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Thomas Hardy was born in Dorset, England, in 1840 into the family of a wealthy stonemason. Hardy's family had once upon a time been noblemen, but their wealth disappeared, as the d'Urbervilles in this novel. He was trained as an architect, but his passion was poetry. His first attempts at publication were rejected, but he continued to write verse and eventually moved into writing novels. His first novel was also refused, but he had success with his second novel, Under the Greenwood Tree (1872), published as serial articles in magazines (Dickens style).
Hardy went on to establish himself as a serious novelist who "depicted human existence as a tragedy determined by powers beyond the individual's command, in particular the external pressures of society and the internal compulsions of character." He chose topics that were risqué to the Victorian audience he wrote for, and as a result, "his work was often compromised by the demands of popular taste. He consistently veiled the morally volatile situations in his novels with ambiguous description." The public viewed his novels as jarring and sometimes perverse because he used his work to satirize the values of his contemporary society and deal with sexual issues.
Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891), with its original subtitle, "A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented," along with Hardy's following novel, Jude the Obscure (1895), met with such harsh criticism from the public that in 1896 Hardy gave up writing novels in favor of writing poetry again. He published WessexPoems (1898), Poems of the Past and Present, and The Dynasts (1901, and 1903 to 1908) before he died in 1928. His heart was buried in the Wessex countryside, and his ashes were placed next to Charles Dickens's in the Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey.
Among his other well know works were: A Pair of Blue Eyes (1873), Far From the Maddening Crowd (1874), The Return of the Native (1878), and The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886).
Hardy's well-developed characters are an important aspect of his work. Their psychological development makes them memorable. Virginia Woolf said that "[his characters] have a force in them which cannot be defined, a force of love or hate, a force which in the men is the cause of rebellion against life, and in the women implies an illimitable capacity for suffering, . . . This is the tragic power; and, if we are to place Hardy among his fellows, we must call him the greatest tragic writer among English novelists."
Hardy, Thomas. Tess of the d'Urbervilles. Bantam Books: New York, 1971.
"Hardy, Thomas." Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Vol. 4. Gale Research: Detroit, 1981.
Woolf, Virginia. "The Novels of Thomas Hardy," in her The Second Common Reader. Harcourt: 1932, pp. 266-80.
Tess is a girl of the working class with a family that hates to work, so when they learn that her father is the descendant of the noble family, the d'Urbervilles, they send Tess to a rich "relative" in nearby Tantridge to get money or marry well so that her parents will be taken care of. Tess goes because her parents make her feel she must although she thinks it's wrong of them to ask for money. This meeting with Alec d'Urberville, one of the "relatives" seals her dreadful fate. He is attracted to Tess and takes advantage of her when she comes to Tantridge to work at d'Urberville manor and she returns home ruined. Alec promises to take care of her if she ever needs anything, but she dislikes him so much that she'd rather suffer than have any contact with him.
Soon Tess bears a child she names, Sorrow, and the child dies only days after it is born. Tess, without the support of her shiftless family, leaves home to try at independence again knowing now to be wary of men. She goes to Talbothay's dairy and falls in love with Angel Clare, the son of a pastor who is learning about farming at the dairy. Although she thinks herself unworthy of such a sweet man because of what happened to her, Tess and Angel fall in love and decide to get married. She refused his proposals for quite a while trying to find a way to tell him about her past with Alec d'Urberville, but she couldn't do it. It is important to her that he knows everything about her so that she knows he loves her for herself and not for who he thinks she is, so shortly before they are supposed to be married, she writes him a letter and slips it under the door of his room. He never gets the letter because it is stuck under the edge of the carpet. Tess realizes this mistake on the morning of their marriage, and she is not given an opportunity to tell him before they are married.
That night he confesses that he's had one sexual encounter that he couldn't bring himself to tell her about and she forgives him, knowing that he'll forgive her what happened with Alec. But when she tells Angel about it, the way he feels about her changes completely. He feels betrayed and tricked, so they agree to separate, although Tess loves him greatly.
He goes to Brazil to try his hand at farming there, and Tess works at hard job after hard job rather than asking his family for money as he'd instructed her when he left. While she's working herself to the bone, she encounters Alec d'Urberville again and he begins visiting her, relentlessly trying to convince her to marry him. She finally gives in when her family is evicted from their home after her father's death and they have nowhere to go. Alec provides them a home, and Tess agrees to be his wife.
Angel then returns from Brazil and comes to find her, knowing that he has treated her unfairly. When he finds her, she is distraught that the only man she ever loved has come back, and once again, Alec d'Urberville is standing in her way. She stabs Alec with a carving knife, and she and Angel spend a week together hiding out and being as they were before they were married. Then Tess is captured and executed, and Angel marries her younger sister, Liza Lu. After she met Alec d'Urberville, there was nothing Tess could do to change fate. All that happened to her was meant to be.
John Durbeyfield: A shiftless man who takes drinking more seriously than work, finds out that he’s the only descendent of the ancient and noble d’Urberville family and thinks it’s a way to get money so that he doesn’t have to work to provide for his family. He takes great pride in his name, although it never brings him anything of value.
Tess Durbeyfield (d’Urberville): Daughter of John and Joan Durbeyfield, she is the mother-figure for her parents and siblings because she is conscientious and hard-working. The family sends her to ask the d’Urberville family in Tantridge for money, and she is seduced by Alec d’Urberville. Her life is one long series of near-misses after that. She ends up murdering d’Urberville after he takes her away from Angel Clare, her true love, and she is executed for it.
Angel Clare: Son of a minister, he is thoughtful and open-minded, or so he thinks. He falls in love with Tess only to abandon her days after they are married because he learns that she was seduced. Years pass and he finally realizes that he was wrong to treat her that way, but when he returns to find her, she is married to Alec d’Urberville, the man who seduced her. He and Tess reconcile after she murders d’Urberville and they are together until she is executed, at which point he marries her younger sister.
Joan Durbeyfield: John Durbeyfield’s wife and Tess’s mother, Joan uses her daughter as a way to get money and encourages her daughter to find a wealthy husband. She is disappointed in Tess when her daughter refuses to marry Alec d’Urberville and when she tells Angel Clare about her past. Joan seldom wants what’s best for Tess and more often wants what’s best for herself.
