Blog #7 – MLA Bibliography Search

The three articles I found were:
“Under the Hood of Tess: Conflicting Reproductive Strategies in Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles” by Vladimir Tumanov
“Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles (1891)” by Brigid Lowe
and “Post-Colonial Analysis of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness” by Samet Guven

The aim of the first article by Vladimir Tumanov is to analyze Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles through an “evocritical perspective,” where the behavior and psychology of the characters in the novel are to be understood through the lens of reproductive strategies. This article interests me because I can see the importance of evocritical analyses and yet, this sort of analysis seems so out of place to me in Tess. As such, I want to engage with the article in order to understand its relevance and/or limits.

In the second article, Brigid Lowe discusses how Tess of the D’Urbervilles should be analyzed as an atheistic novel. She argues that the narrator’s and reader’s attention to Tess’s life stand in for God and all other deficient aspects of her life. She claims that Tess is the most concertedly focalized of Hardy’s novels and that this extreme attention and sympathy to the subjective life of Tess replaces God. This article is interesting because it generates a way of reading Tess that I had not considered. Instead, I had viewed the strong incorporation of religion in the novel as an indication of the prevalence of religion and the difficulty in dealing with such thought. It will be interesting to attempt to understand Tess in the way the Lowe discusses.

In the final article, Samet Guven analyzes Heart of Darkness as a postcolonial novel where he argues that Conrad, “deconstructed binary oppositions of colonialism by subverting the general idea of the Europeans towards Africa in the 19th century.” This article will be an interesting way of engaging directly with postcolonial discussion. It will help me to understand the topics of which postcolonial discussions center around. What makes a novel a postcolonial one? What rhetorical choices are we to be concerned with in postcolonial analyses?

Out of the three articles, I am inclined to pick the first by Vladimir Tumanov. I am most interested in finding the ways in which I push back against Tumanov’s ideas. What invites us, for instance, to approach the novel from an evocritical perspective? Are dangerous assumptions being made in approaching Hardy’s characters through the lens of reproductive strategies?


  1. wdrury

    I am really interested by what you find out about that first article by Vladimir Tumanov. It really seems like a bit of a weird angle to take, especially within the field of literary criticism. Even without reading the article I am inclined to agree with you about it being out of place as it applies to Tess. At best it seems like a work of that nature might be sort of psychoanalyzing the characters and their actions within the novel from a scientific perspective but that seems horrible misplaced, honestly in any literary work, because I think a psychoanalysis of fictional characters become something extremely problematic and reductive. As critics it seems important to analyze a characters actions but that is simply because they are apparent on the page psychoanalysis is the complete opposite of that and lends itself to simply being manifestations of an authors own viewpoint. Also, what is an evocritical perspective? I just Googled it because I had no idea but I did not come up with much.

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