it's a poem called at a country sad it's a it's a kind of a metaphor and when you look into the poem you'll find that he's talking about how destiny or fate controls the human beings it calls the title of the poem is at a Country Fair and the poem runs like this at a bygone Western country fair I saw a giant led by a dwarf at a bygone Western country fair I saw a giant led by a dwarf with a red string like a long thin scarf the giant seemed unaware so the man is a giant but being ruled by a small dwarf and he is moving ahead in the guidance of that drop and then I saw that the giant goes blind this is the problem the giant heals giant but he is blind and then I saw that the giant was blind and the dwarf a shrewd eyed little thing the giant my Timmy obeyed the string as if he had no independent mind or will of any kind wherever wherever the dwarf decided to go at his heels the other trotted meekly but as I know not reproaching weakly like one failed begged that it must be so whether he wished or no various sites in various crimes I have seen and more ice may see yet but that sight never shall I forget and have thought it the sorriest of Entenmann's if once 100 times so here he is trying to project his philosophy of life the doctrine that he was being fascinated by and that was that how this is how faith controls human beings and there is a fun there is a call there's always a clash between the faith and the individual will and out of that there are tragic incidents and make the novel's serious in tone and temperament may I request my coming we have learned a lot from about how the temperament was what the surrounding war now let us focus on the novel's basically and I will request you focused on daily mouth man between fate and technology science Hardy's characters they play they are mere puppets between these two extremes of life and finally assert all that destiny is their destiny destiny plays the major role in his novels and characters they are they are crushed and finally they they meet there and so tragically that's why sir Sir told that his novels are we can say these are tragedy look at the slight friends Hadees normal we can divide his novels into three different groups and three major groups are there the forces Nobles of character and environment which are which are called basics novels and the second is romances and fantasies and the third is novels of ingenuity in his novels of character and environment these novels are there the first days under the Greenwood tree far from the madding crowd the return of the native the Mayor of Casterbridge the woodlanders and some more novels are there and of a six tales tests of the the Bible is life's little ironies and a few crusted characters and finally Jude the Obscure the second group consists a pair of blue eyes the trumpet major two on a tower a group of noble Dame's the well-beloved and the third group consists desperate remedies the hand of Ethel Berta Leo dision Hadees the six novels most of had is basics novels provide a rich source of nature imagery and we can see country life in the center of the novel and we feel we constantly feel a continuous relationship between natural beauties and men man is surrounded by natural beauties and he plays his role in midst of this natural beauties in basics novels we find one more thing and that's hardest if affinities with the farmland rocks hills and people who living among them here in the team grasses more more or less coating the heel were touched by the wind embraces of differing powers and almost of differing natures one rubbing the blades heavily another wrecking them piercing another brushing them like a soft broom say human being human being human being VV characters we have different mentality we have different behavior we have different attitudes towards society towards nature and here Hardy has projected this one rubbing the base heavily another wrecking them piercing another brushing them like a soft room see here we can see the reflection of human mind human behavior friends had his use of accurate detail to individualize the different species of trees is typical to his natural realism I think so you you could understand when Sir told this so defined both of this word one is naturalism and one is really ism here we can see this perfect mixture of natural reales amine hadees novels now look at the chief characteristics of Hardy's novels hardest stage is chiefly set in rural basics his novels deal with Dorset farmers Hardy has sympathetics insight into farmers life and the dialogues we find sometimes unreal and the treatment of nature in his novels is poetic Hoddy frequently uses Co incidents and accidents we find a secret marriage providing note of gloom and a tragic and sudden death of the central character let us see the theme south hadees novice in in the center of the novel we find love affairs of principal characters and Hardy focuses on man proposes and God disposes as certain doses are told that it's very difficult to understand Hardy's novice or hardly so his plots are complex but the plots are well lit and this plots present the conflict between the old rural civilization and the new urban civilization that was the worse effect of industrialization we can say man was in the dilemma between these two two extremes of rural civilization the rural models and urban severe urban civilization measure of Hardy's characters wear vests expedients