Alec d’Urberville: Son of a merchant who took the name, d’Urberville, so that no one would know that their wealthy came from industry. Alec is a womanizer who takes advantage of Tess and then reappears later in her life trying to marry her although she does not care for him at all. He eventually wears her down with his persistence and convinces her to marry him by giving her mother and siblings a place to live when her father dies. Tess stabs him with a carving knife when Angel Clare comes back for her because she feels that Alec has lied to her and betrayed her again because he said that Angel would never come back for her or want her again. He is the catalyst for all the negative things that happen to Tess.
Abraham Durbeyfield: Tess’s younger brother who is with her when she kills the family horse.
Mrs. d’Urberville: Blind, elderly mother of Alec d’Urberville who never knows that Tess is supposed to be related to her; she thinks Tess is only a servant.
The Queen of Spades: Working class girl who picks a fight with Tess on the way home from a dance because Tess is now Alec d’Urberville’s favorite. She also works at the farm in Flintcomb Ash where Tess is forced to work when she runs out of money after Angel has abandoned her.
Mr. Clare: Angel Clare’s father who is a minister in Emminister. He is the man whose words converted Alec d’Urberville, if only for a short time. Mr. Clare is very disturbed by the fact that Angel does not hold the same religious beliefs he was raised with, and he refuses to send his son to college since Angel is not going into the ministry.
Liza Lu: Tess’s younger sister who is very much like Tess. Tess considers Liza Lu a purer version of herself and asks Angel Clare to marry Liza Lu after Tess is executed.
Sorrow: The child Tess bore and buried after she was seduced by Alec d’Urberville. Tess cared for the child although it was shameful to her as well.
Marian: Dairymaid who is in love with Angel Clare and takes up drinking heavily when he leaves with Tess. She and Tess work together at Flintcomb Ash after Angel has gone to Brazil. She and Izz send Angel an anonymous letter warning him that Tess is in danger when they realize that Alec is after her.
Izz Rheutt: Dairymaid who is in love with Angel Clare. He asks her to go to Brazil with him after he’s married Tess, and she is going to until she tells him that Tess loves him so much. Then he decides to go alone. She works with Marian and Tess at Flintcomb Ash. She and Marian send Angel an anonymous letter warning him that Tess is in danger when they realize that Alec is after her.
Rhetty: Dairymaid who is in love with Angel Clare. She tries to drown herself when he and Tess are married.
Mercy Chant: Daughter of a clergyman; Angel Clare’s parents expect him to marry her, but he does not. Instead, she marries one of Angel’s older brothers.
Man from Tantridge: A farmer who recognizes Tess as the woman who had a fling with Alec d’Urberville. He says it in front of Angel Clare, and Angel hits him for it. He owns the farm where Tess ends up working and he is mean to her.
Marlott: The English village where Tess is born and raised.
Tantridge: The English village where Alec d’Urberville and his mother live. Tess travels there to work for them.
Talbothay’s Dairy: Tess goes there to work after the birth and death of her baby and meets Angel Clare, Izz Rheutt, Marian, and Rhetty.
Emminister: The English village where Angel Clare’s family lives.
Kingsbere: The English village where the ancient d’Urberville family lived, owned land, died, and is buried. Tess and Angel stay in a manor there after they are married, and Tess’s family tries to move there after her father dies.
Letter: Tess wrote the letter explaining what happened between her and Alec d’Urberville and slipped it under Angel’s door, but he never got the letter because it had slipped beneath the carpet.
Legend of the d’Urberville carriage: Story about one of the ancient d’Urberville family who killed someone in a carriage. The story says that d’Urbervilles see the carriage just before something bad happens to them.
Flintcomb Ash: Farm where Tess goes to work for the man from Tantridge. She works in the fields in winter and does back breaking labor there along with Marian and Izz because she’d rather work there than go ask Angel’s parents for money.
Sandbourne: The resort city on the Thames River where Tess is living as Alec d’Urberville’s wife. Angel comes there to find her and learns that she is married. She kills Alec in a hotel in Sandbourne.
Quote 1: "I don't know; but I think so. They sometimes seem to be like the apples on our stubbard-tree. Most of them splendid and sound - a few blighted." Chapter 4, Pg. 25
Quote 2: "I won't sell his old body. When we d'Urbervilles was knights in the land, we didn't sell our chargers for cat's meat. Let 'em keep their shillings! He've served me well in his lifetime, and I won't part from him now." Chapter 4, Pg. 29
Quote 3: "Thus, the thing began. Had she perceived this meeting's import she might have asked why she was doomed to be seen and coveted that day by the wrong man, and not by some other man, the right and desired one in all respects, . . ." Chapter 5, Pg. 37
Quote 4: "Out of the frying pan into the fire!" Chapter 10, Pg. 66
Quote 5: "But some might say, where was Tess 's guardian Angel ? Where was the providence of her simple faith? Perhaps, . . . he was talking, or he was pursuing, or he was in a journey, or he was sleeping and not to be awaked . . .. As Tess 's own people down in those retreats are never tired of saying among each other in their fatalistic way: 'It was to be.'" Chapter 11, Pg. 71-2
Quote 6: "THY, DAMNATION, SLUMBERETH, NOT. 2 Pet. ii. 3," Chapter 12, Pg. 78
Quote 7: "My life looks as if it had been wasted for want of chances! When I see what you know, what you have read, and seen, and thought, I feel what a nothing I am!" Chapter 19, Pg. 124
Quote 8: "I can't bear to let anybody have him but me! Yet it is wrong Tess him, and may kill him when he knows!" Chapter 28, Pg. 175
Quote 9: "Yes; at that dance on the green; but you would not dance with me. O, I hope that is no ill-omen for us now!" Chapter 30, Pg. 188
Quote 10: "[t]hat it would always be summer and autumn, and you always courting me, and always thinking as much of me as you have done through the past summertime!" Chapter 32, Pg. 199
Quote 11: "[he] did not mention it because [he] was afraid of endangering [his] chance of [her], . . . the great prize of [his] life." Chapter 34, Pg. 221
Quote 12: "You are very good. But it strikes me that there is a want of harmony between your present mood of self-sacrifice and your past mood of self-preservation." Chapter 35, Pg. 226
Quote 13: "I agree to the conditions, Angel; because you know best what my punishment ought to be; only - only - don't make it more than I can bear!" Chapter 37, Pg. 249
Quote 14: "nobody could love 'ee more than Tess did! . . . She would have laid down her life for 'ee. I could do no more." Chapter 40, Pg. 265
