Category Archives: Victorian

One Syllabus Knocked Out. One to Go.

I got one syllabus/schedule knocked out today, and the second one is getting the same treatment tomorrow. On Monday, I will present Debbie with my completed draft, which thrills my soul and probably hers, too. No doubt she will be excited to know I am not a complete fuck-up. Though, I am sure there will be multiple revisions required. It’s hard to believe, but this break is actually going to be productive! Wahoo.

My brother and I had a good time running together this morning. Since I have been sick for about a week and because it was FREEZING outside, we only ran two miles. Then we went to Starbucks and had some drinks. When we walked in, my cousin who just got out of the psych ward was there having coffee and stealing movies with their “free” Internet. I said hi to him, but I think he is on heavy doses of some mind-altering drug, because all he said back was an almost inaudible, “Hey.” Weird.

Tomorrow, I am going to Anderson to take Adam to get new tires on his car. To say thanks, he is taking me to have sushi for lunch. I am picking him up at Midas at 8AM, then while he is coaching diving, I am going to sit at his house working on my last syllabus. I must admit that I am nervous about this one, because I have never taught this class before and because the syllabi and schedules I have looked at seem so much more complicated than what I am used to making. Is it necessary to list everything you plan to do in a class period on the schedule? Is it wrong to believe that the schedule should merely be a list of what is due that day? Things to contemplate by tomorrow night. My goal is to finish the syllabus before I go to bed.

David and June are here. We had dinner and now they are playing Rock Band while Bec reads (EDIT: sleeps) and I finish some of my projects and write a bit right here. I am trying desperately to get my calendar squared away for the spring semester, but I will have to wait to completely finish it until I finish my other syllabus.

Last night, we rang in the new year with the Combers. Good times. Even the slightly special, too tired to play properly, Trivial Pursuit and the jacked-up MadLibs were good times. We were so tired that we left before we gave our resolutions, which I usually break within a couple of weeks anyway. My New Year’s resolution is to stop procrastinating like I do. I really didn’t procrastinate like this until graduate school, and I am trying hard to figure out how I can change back into my productive, over-achieving self. Somehow I have morphed from a competitive, perfectionist into a slacker who waits until the last minute to do everything.

How did I become who I am today? I think it started in seminary when I was working full time (for a bit, two jobs) and taking 15 credit hours of graduate classes every semester. I think I just got into the habit of doing everything when I could and that turned into doing it when it was due, which then became completing everything as it has to be turned in. It’s not healthy, though; I swear.

But, I digress; as usual, we ate too many nachos. Sean Lovelace would argue that you can never eat too many nachos. I heartily disagree. Too many nachos can be had. In fact, they were. Last night.

This is all I have left to do from my huge long list at the beginning of the break:

  • Write my ENG 204 syllabus.
  • Send my ordination information to Las Vegas for Rachel’s wedding.
  • Scan in my students’ comics so they can have them back.
  • Finish my dissertation proposal and submit a copy to Debbie before she returns from (Georgia?).

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I am thankful for strange adult children invading my house. 🙂

Food: banana, decaf caramel macchiato, blueberry scone, Christmas goodies, grapefruit, apple, cheese, wheat spaghetti with mushrooms, tofu, basil, and parmesan cheese, salad, strawberry ice cream

Exercise: run two miles

667: Prewrite

In Tess of the D’Urberville’s Thomas Hardy writes astory of a woman who is educated both in a fromal sense of the word and in a worldly sense. She is proud of the fact that she made it through thre fifth (SIXTH?) form of public school and is divided from her family by an educational advantage. Her innocence as a school-girl is hgihlighted at this point by her white maiden dress when Angfel first sees her in the field club walking wiht her peers. She sticks out to him, however, because of her coyness (beauty) and to the reader because of her bright red ribbon. Does this red-ribbon forshadow the events that are lurking in the background?

We next see the ribbon (and hair) when Tess’s mother is readying her for her trip to the D’urbervilles (Alec), when she ties a pink ribbon (a sign of innocence?) in Tess’s hair. Her formal education is about to be eclipsed by her “street” education.
Tess is turned over into teh hands of the man who will eventually “ruin” her, though she remains pure. He puts his cloak over her (book of Ruth?)

When she returns to her home, she has been “runined” and she returns to the clothing of her family. She becomes a filed worker, and we see her in the field shielded, costumed, hidden, guarded by, ensconced in a sun-bonnet. She nurses her child, and she moves from being one of the group to a specific individual ( she was also mentoined individually with the bonnet?). Though Tess has been tainted she still remains a symbol of purity.earthiness).

Once she moves to the dairy, she remains workign class, but she has a somewhat mysitcal air abotu her (singled otu by Angel). She is somehow different than the other maids. (reread this section to look for clothign details). When she goes for a walk she wears pattens (boots) but they are taken by Angels’ brother and whather face). How does the theft of her boots by them signify anythign abotu her (her relationship with Angel? )

After they are married Angel buys new clothes for her (recreates her to his fancy) and expects her to perform her clothing’s class. Diamond are involved, only worn by married women and symbolic of aristocracy. Her class is elevated by her ready-maed clothes, the neckalce, and her marriage to Angel.

Bakc to the fields, and relationship with Alec turned preacher turned asshole.

How is her marriage to Alec coded with her grey cashmere dress, etc.

