Is Tess in ‘Tess of the d'Urbervilles' portrayed as being responsible for her own demise? [pdf 40 KB]
Yours is a beautifully clear essay. You write very well, and your prose is delightful to read. You've also done your research and it shows. There is a remarkable lack of vagary about society or feminism in your piece, and you've picked canny quotes from your secondary sources that elucidate and situate your arguments.
You've also located some wonderfully specific quotations from your primary source to support your argument that Hardy's narrator sympathises with Tess. Some of your close readings are wonderfully astute, as when you point out that Tess implores Angel, rather than commanding him. Slightly less persuasive is your assertion that Tess is the victim of Alec's eyes; I suspect you might have found better quotations, descriptions, or incidents denouncing Alec's gaze.
You are clearly very good at pursuing and proving an argument. I encourage you to be a bit more experimental in your next essay; perhaps choose a less straightforward topic and see where it takes you.
Please see penciled notes throughout on shortening sentences and watching for comma splices (please look this term up in a style manual if it is unfamiliar).
Harvard Sample Example:
As in many countries, consumers in Australia have recently had to accommodate increases in the costs of basic food (Webb & Leeder 2007). During the financial year 2007–2008, overall food prices rose 5.9% (Australian Bureau of Statistics [ABS]2008a), while some basic food prices rose sharply compared with the same period in previous years: cheese by 14.2%, milk by 12.1%, poultry by 11.0% and bread by 6.8% (ABS 2008b, p. 3). Food cost “plays a significant role in mediating food choice among low socio-economic status (SES) groups” (Harrison et al., as cited in Henderson & Foley 2010). People in low income demographics often have to reduce food spending to allow for other essentials such as housing and utilities (Douglas 2006), leading to decreased food security. The literature on food access indicates that people from low income backgrounds experience higher rates of food insecurity and obesity, and studies have found that affordability is a primary reason given for not choosing healthy foods (Banerjee 2007; Innes-Hughes et al. 2011). Thus, the assessment of food cost and affordability are essential steps in better understanding individual and community food choices.
Food costs entered the political limelight prior to the Australian 2007 federal election, with voters demanding government action to reduce prices. To honour pre-election promises, the newly elected Labor government initiated a national inquiry into grocery pricing soon after taking office (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission [ACCC] 2008). However, following the release of the grocery pricing inquiry and the consequent launch of the government website to monitor prices, critics considered there would be minimal, if any, impact on prices (Irvine 2008). This is partly because of international trends, with Australia not immune to global factors attributed to raising the costs of basic foods (Queensland Health 2001), and partly because the inquiry outcomes did nothing to address food costs.
To be food secure means to have regular access to safe, nutritionally adequate, culturally acceptable food from non-emergency sources (Kirk 2002). Food insecurity, then, describes a limited or uncertain ability to acquire appropriate foods in socially acceptable ways (Bowden & Fairley 2006). This is not merely a lack of food, but occurs when people fear running out of food, or are forced to make significant changes to their usual eating patterns due to economic constraints. The diets of those who are food insecure are likely to lack variety and be of poor quality with lower levels of micronutrients.
The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating shows the range of food groups recommended for a healthy adult (Petschel 2013). There is some evidence to demonstrate that populations living in rural areas of Australia have to pay more for healthy food than their metropolitan (‘metro’) counterparts. The Healthy Food Basket (HFB) survey conducted in Queensland demonstrated higher food costs in rural and remote parts of the state (Queensland Health 2001). In South Australia a study conducted by Douglas (2006, p. 16) demonstrated that “food costs were higher in remote areas of that state”. However, Bowden and Fairley (2006) in a survey of 42 rural towns in Victoria could find no difference in the cost of a HFB according to rurality, nor did the mean cost of the rural Victorian HFB differ significantly from a basket priced in state capital Melbourne.
Some of the above are excerpts from:
Ward, PR, Coveney, J, Verity, F, Carter, P & Schilling, M 2012, ‘Cost and affordability of healthy food in rural South Australia’, Rural and Remote Health, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 1938-1948.
Australian Bureau of Statistics 2008a, Consumer price index Australia: March quarter 2008, http://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/Ausstats/subscriber.nsf
Australian Bureau of Statistics 2008b, Consumer price index Australia: December quarter 2008, http://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/Ausstats/subscriber.nsf
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission 2008, Report of the ACCC inquiry into the competitiveness of retail prices for standard groceries, https://www.accc.gov.au/system/files/Grocery%20inquiry%20report%20-%20July%202008.pdf
Banerjee, A 2007, ‘Fixed mobile substitution and lessons for food pricing’, paper presented to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission 2007 Regulatory Conference, Queensland, 26 to 27 July.
Bowden, FJ & Fairley, CK (eds.) 2006, Eating patterns in the Northern Territory: Estimations of effective food use, Pearson.
Douglas, J 2006, ‘Food insecurity in northern Adelaide’, South Australian Council of Social Service News, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 15-30.
Henderson, J & Foley, W 2010, ‘Brace yourselves: Reporting of rising food costs in the Australian print media’, Australian Journal of Social Issues, vol. 45, no. 4, pp. 477-492.
Innes-Hughes, C, Hardy, LL, Venugopal, K, King, LA, Wolfenden, L & Rangan, A 2011, ‘Children's consumption of energy-dense nutrient-poor foods, fruit and vegetables: Are they related’, Health Promotion Journal of Australia, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 210-216.
Irvine, J 2008, ‘Rudd price check: He's powerless’, Sydney Morning Herald, 6 August,
Kirk, J 2002, Theorising food security, PhD thesis, University of Technology Sydney.
Petschel, K 2013, ‘The Australian guide to healthy eating: What you need to know’, Australian Coeliac, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 21-31.
Queensland Health 2001, The 2000 healthy food access basket (HFAB) survey: Full report, https://www.health.qld.gov.au/ph/documents/hpu/9137.pdf
Webb, K & Leeder, SR 2007, ‘New Year’s resolution: Let’s get rid of excessive food prices in remote Australia’, Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 186, no. 1, pp. 7-8.