Quote 15: "You, and those like you, take your fill of pleasure on earth by making the life of such as me bitter and black with sorrow; and then it is a fine thing, when you have had enough of that, to think of securing your pleasure in heaven by becoming converted!" Chapter 45, Pg. 303
Quote 16: "How can I pray for you, when I am forbidden to believe that the great Power who moves the world would alter his plans on my account?" Chapter 46, Pg. 314
Quote 17: "'You have been the cause of my backsliding,' he continued, stretching his arm towards her waist; 'you should be willing to share it, and leave that mule you call husband forever.'" Chapter 47, Pg. 325
Quote 18: "Remember, my lady, I was your master once! I will be your master again. If you are any man's wife you are mine!" Chapter 47, Pg. 326
Quote 19: "O why have you treated me so monstrously, Angel ! I do not deserve it. I have thought it all over carefully, and I can never, never forgive you! You know that I did not intend to wrong you - why have you so wronged me? You are cruel, cruel indeed! I will try to forget you. It is all injustice I have received at your hands!" Chapter 51, Pg. 350
Quote 20: "[t]oo late, too late!."Chapter 55, Pg. 371
Quote 21: "his original Tess had spiritually ceased to recognize the body before him as hers - allowing it to drift, like a corpse upon the current, in a direction disassociated from its living will." Chapter 55, Pg. 372
Quote 22: "O, you have torn my life all to pieces . . . made me be what I prayed you in pity not to make me be again!" Chapter 56, Pg. 374
Quote 23: "[T]he President of the Immortals, . . . had ended his sport with Tess . And the d'Urberville knights and dames slept on in their tombs unknowing." Chapter 59, Pg. 390
Coincidence 1: Coincidence plays a large part in the construction of the novel because it is how the characters and their actions are woven together. At this early part of the novel, we meet Angel Clare, the man that Tess is going to fall in love with and be separated from against her will. This early meeting where he sees her but does not ask her to dance will link them later and foreshadow the separation of their relationship.
Coincidence 2: Joan Durbeyfield expects that her daughter will win Alec d'Urberville's heart, and she's right, but it does not bring them the great fortune she expects. Instead it brings Tess nothing but misery because he seduces her, the violation that makes Angel distance himself from her. Then d'Urberville returns to Tess's life and convinces her to marry him with the argument that Angel will not come back for her. When Tess finally gives in, Angel does come back for her. So she does marry d'Urberville in the end.
Coincidence 3: Tess's near-fight with the Queen of Spades is not the only time she will encounter this character. When Tess is working on a farm at Flintcomb Ash, she meets the Queen of Spades again, and the woman does not recognize her and has no idea how her actions that night led to Tess's personal ruin.
Coincidence 4: The zealot painter talks of Mr. Clare who is preaching in her village, but she does not know then that it is her future father-in-law who speaks there.
Coincidence 5: Talbothays dairy is in the land of her ancestors, with which she has had such bad luck, but she thinks nothing of it as she goes to work there.
Coincidence 6: At Talbothays dairy Tess re-encounters Angel Clare. She recognizes him as the boy who stopped at the dance in Marlott and doesn't dance with her. The pieces are coming together here.
Coincidence 7: This connection to Alec d'Urberville serves to show how small an area Tess lives in and how easy it would be for Angel to discover her secret. The connections between Alec and Tess are many, and this is one of them, although Angel does not realize that.
Coincidence 8: Angel tells Tess about how his father tried to convert some rich hooligan and how his father was chewed out by the man. Tess knows who Angel is talking about even though he never says the name, and such a close connection as having Alec in contact with Angel's father makes Tess sure that she cannot marry Angel without telling him about her past because he is sure to find out.
Coincidence 9: Angel finally recognizes Tess as the young girl at the dance, and that loose end is tied up. She thinks that it might be a bad omen for them, which it is, and with this coincidence, more foreshadowing is presented.
Coincidence 10: A man from Tantridge recognizes Tess and speaks of the rumors about her and Alec, and Angel overhears. Never thinking that it's true, he hits the man for insulting Tess. This reminds her that she has to tell him before they are married because he keeps getting closer and closer to learning the truth about her past.
Coincidence 11: Tess once again encounters the man from Tantridge who recognized her when she was with Angel. She tries to avoid him, but he knows it's her, so she runs away from him because she's afraid of him. She doesn't know that she's on her way to apply for work at his farm.
Coincidence 12: Tess is working at the farm in Flintcomb Ash when she recognizes the Queen of Spades from Tantridge and then she learns that the farmer she works for is also the man who recognized as one of Alec d'Urberville's women.
Coincidence 13: Alec d'Urberville is now a convert and is preaching against sin on the pathway that Tess takes home from her attempt to visit Angel's parents. She once again, through no fault of her own, encounters the reason for her separation from her husband and becomes once again helplessly entangled with Alec d'Urberville.
Fatalism 1: Fatalism is an important part of the story because it is what perpetuates the action. The decisions that Tess makes and the things that happen to her in the beginning of the novel begin a domino effect that cannot be reversed. Her fate is already chosen and all she can do is live through the events that happen to her. The first view of fatalism is when Joan believes that she has read Tess's fate in an astrological book. According to the book, Tess is going to marry a gentleman. It sounds like a happy fate, and it turns out to be true, but Tess marries a gentleman that makes her life miserable, and she doesn't marry him until every chance for happiness seems to have passed her by.
Fatalism 2: Tess presents for the first time her view that the world she lives in is spoiled and rotten. This is a continuing view for Tess, especially in light of the events that unfold in her life.
Fatalism 3: The author often incorporates fatalistic speeches into the text, and this is the first time we see that happen. He points out that this moment, the meeting of Tess and Alec, has set into motion events that cannot be changed.
Fatalism 4: When Tess is seduced, it is only one event fulfilling the sad destiny set into motion when she and Alec met on her first visit to Tantridge. It is meant to be, good or bad. Unfortunately for Tess, it's mostly bad.