How is her final return to Angel coded by clothes? How does this compare to her death at Stonehenge? What about the cloak here? How does that work out…

Baptism scene: mourning clothes
-transformed bodily (only way to properly “perform” mourning)
-not clothing because no mourning clothes
–mind/body split (soul can leave body) at the dairy

667: Initial Research (Elsie B. Michie)-INCOMPLETE

in non-fiction prose, Hardy shows his interest in the way changes in dress signify changes in distinctions between social groups (306)

GET A COPY OF HARDY’S NON-FICTION THE DORSETSHIRE LABORER!!!!!! (laboring poor, dress and rural life?)

dress no longer marks class distinctions becaus of ready-made clothes (307): IS THIS TRUE FOR RURAL POOR? DOES TESS MAKE HER CLOTHES? IS THERE ANY OF THIS IN THE BOOK? WHAT ROLE DOES EDUCATION (BOTH SCHOOL AND LIFE) PLAY IN TESS’S DRESS? HOIW DOES IT CHANGE WITH EACH INSTANCE OF HER EDUCTION? IS THE CHANGE DIFFERENT FOR EDUCATIONAL SCHOOLING VERSUS LIFE EDUCATION (ALEC, ANGEL)? HOW DOES THE “LOVE TRIANGLE” INFLUENCE HER DRESS? HOW DOES HER DRES INFLUENCE THE TRIANGLE?

“at the same time that changes in dress were making it possible for members of the workign class to look like they belong ot the middle class, so too changes in educaiton were making it possible for them to speak and act liek members of the middle classes.” (308)

Tess’s quick make over from working class to presentable for Angel’s parents (309)–BUT WHAT ABOTU HER MAKEOVER FROM INNOCENT WHITE WEARING RIBBON HAIRED GIRL INTO A FIELD HAND NURSING HER BABY IN THE FIELD???? (309)

WHAT ROLE DOES OLIPHANT PLAY IN THIS WHOLE MATTER? SHE TALKS BACK TO HARDY ABOUT HIS BELIEVABILITY.

the role of diamonds in Tess’s class maneuvering (313); from Angel’s aristocratic godmother BUT WHAT SHOCKS ME ABOUT THE CLAS STUFF IS THAT BY ALL RIGHTS TESS IS AN HEIR TO THE D’URBERVILLES! HOW DOES THIS PLAY OUT?

Class as externals (314)

667: proposal for tess

Undressing Tess: The Role of Clothing in Tess of the d’Urbervilles

Clothing was a marker of many conditions for Victorians: class, gender, occupation, or event. In Tess Thomas Hardy uses clothing to mark Tess as a woman unbound by social convention. As a fallen woman, Tess’s character is already questionable, so her irreprehensible adherence to social convention is not expected. While reading Barbara Charlesworth Gelpi’s “Introduction to Part I” in Erna Olafson Hellerstein’s Victorian Women: A Documentary Account of Women’s Lives in Nineteenth-Century England, France, and the United States, I realized that the constricting of women begins as early as birth. From being swaddled to being corseted, middle-class women typically are restrained by clothing from birth to death. Tess, though she is working-class, is not exempt from being marked by her clothing. In the first encounter the reader has with Tess, she is set apart from the other girls: “She was a fine and handsome girl – not handsomer than some others, possibly – but her mobile peony mouth and large innocent eyes added eloquence to colour and shape. She wore a red ribbon in her hair, and was the only one of the white company who could boast of such a pronounced adornment.” From the beginning, Tess is marked as a woman who stands out from her virginal friends by the red ribbon fixed in her hair. She continues to be a woman marked by her clothing, or lack thereof, throughout the novel.

I would like to explore these questions throughout the course of my research:

How is Tess marked by her clothing throughout the course of the novel?
How is social success or failure marked on Tess’s body?
How does Tess’s unbound body, including her child nursing in the field, disturb the expectations for bodily containment in the Victorian age?
How does Tess’s clothing indicate her social standing as she moves from virgin to fallen woman to wife to murderer?
Can we see the Victorian social conventions being overturned or upheld by Tess’s clothing?
How does Hardy use Tess’s clothing to comment on Victorian conventions? Does he?

In this paper, I hope to struggle with the role of clothing, and the marker it places on the body as contained or uncontained, within the novel Tess of the D’Urbervilles and the ways in which that particular text compares to Victorian culture at large. I assume that I will find Tess’s body transgressing boundaries of her clothes as well as those of culture.

667: Initial Research (Rachel Worth#2)

Extensive discussion of historical sun-bonnets

Sun-bonnet of Tess: “shielded the wearer’s complexion from the sun and wind” (59)
move from describing group of workers to Tess: “the seductive quality of these bonnets is noted by Alec D’Urberville who, tormenting Tess while she is engaged in unpleasant winter work at Flintcomb-Ash, untying the sheaves of corn to be fed to the threshing machine, comments ‘that wing bonnet’: ‘…You field-girls should never wear those bonnets if you wish to keep out of danger.'” (59)

Sunday best versus field clothes (60) field clothes worn repeatedly until worn otu so there aren’t any preserved for historical sake; only sunday clothes b/c they were worn once a week

shoes: pattens (61) TESS’S WALKIGN BOOTS?

hairstyles as part of costume/dress? (62)

ANY EXAMPLES OF MOURNING DRESS?

Fine clothes worn by country girls signal that htye have beenseduced or deceived in Hardy (64)

HOW ARE TESS’S CLOTHES SIGNIFYIGN THAT SHE WAS DECEIVED OR SEDUCED, DO THEY SIGNIFY THAT THROUGHOUT THE NOVEL? HOW DOES HER CLOTHING INDICATE HER SEXUAL PURITY? IN THE FACE OF ALEC? ANGEL? ETC.?