liberals shepherds and singers they will type rather than individual they were not independent to act alike their own the characters most of the characters were emotional rather than intellectual and that is why sir I think so we can say it's a tragedy emotional day they feel they feel it good people good people were there and they were noble selfless self-sacrificing gentle-hearted and of course villains were there and they were like dashing sparkling shifting cunning hypocritical and fickle minded hadees' male characters were vivid passionate emotional and impulsive while female characters they consist subtlety emotional bill passion they were passionate and innocent now look at look at nature reflected in Hardy's novels we feel we feel and note of nature in Hardy's novels Hoddy shows nature as a sentient force with definite personality he reflects this natural force he reflects this nature in any particular any singular character of his novel next like this hadees characters interact with nature they talk to nature they they screaming in the midst of nature they run they feel themselves relieved in the midst of nature so they interact with nature they did talk they talk about themselves to nature to trees to streams to mountains to heels to birds and even to the flowers of the wild forest this is this is what point Hardy's attitude towards nature was not versa with him Wordsworth worshipped nature he he loved nature he worshipped nature but hunt hide his attitude towards nature was little bit different and look at the next and next slide please he did not believe that nature has any holy plant or healing power being influenced by the theory of evolution he found much in nature that was cruel and antagonistic in a to man so nature here plays a role of antagonists yes the characters this they feel themselves safe in midst of nature but at the same time the natural calamities here play the role of a cruel villain or an antagonist several type of capacities of nature in Hardy's novel we will also influence of nature on humanity influence of nature on the moods and actions of human characters emotional connection between nature and human beings and finally the change is the atmosphere with a change of mood of the character here we can see this change the mood of tests is well reflected when her virginity was ravished by Alec I see see this description darkness and silence ruled everywhere around above them rose the Prima values and oaks of the chase ago them stole the hoping rabbits and hares but might some way there was stasis Karndean engine where was the providence of her simple faith the question for religion the question for faith the question for the existence of the God is there if God is there if the God is only present if the God is only potent where is he when virginity of test was ravished look at this light far from the madding crowd which is one of the notable novels of Thomas Hardy here in this novel we see the contrast of simple country life and medon crowd the ignoble strife of city's central love story of Gabriel oak and bathsheba everdene is dead as I can say a very innocent very no sin hero in Bathsheba but her innocence is what we can say it's a disguised she is she is a capricious woman she's a capricious young lady and she's attracted by towards sergeant Troy she marries Troy for his external polish and cultured manners Troy Troy he's a villain his we can say is not of not from the list of good characters Troy before his marriage ruined an innocent farm girl and name is funny and she meets pathetic and by the end of this novel this man sergeant Troy proves himself an irresponsible and on law and husband and oak seems Bathsheba's farm during natural calamity while Troy was drunken he invited his fans he invited the farmers to have drink on that particular farm on on the on the day of particular auspicious festival and he was drunken and oh saves at that particular time Bathsheba's farm during that natural calamity her hardest sharp observation of nature is reflected in this scene see the night had a sinister aspect the moon as seen through this films had a lurid and metallic look the films were sallow with impure lights the same evening the ship trail homeward head-to-tail the behavior of the rooks had been confused friends let me tell you here or something that we we suffered a lot during the earthquake of 2001 at that particular time some some animals they show the symptoms they showed this science of this earthquake but we we were not able to decode their language and hear or see the sinister evening the sinister night was there and here the birds the animals they behaved in such a way that they show though this shows some signals they show some signs they show some symbols of forthcoming event or forthcoming natural calamities here the same the same evening the ship trail homeward head to tail and the behavior of the rooks dopes they it's a kind of crow rooks had been confused the horses had moved with timidity and passion Thunder was imminent the thunder was coming and oak was enough sensitive to get signals and that's why they refused to sergeant Troy to have drink with the farmers and laborers and the Troy and he he was an angel to save Bathsheba's farm at that particular evening his next novel Tess of the d'Urbervilles this novel is divided into seven phases through which test passes the Madon Madon no more the rally the