Fatalism 5: Tess's mother takes a fatalistic view of what has happened to Tess. Instead of being upset that her daughter was taken advantage of, Joan seems to think that it was meant to happen, so they should just make the best of the situation and move on.
Fatalism 6: Tess realizes that her love for Angel and his love for her is inevitable. She decides that there is little she can do to stop it, so she is going to quit standing in the way of it (or at least try not to).
Fatalism 7: Tess believes that things between she and Angel will be okay because his history is the same as hers, but what she doesn't realize is that telling him about Alec is going to change her relationship with Angel forever, and she will not be able to change it back to the way it was when they were so happy together.
Fatalism 8: Tess tells Alec that she doesn't feel that her prayers move God because He already has His plans made and what she wants makes no difference because she is not important enough for Him to change them.
Fatalism 9: Tess has given up on happiness, love, and Angel and seems to feel that her life can continue without her seeming to be an active participant. She is going through the motions of living, letting her body do what it was destined to do without bringing her emotions or her soul into it. She is hollowed by what she has endured, but her fate must be fulfilled, so she continues living without feeling.
Fatalism 10: Tess accepts what's going to happen to her as the natural end to the events that started when she went to Tantridge so long ago. Her joy is that she and Angel were reunited, if only briefly, and that he loves her again. Everything else that has happened to her, no matter how unfair, fades away in light of that love. Because of this feeling, she gives Angel to her younger sister, knowing that they will make each other happy because she is the best aspects of Tess that he loved so well.
Fatalism 11: Tess's life has reached its fated end, and no one outside of her family and Angel are any the wiser or at all affected. Her small life, so tangled and tortured, is over and the world remains unchanged. Her story was only a small one, significant on a small scale, and she was a plaything for God, and nothing more really. Even Angel and Liza Lu will go on without her. So Tess and her d'Urberville heritage lived her life for very little purpose in the grand scheme of things.
Sacrifice 1: Tess makes many sacrifices throughout the novel. Sometimes she is doing it because she is forced, and sometimes her sacrifices are because she's doing what she feels is the right thing. Several times the sacrifices that she makes are for her family. In this instance, she is sacrificing her time to play mother to her younger siblings so that her parents can go drink at the pub.
Sacrifice 2: Tess does not want to go work for Alec d'Urberville in Tantridge because she doesn't feel right about the situation. Despite her misgivings, her family pushes her to go, and she sacrifices her better judgment to please her family.
Sacrifice 3: Tess ends up sacrificing her innocence and virginity because her family wants her to go try to get money from their "relatives."
Sacrifice 4: Tess's sacrifice goes unnoticed and unappreciated because her mother considers what happened to her "part of nature," so Tess made this great sacrifice for nothing.
Sacrifice 5: Tess is willing to give up her chance with Angel because she thinks that the other girls deserve him more because they are unspoiled and innocent. She feels that it would be fairer to the girls and to Angel if she had nothing to do with him because she is so unworthy of him. She even half-heartedly tries to get him to like the other girls.
Sacrifice 6: Tess continues to try to deny Angel although she loves him. She is trying to protect him, the other girls, and maybe even herself, because she feels that he deserves someone as pure as he thinks Tess is.
Sacrifice 7: Tess finds it impossible to give Angel up, although she believes it is the right thing to do. She loves him too much to let him go, so she changes the pattern of self-sacrifice and tries to be selfish by allowing herself to love Angel and to accept his love in return.
Sacrifice 8: Tess yo-yos back and forth between her desire to have Angel and to give him up for the good of the other girls and Angel himself. Their kindness makes her feel as if she should give him up again, but his persistence makes it difficult for her.
Sacrifice 9: Now that Angel sees her so differently, Tess is willing to do anything to make him care for her again, even going so far as to offer to kill herself. All she wants is for Angel to love her as he did before he knew about her past.
Sacrifice 10: Angel insists that they separate, so, to make it easier for him, she goes along with everything he says although it's killing her to be pushed away. She sacrifices her feelings to make it easy for him to mistreat her because what he's doing to her is hypocritical and unfair, but she takes it.
Sacrifice 11: Tess hardly has enough money to take care of herself and her parents have been cruel to her by insinuating that she is a tramp, but she still leaves them with half of the money that Angel gave her before they split up.
Sacrifice 12: Tess makes the greatest sacrifice she can for the good of her family by giving up her right to Angel and her hope that he'll come back for her so that she can marry Alec d'Urberville to provide for her family.
Sacrifice 13: Tess essentially sacrificed her life to be with Angel when he finally came back for her. She knew that if she killed d'Urberville, she'd be executed, but she did it anyway so that she could be with Angel with nothing between them. She gave up her life for love of Angel Clare, a man who had abandoned her because another man had taken advantage of her.
On a country road in the English village of Marlott, John Durbeyfield, a drunk, lazy man stumbles toward home from a tavern. Durbeyfield encounters an elderly parson who greets him as "Sir John." The parson explains to Durbyfield that in his research of bloodlines and nobility, he discovered that Durbyfield is the only living descendant of the historically noble d'Urberville family. As soon as "Sir John" hears that he is of royal ancestry, he hires a carriage to drive him home. Durbyfield expects that his family will be pleased, and although the news of his heritage does not at all change the fact that he's a poor man, he still believes that his noble blood makes him special.
Tess Durbeyfield, the pretty and conscientious daughter of John Durbeyfield, is with other young girls at the dance on the village green. Angel Clare and his older brothers take a break from their walking tour of the countryside to watch the girls dancing on the green at Marlott, and Angel joins in. He dances with several girls before he has to leave to catch his brothers who have gone on without him. As he's leaving, he sees Tess for the first time and regrets not seeing her sooner so that he could have danced with her. He cannot stay to dance, however, so he leaves without ever speaking to her, little knowing that he will see her again. He looks back from the top of the hill and sees that Tess is the only one not dancing and thinks that he has hurt her feelings, which he had, but he walks on.
