on destinyIn the play Antigone, Antigones demise is destined by the Gods of ancient Greece. However, in Tess of the DUrbervilles Tess endures many incidents and coincidences of misfortunes that mark the course of her tragic life, in which destiny does not play a role as it does in Antigone. Chance and coincdince can plague or bless any individual at any time.Thomas Hardy portrays chance and coincidence as having very significant roles in “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” continuously. Three such coincidences were quite influential and had significant effects on Tess’s future.
The first being that Tess Durbeyfield’s father, discovered that their family came from the oldest, and once the most wealthiest family in England. This single decision, of sending Tess to the d’Urberville, and making her leave the sheltered life and town of Marlott that she had known for so long would be the change in her life that would lead to so many other events for her. Had Tess not been sent to the d’Urberville home, she would not have met Alec nor would she have bore his child out of wedlock and her life would have been completely different. Another event that occurs by mere chance in Tess’s life is when Tess slips a letter of confession underneath both her lover’s door and (by accident) the carpet, where he could not see it. Thus, Tess marries Angel under the impression that he has been informed of her past, when in fact he is ignorant of her former actions.
After their marriage Tess enlightens Angel of her previous affairs when she realizes he has not received her letter and is surprised by his extremely disgusted reaction. Angel is regretful to have been informed of Tesss past after he has married her, as he now feels he has morally wronged in marrying an impure woman. As they had vowed, Tess and Angel stay married, although Angel cannot forgive Tess for her actions, and thus they separate temporarily. The coincidence in which the letter slipped under the carpet lead to Angel and Tesss strained relationship. Tesss self-esteem suffered and she was left emotionally unstable and distressed. Tesss state of mind allowed Alec to eventually persuade Tess to marry her, and in subsequent connected events leads to Tesss tragic death.
The final coincidence would be the death of Tess’s father, which not only leaves Tess in a state of deprivation, but also the rest of her family, including her mother and six siblings. Since Tess’s father was the landholder of their home, their family is now without shelter. This opportunity allows d’Urberville to move in on Tess, seeing as how he is wealthy, has land and will help her family. Since Angel had been gone for well over a year, Tess was convinced by d’Urberville that Angel would never return to her, so she marries d’Urberville.
This coincidence of Tess’s father dying at just the right moment for Alec to marry her and Angel returning only a little after, leads to the murder of Alec d’Urberville. Once again, this is not the only thing that comes of this major coincidence in Tess’s life, because if her father hadn’t died and Angel hadn’t returned at just the right moment, she would not have killed Alec and would have been sentenced to an execution for her crimes. Words/ Pages : 569 / 24