Tess of the d'Urbervilles Short Essay - Answer Key

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Short Essay Questions Key

1. How is Mr. Durbeyfield portrayed in in the first chapter?

Mr. Durbeyfield is an alcoholic, prone to laziness, and he is impressed by class distinctions; when he hears that he is descended from nobility, he puts on airs and makes grandiose gestures such as hiring a carriage to take him home.

2. Describe the circumstances under which Angel and Tess see each other for the first time.

Tess is with friends at a dance; Angel and his brother are walking past and stop to watch the dancing. Angel doesn't notice Tess until he is leaving, and although he would like to ask her to dance, he has to leave to find his brother, who has gone on ahead. Tess sees him and wonders why he danced with other girls, but not with her.

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