Topic Tracking: Coincidence 1
Tess is a little worried when she's at the dance and sees her father taking a carriage home; it's a luxury her family can't afford. She leaves the dance early to go home and make sure everything is okay. Joan Durbeyfield, Tess's mother, is excited to tell her eldest child of the news that John Durbyfield is a d'Urberville. Durbeyfield himself is down at the pub telling the townspeople the news, and Joan makes an excuse to go and get him. Tess watches her younger siblings. She is more of a parent to the children than either of her parents. It begins getting late, and knowing that her parents will not come home soon on their own, Tess sends Abraham, her younger brother, to fetch them. Time passes and they still haven't come home, so she has to lock the younger children in the cottage and fetch her parents and brother on her own.
Topic Tracking: Sacrifice 1
When Joan arrived at the unlicensed pub, she found that Durbeyfield has told everyone the news, but the only thing the townsfolk care about is whether or not it will bring the Durbeyfields any money because a fancy name will do them no practical good. Although she mentions it to none but her husband, Joan has heard of a wealthy, old woman several towns over who is a d'Urberville. Her plan is to send Tess to get the woman to take her in and make a match for her with a wealthy man so that the family will be set for life. Abraham comes in about that time and overhears the plan. Joan's only concern is that Tess will refuse to go out of some sense of decorum. She is funny that way. But Joan feels confident that it will work out in the end because she has looked it up in The Book of Fortunes and seen that Tess will marry a gentleman. What Joan doesn't see is that while Tess may marry a gentleman, her life will not be happy. As they talk, Tess arrives to get her family and they go home with her.
Topic Tracking: Fatalism 1
Only a few hours later, at 2 a.m., Tess's mother wakes her to take the beehives to market several towns away. Her father was supposed to do it, but he is too drunk, so Tess and Abraham load the wagon and begin the journey to market. Along the way Abraham chatters and mentions the plan Joan has constructed for Tess to marry a gentleman. Tess is embarrassed at the idea of asking rich relatives for help for such a lazy family as hers, but she says nothing to her brother. He continues to talk about various subjects and then asks her if the stars are worlds. She answers with, "I don't know; but I think so. They sometimes seem to be like the apples on our stubbard-tree. Most of them splendid and sound - a few blighted." Chapter 4, pg. 25 She concludes that the star we live on is a blighted one.
Topic Tracking: Fatalism 2
Soon Tess and Abraham fall asleep driving the cart through the night and Tess wakes to find that the mail cart has collided with theirs on the path and their horse has been stabbed through the chest and is bleeding to death. Tess's parents aren't as upset about losing their only horse and transportation as Tess is, mainly because they don't worry about their income as much as Tess does. Instead of selling off the carcass for what little money they could get to help support their family, Durbeyfield says, "I won't sell his old body. When we d'Urbervilles was knights in the land, we didn't sell our chargers for cat's meat. Let 'em keep their shillings! He've served me well in his lifetime, and I won't part from him now." Chapter 4, pg. 29 Tess feels responsible for their financial predicament.
Joan uses Tess's guilt to convince her to go to the d'Urbervilles and ask for money and Tess gives in because of her role in the horse's death. But she insists that she wants only to ask the d'Urbervilles for work, not for a handout and certainly not for a husband. Tess makes the journey part of the way on foot and part of the way by a rented carriage. She reaches the manor house in Tantridge not knowing that the d'Urbervilles she expects are family are really a wealthy merchant family. The new d'Urbervilles changed their name to a noble name they thought extinct so that no one in the area will know how they made their money.
Tess arrives in at the manor house and is approached by a young man in his early twenties with a moustache. He introduces himself as Alec d'Urberville, son of the old Mrs. d'Urberville Tess has come to see. Tess embarrassedly explains why she's come and he treats her courteously because he thinks she's pretty. He walks her around the property, talking with her and flirting with her in a way that makes her embarrassed and uneasy. Before she leaves, he assures her that his mother will find some work for her to do. He considers kissing her, but decides against it.
"Thus, the thing began. Had she perceived this meeting's import she might have asked why she was doomed to be seen and coveted that day by the wrong man, and not by some other man, the right and desired one in all respects, . . ." Chapter 5, pg. 37
Topic Tracking: Fatalism 3
D'Urberville, in his mother's name, sends a letter to Tess offering her a job at the manor in Tantridge taking care of the chickens and finches. Tess doesn't want to go there, although she isn't quite sure why she feels that way. She tries to find work in Marlott with no success. D'Urberville stops by her family's house one day while she is out job-hunting and tells the Durbeyfields how impressed he is with Tess and how much his mother wants Tess to work for her (although his mother has no idea what's going on). Joan thinks this means that Mrs. d'Urberville is going to take Tess in and claim her as a relative and marry her to Alec. Tess doesn't feel so sure that this is an accurate interpretation of the job offer, but her family guilts her into going to work there despite her reluctance.
Topic Tracking: Sacrifice 2
Joan insists that Tess dress up to go to Tantridge, although Tess prefers to dress plainly. When the cart appears to take Tess to Tantridge, Alec appears in a carriage so that Tess can ride with him. She doesn't want to ride with him, but she gives in to his persuasion as her mother watches from the foot of the hill at the edge of Marlott. That night Joan worries that Alec's intentions toward Tess may not be as honorable as she had hoped, but she consoles herself with the idea that Tess's beauty will win him over in the end and he will marry her.
Topic Tracking: Coincidence 2
Alec drives recklessly so that Tess will have to hang on to him. She doesn't like him, so when she figures out what he's doing, she refuses to touch him. Seeing her stubbornness, he promises to drive carefully if she will let him kiss her cheek, so she does. But she immediately wipes away his kiss with her handkerchief. He is insulted, so he threatens to drive recklessly if she does not let him kiss her again and keep the kiss on her cheek. She agrees, but as he leans over, she lets her hat blow off and jumps down from the carriage to get it. Once out of the carriage and Alec's reach, she insists on walking the rest of the way. Tess thinks about turning around and walking home but decides she's being childish and needs the work to provide for her family, so she continues on toward Tantridge. Alec sees that he, too, has been tricked and drives the carriage alongside her and almost regrets how he's taken advantage of her.
Tess's first day at the d'Urberville manor she is introduced to Mrs. d'Urberville and is treated no differently than any other servant. Mrs. d'Urberville instructs Tess to whistle to the bullfinches that Mrs. d'Urberville treats as pets and Alec surprises Tess as she's practicing her whistling in the garden. He seems to harmlessly advise her on how to improve her whistling, and although his advice works, she still doesn't trust him or like him much.
