dress is performative (in “The Mayor of Casterbridge) but mostly applicable to Tess as well:
“The baron has certainly made sure that Margery’s costume will force Margery to represent a particular idea of herself to the world; it signifies wealth, class, taste, and it forces others (women as well as men), to look at the wearer of the dress with a kind of respect.” (144)
“Without the fitting body and the informing mind the dress is just an apparition, however beautiful…” (144).
Restraint signified by dress as well as by the separation of the man and women (146). (tight dress, riding with footman rather than riding in coach?
“It is often suggested that Hardy chose not to publish “The Romantic Adventures of a Milkmaid” in book form for more than thirty years, because of the closeness of the narrative in some respects to that of Tess of the D’Urbervilles. And, Indeed, Hardy does re-examine this experience of Margery Tucker through Tess Durbeyfield.” (147)
Tess’s potential is “warped” by Alec’s violation of her but it comes early in the novel, so “that circumstance and Alec fix aspects of her self at too early a point in her development toward womanhood. Dress is an important element in Hardy’s demonstration of this idea. Throughout the novel, Tess herself chooses only dress that conforms to need and function. She has no incentive or opportunity to do otherwise.” (147) WHAT ABOUT WHEN SHE MARRIES ALEC? SHE WEARS A GREY DRESS? IS IT STILL FUNCTIONAL? ” HER NATURAL BEAUTY WAS, IF NOT HEIGHTENED, RENDERED MORE OBVIOUS BY HER ATTIRE. SHE WAS LOOSELY WRAPPED IN A CASHMERE DRESSING GOWN OF GREY-WHITE, EMBOIDERED IN HALF-MORNING TINTS…..” (Hardy 366)
discrepency between Tess and her dress (when her mom initially send her away): “Her dress is deceptive and is nto her own choice, it is designed purely to advance the naive plot of her mother.” (148)
Tess’ dress as angels wife (149) Tess not altered by the clothes Angel buys for her (149)
Tess wearing Angel by wearing his dress (150)
Sexual allure of dress-Alec (151)
Nature of Tess’s clothesmuted colors, soft fabrics, conservative cuts (153)
HOW DOES TESS’S CLOTHING PURCHASED BY ANGEL SIGNIFY THAT SHE IS A FARMER’S WIFE? HOW DOES THIS COMPARE TO HER CLOTHING WHEN SHE CAME BACK FROM BEIGN WITH ALEC?
FOCUS ON: INITIALLY MEETING TESS IN WHITE WITH SCARLET RIBBON
THE FIELD HAND TESS
THE MILMAID TESS
FINAL TESS AT STONE HENGE
POSSIBLE TOPICS: THE USE OF THE CLOAK TO COVER TESS BY ALEC IN BEGINNING ON TRIP, BY ANGEL AT STONEHENGE (BOTH TIMES SHE IS “SACRIFICED”)