consequence the woman pays the convert the fulfillment these are the phases through the test passes next like this a test here is described as a pure country girl pure country girl in hardest words we can say you see her personality for all her bouncing womanliness you could sometimes see her 12th year in her cheeks or her ninth sparkling from her eyes and even her fifth would fail over the curves of her mouth now she was a pure country girl quite innocent Tess Durbeyfield is a poor country farm girl seduced by this is this we can say we can say in a very short the lines we can say this story about the novel this double fill is a poor country farm girl seduced by the wealthy alike the boobalay becomes pregnant and the child dies in infancy then Tess falls in love with and youth Claire who marries her then angel' Claire comes to know about Tess's past he deserts so when when Tess was in very happy mood or she was feeling safe in hands of Angela he deserts her and goes to Brazil once again test becomes Alex mistress and you're written from Brazil then he when he comes to know about the purity of this woman she comes to she she returns from the from Brazil and repents his harsh list and find stairs living with Alec does kill select in desperation arrested and hanged finally as we as we told that the death sudden death of the central character and here nature reflected in this novel and the description of the September evening when tells goes to meet fellow workers just before sunset when yellow lights struggle with blue shades in hair like lines the innumerable winged insects dancing at next slide please through this floating first EDA breeze of peat and hey it's stinking atmosphere mixed with the perspiration and warmth of the dancers and forming together a sort of vegetal human pollen then that ecstasy the dream began in which emotion was the matter of universe and matter but an adventurous intrusion likely to hinder you from spinning where you wanted to spin and you're spinning as cosmic dance of the dancers this dance is cosmic two-step dance and they are small spinning balls themselves the farmers the laborers next slide please nature reflected in the novel had his use of births imagery is symbolic here we can see test breaks the neck of wounded and dying pheasant she kills the birds stand only high for what reason tests after separating from angel feels herself suffering evening son was now ugly like a great in flam moon moon in the sky only solitary cracked voiced reef Sparrow greeted her from the bushes by the river in a sad machine-made tone resembling that of a pass friend whose friendship she had out one he or she remembers Claire and Jill Claire she feels injustice punishment exaction and date social law grinds round human spirit that's was test verse where it was going down and relativity of sorrow with nature is some criticism on hiding a rural black backdrop is neither romantic nor idolize overly pessimistic about humanity's place in the scheme of things and as Noel Davidson said in all his fiction chances incarnation of the bind forces controlling human destiny looks like this Hoddy rested in peace on 11th of January 1928 this was a discussion on Hardy Sun has already created a background about the naturalism realism and all and madame capitalized over that point and discussed several novels and thereby discussed about the chief characteristics characters and thematic concerns atmosphere v6 and all just like to conclude within one or two minutes sir I'm very happy that she elaborated some of the novels the one salient feature that comes out before Ozzie that Hardy is talking about the visit tubes of life the ups and downs the people suffer from Hardy is interested in presenting human relationships especially the temperament fickle temperament and the incompatibility of marriage there are people who are mismatches and marriage the marries are not stable and then the relationship breakdown and then the people become unhappy but the most important thing in Hardy is that when we read his poems or roles the chance element the destiny is playing a vital role which we cannot ignore in one of his poems he talks about two soldiers who are sitting together they meet once and then they go in the armies of enemies opposites and one of them kills order and then he has killed he's that he has none of that job and then he gives a information about that boys past whom he escaped he says he was unemployed therefore he joined army it was fate or chance that put them in opposite camps otherwise they could have sat together and joined a drink and talk merrily but this was not to happen because chance or destiny plays an important role and that's why Hardy as no list or as a poet is talking about something that is very enigmatic and mysterious in life friends I hope you have enjoyed the talk more next time thank you thank you thank you you

9 thoughts on “SANDHAN (AGIC): Thomas Hardy's Novels

  1. Thomas Hardy novels are tragedies. His characters are tragic, having mental conflict, puppets, tools in the hands of metaphysical supernatural powers, under the grip of invisible, immanent, hostile forces and will, in different forms such as in the shape of environment, heredity, chance, fate that shapes the man destiny.


  3. having such lectuers available on YouTube there is no need to for coaching thanks a lot

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