In the days that follow, Alec makes it a point to spend time around Tess alone so that he can get her used to his presence and wear down her guard. He even calls her "cousin" when no one else is around to make himself seem less a threat to her. Tess isn't fooled, especially when she notices his boots peeking beneath the curtains in the room where the bullfinches are kept. Her whistling becomes so distracted that Alec knows she must be aware of his presence, so he doesn't hide there anymore. Tess checks throughout the room everyday before she begins her whistling just to be sure he's not there.
After some time in Tantridge, Tess learns the customs of the workfolk around her, and she begins to join them in their Saturday night dances in the nearby village. She makes it a point to always go with a group so that she is not too vulnerable to trouble walking home alone at night. One Saturday she is running a little late, and she encounters Alec on her way into town for the dance. She doesn't talk to him long because she's looking for the group of people with whom she usually walks home. She finds them at someone's home having a dance in the barn, and they dance the night away as Tess waits for them so that she can go home. Most of the neighbors are drunk and having a great time, so they are reluctant to leave and it gets later and later. Alec shows up at the dance and Tess explains her predicament to him, but she refuses to allow him to accompany her home, claiming it would be rude to leave her "friends" after waiting for them so long.
On the way home with her drunken neighbors, a dark-haired woman, the Queen of Spades, picks a fight with Tess out of the blue. Tess has no idea that the woman had been one of Alec's conquests before Tess arrived. Tess refuses to fight with the woman, and the other women gang up on her. Just as things seem to be getting out of hand, Alec shows up on his horse and offers to take Tess home. She desperately agrees, not knowing the trouble she's gotten herself into. As they ride away, one of the drunken country girls laughs and says, "Out of the frying pan into the fire!" Chapter 10, pg. 66
Topic Tracking: Coincidence 3
Tess rides along with Alec and she realizes that he's not taking her home; he's gotten them lost. He professes his love for her and tells her that he's sent her family gifts, trying to win her through them. Although she's grateful for his help for her family, she's still not interested in him. She insists that she's going to walk home, but it's quite late at night and the fog has set in, making it difficult to see very far in front of her. Alec promises that if she'll just stay with the horse, he'll wander around and find a landmark to get his bearings and take her home. She helplessly agrees to his plan. As she waits with the horse, he takes his time finding his way around and she falls asleep on a nest of leaves near the horse. When he finds his way back to Tess in the dark and fog, she is sleeping there and he takes that opportunity to have his way with her.
"But some might say, where was Tess's guardian angel? Where was the providence of her simple faith? Perhaps, . . . he was talking, or he was pursuing, or he was in a journey, or he was sleeping and not to be awaked . . .. As Tess's own people down in those retreats are never tired of saying among each other in their fatalistic way: 'It was to be.'" Chapter 11, pg. 71-2
Topic Tracking: Fatalism 4
Tess is walking back to her parents' home in Marlott four months after leaving for the d'Urberville manor in Tantridge and only two weeks after Alec d'Urberville seduced her. She is saddened and disgusted by what happened, and her innocent view of the world is gone because of what he did to her. Alec catches up with Tess in a carriage and insists on driving her the rest of the way home if she refuses to come back to Tantridge with him, which she does. She agrees to ride with him because she has nothing left to fear from him. He's already taken from her what she wanted to protect anyway. He seems sad that she does not love him, but he doesn't seem to feel any remorse for what he did to her. She notices his indifference to her sadness and explains to him that she really had no idea what he was doing until it was too late. Only after her sincere explanation does he seem to understand how he's wronged her, but even then, he's not all that sorry for taking advantage of her. He offers her money to try to compensate her, but she is too proud to take it. He tells her that if she needs anything, he'll be in London and she can write to him there for anything, but she wants nothing from her fake cousin.
Topic Tracking: Sacrifice 3
Alec drops Tess at the edge of town as she wishes, and a young man who is traveling the countryside painting scripture on the sides of barns walks along with her. When he paints one barn along her path, his chosen scripture, "THY, DAMNATION, SLUMBERETH, NOT. 2 Pet. ii. 3," Chapter 12, pg. 78 makes her feel more guilty despite the fact that her sin was not her doing. The artist mentions that Mr. Clare, a fiery preacher, is preaching in her village, but Tess wants only to go home.
Topic Tracking: Coincidence 4
Joan Durbeyfield is surprised to see her daughter come home. When Tess brokenly explains what happened with Alec, Joan is angry that her daughter did not force Alec to marry her, if for no other reason than the good of the family. But Alec never meant to marry Tess and she doesn't want him anyway, so that wouldn't have worked out. Tess feels angry with her mother for never telling her what happens between men and women so that she might have protected herself, but Joan's excuse is that she thought it might scare Tess away from Alec and ruin her chances of marrying him. Joan tells Tess that sex is part of nature and nature pleases God, so she must make the best of the situation. There is no pity for Tess's situation.
Topic Tracking: Fatalism 5
Topic Tracking: Sacrifice 4
Old friends come visit Tess that afternoon, expecting that she's a lady now, or soon will be. Joan plays along so that even Tess gets a little caught up in the attention and forgets what's happened to her, forgets that no gentleman is going to marry her, especially now that she's been ruined. In the months that follow her return to Marlott, Tess is quite depressed and leaves the house very little except at twilight when she goes outside and feels as close to peace as she can. She is pregnant.
Not long after having the baby in August, Tess becomes a thresher. She works in the fields in an attempt to snap out of the funk she's been in and regain some independence. She remains somewhat isolated from the other workers, and at noon, Liza Lu, her younger sister, brings Tess food from home and the baby to nurse. Tess seems ashamed of the child, but she seems to love it as well, and the people of Marlott make it a point not to shame Tess because they think it a shame that such a thing should happen to a girl as kind as Tess.
Shortly after the baby is born and Tess begins working in the field, her baby becomes ill, which is no surprise because it was so small and weak to begin with. Tess becomes distraught when she realizes that she's not had her child baptized, but her father refuses to allow her to call a pastor because he self-righteously feels that she's brought enough shame on their house already. Tess decides to baptize the baby, Sorrow, herself. The child dies the following morning and Tess convinces the preacher to allow her to bury the baby in an undesirable corner of the town cemetery where other ungodly people are buried. She makes a cross and leaves flowers on the grave on her infant son.
A year passes and Tess marks the important days - her birth, her humiliation, the birth and death of her child - and she notes that the only other significant date in her life she does not yet know is the date of her death. Wishing to find some place to start over where no one knows of her past, she finds out that a dairymaid is needed at Talbothays in a village south of her home. She decides to go there hoping that her innocence and happiness will return.
Tess arrives at Talbothays dairy where she's going to make her second attempt at independence. It has been between two and three years since she came home from Tantridge ruined by her encounter with Alec d'Urberville. At the age of twenty she has risen from her depression and hopes to begin life anew and she is optimistic. The land that she is moving to is the land of her d'Urberville ancestors, but she no longer considers that part of her life important.
Topic Tracking: Coincidence 5
When Tess finds Talbothays, she begins work immediately. As she is milking the cows she notices a young man who does not quite fit in although he is milking cows just like everyone else. The dairyman refers to the young man as "sir" and the man is dressed nicer than the other dairy workers. The young man seems soft-spoken and has a thoughtful manner about him, and the other dairymaids tell her that he is Angel Clare, son of Parson Clare in the village of Emminister. Angel is learning about all the branches of farming before he begins his own farm, and he keeps his distance from the dairy workers because he's always lost in his own thoughts. When he stands up, Tess recognizes him as the young man who stopped and danced with the girls of Marlott, except for her. She worries for a moment that he may somehow recognize her and know of her past, but she soon sees that he does not know who she is.
Topic Tracking: Coincidence 6
Tess sleeps above the milk house with three other dairymaids, Marian, Izz Rhuett, and Rhetty.
Angel's parents expected him to be a minister like his father and brothers, but much to his parents' dismay, he didn't agree with all of the harsh doctrines of the church as his father and brothers did, so he could not be a clergyman. His father did not send him to college since he was not going to do God's work. Angel tried to learn a profession in London, but he found after a short time there and a brief encounter with an older woman that city life was not for him. There is little left for him but farm life, which is fine with Angel because he will be free to do things his way and to think as he chooses.
At Talbothays, Angel sleeps in the attic above the dairymaids and although he takes meals with the other dairy workers, the dairyman's wife seats him at a separate and slightly removed table because he is of a higher class than the dairy workers.
Angel finally notices Tess one morning as she speaks of a fantasy she has of leaving her body and looking down at the world as she lies in the grass at twilight. His attention embarrasses her, so she looks down as he studies her from across the room. He thinks there is something familiar about her, but he can't place her and doesn't really try to. He's just intrigued by a dairymaid who thinks such interesting things.
Days go by and Tess and Angel get to know each other better. Tess is worried about saying something stupid and ruining his opinion of her, and Angel is curious how someone as young as Tess has such a melancholy view of the world and life. Their love begins when he goes out of his way to help her out with her chores at milking time and she overhears him playing his harp in the garden and he catches her listening. The more time they spend together, the more their interest and affection grows. She respects his intellect and looks at him as almost god-like because he is so knowledgeable. His education makes her feel how lacking and unworthy she is. She tells him, "My life looks as if it had been wasted for want of chances! When I see what you know, what you have read, and seen, and thought, I feel what a nothing I am!" Chapter 19, pg. 124
Angel sees in Tess the questioning disillusion he felt toward the world himself earlier in his life. Tess considers telling Angel of her heritage as a way to impress him, but the dairyman warns her that Angel thinks lowly of noble families because they live on reputation only.
It is one of Tess's duties to wake the dairyman and the dairymaids at 3 a.m. to begin the workday and she and Angel are often the first ones out of the house. In the pre-dawn moments, Angel and Tess are alone together and Angel thinks Tess is mystical, like a goddess before the sun comes up. When the sun rises, she returns to being the pretty milkmaid. They are falling in love and Tess is the happiest then that she has ever been or will ever be.
Tess does not know that Marian, Rhetty, and Izz are in love with Angel until she overhears them talking as they look at him out the window of their room. They are talking about how he is in love with Tess. Tess feels guilty because she knows that any of the pure milkmaids deserve Angel more than she does because of her past with Alec. She feels that she should step aside and let the other three girls have a chance to win Angel because that would be better for him and the girls.
Topic Tracking: Sacrifice 5
The following day Tess makes it a point to call Angel's attention to Izz and Rhetty expecting him to turn his attention to one of them. Believing that it's better for all involved if he loves one of them, she makes it a point to avoid him after that so that she's not in the way of the other girls.
On their way to church on Sunday, the four dairymaids come to a flooded road they cannot cross without ruining their church clothes. Although walking around to a low spot is a better idea, they will be terribly late to church. Angel comes splashing around the bend in the flooded road and carries the girls to dry ground on the other side of the road. As he's carrying Tess, he tells her that the only reason he carried the other girls was so that he could carry her. When she tries to modestly brush off his words, he seems as if he is going to kiss her, but he thinks better of it. The other girls, seeing the romance unfold, plainly accept that Tess has won Angel's heart, but they are not jealous of Tess because they don't believe any dairymaid really has a shot to be his wife. Angel's family has picked out a clergyman's daughter, Mercy Chant, to be his wife. Tess and the other dairymaids grieve the hopelessness of loving Angel.
In July the weather was too hot to bring the cows to the barn for milking, so the men and women went to the pastures to milk. On one of these warm days, Angel confesses his love for Tess while they are out in the pasture. He impulsively comes over to where she is working. He hugs her and tells her how much he cares for her. Tess, surprised by his sudden declaration, feels that their feelings for each other are inevitable and she can no longer stop her love for him. Although she vowed that she would not love any man because of her past, she cannot help but love Angel. She still feels unworthy of him, but she sees that their destinies are entwined forever.
Topic Tracking: Fatalism 6
Angel, seeing that he has frightened Tess and himself with his outburst of affection, decides to avoid her for a while and sort out his feelings. He thinks she is the right sort of wife for him because she knows about farming and is willing and able to help out. But before he makes a firm decision, he decides to talk to his parents about it, so he heads home to Emminister. At home he finds that he is even a greater stranger to his family now that he is accustomed to farm life and he finds his family stagnant in their thoughts and habits, which bothers him greatly.
Angel finally talks to his parents about choosing a wife, and they are happy to recommend Mercy Chant, but he argues that she would not make a good farmer's wife because she is too refined and delicate. Angel wears his parents down into accepting the idea that a woman from farm life would make a better farmer's wife than Mercy Chant. He assures his parents that the woman he has in mind is virtuous and pure, and his parents agree to meet her.
Mr. Clare accompanies Angel part of the way out of town, and he tells his son about his failed attempt to convert a wild, young man, Alec d'Urberville. Mr. Clare explains that Alec is not legitimately part of the line of the d'Urbervilles from Kingsbere famous for their family curse, but a merchant family instead. Angel appreciates old families for the history of their heritage, but he does not believe that being from an old family makes anyone important or special because of their name.
Topic Tracking: Coincidence 7
Angel arrives back at Talbothays just as the nap hour of the afternoon is ending and he catches Tess alone downstairs. He hugs her and tells her that he's come back so soon just to see her. He helps Tess skim the milk from the morning and they are alone together. He asks her to marry him and Tess refuses him as she's sworn to herself and Marian, Izz, and Rhetty, that she would although she wants nothing more than to marry Angel. Angel asks if she loves him, and she admits that she does, but she insists that she does not want to be married. He thinks she is just startled or is being coy, although it's unlike her, so he promises to give her time before asking her to marry him again. She tells him that she is too lowly for him and that his parents would be unhappy with her as his wife, which he denies in spite of its truth.
Topic Tracking: Sacrifice 6
To change the subject, Angel tells Tess about his father's encounter with Alec d'Urberville, and although he does not say the name, Tess knows from his description that Angel is talking about Alec. Angel has no idea that bringing up Alec will only harden Tess's resolve to refuse Angel because he knows nothing of her history with Alec. So after he tells Tess the story, he, thinking he is bringing up a new subject, asks Tess to consider marrying him, and she refuses to even consider marrying Angel because her history with Alec is fresh in her mind.
Topic Tracking: Coincidence 8
Angel asks her again why she won't marry him if she loves him as she seems to, and he refuses to accept the excuse that she is from a different social class because it does not matter to him whether she's lower class or middle class. She agrees that she will tell him what makes her unworthy of him on Sunday, and he almost mocks her in agreeing to wait because he does not believe that anyone who looks and acts as innocent as Tess could be anything but spotless. He thinks that the experience that she's worrying over will be something quite trivial that she's blown out of proportion.
Tess, meanwhile, is so anxious that everyone leaves her alone for the rest of the week. She feels the inevitability of giving in to Angel's proposal, but she thinks that it's unfair to him to let him marry her without knowing the full story of her life. Yet she is greatly tempted to marry him and be happy until he finds out about Alec. She is torn about what to do and says, "I can't bear to let anybody have him but me! Yet it is wrong Tess him, and may kill him when he knows!" Chapter 28, pg. 175
Topic Tracking: Sacrifice 7
Although Tess had been ready to give in to Angel and agree to marry him, a story told at the dairy reinforces her resolve to refuse Angel's proposal for his own good. The story she heard was about a man who married a widow for her money only to find out once they were married that when she married him, she had forfeited the money.
From summer to September Angel subtly works on Tess, refusing to be turned down. He wins her over bit by bit and the day comes when he tells her that if she does not accept, he must leave Talbothays dairy. Tess asks for time to think during the day. That afternoon Tess and Angel take the milk to town in the wagon so they can be alone to talk.
Angel asks for Tess's answer and she tells him that she's not ready to give her explanation yet, but she will tell him everything before they get back to the dairy. To pass the time, Angel points to a manor house they pass and tells her that it belonged to the d'Urberville family long ago. Tess says nothing until they are on their way back to the dairy. She tells him about where she was born and how her parents are shiftless and lazy. She then tells him about her link to the d'Urbervilles who owned that manor such a long time ago. He thinks that her connection to the ancient d'Urbervilles is her big secret and she lets him believe it because she chickened out at the last minute and did not tell him about Alec and the trouble that her d'Urberville connection has caused her.
Angel advises her to begin going by d'Urberville instead of Durbeyfield, thinking that such a connection may help his parents accept her, but Tess doesn't want to change her name. In his amusement over Tess's family connection he mentions Alec d'Urberville and tells her how his family assumed the name to hide that their money came from working as merchants. Seeing Tess balk at the idea of going by d'Urberville, Angel jokingly tells her that she must marry him and take his name so that she can escape her own.
Tess finally agrees to marry him with the condition that he is sure that he's marrying her for who she is in spite of her flaws and mistakes. Angel, not knowing what he's agreeing to, tells her that he will. Tess, in tears part joy, part guilt, tells him that she must write to her mother in Marlott to tell her the news. In that moment, Angel realizes where he's seen Tess before and she says, "Yes; at that dance on the green; but you would not dance with me. O, I hope that is no ill-omen for us now!" Chapter 30, pg. 188
Topic Tracking: Coincidence 9
Tess sends her mother a letter asking for advice about telling Angel of her seduction and the child she bore. Joan Durbeyfield writes back telling Tess to say nothing of it to Angel because Angel will be happier not knowing. Tess gladly follows her mother's advice and gives herself up to the joy she feels just being in love and being adored. Angel wants her to pick a wedding date, and although Tess hesitates to name one, Angel tells the dairyman and the dairy workers that they are engaged.
That night Izz, Rhetty, and Marian gather around Tess in their room over the milk house and assure her that they don't hate her because she is the one Angel chose. They feel that she is the best one of them for him, and their kindness and honest love for Angel makes her feel guilty enough to want to tell Angel about Alec before they are married. She thinks it is really the only fair thing to do.
Topic Tracking: Sacrifice 8
Angel finally corners Tess into picking December 31 as their wedding date because he is ready to move on to another branch of farming and the dairy will have enough time to find new help if they leave in late December. Angel plans to move on to a flour mill near the old d'Urberville manor, and he's rented rooms in the manor house while they are there as a surprise for Tess. Tess still wishes "[t]hat it would always be summer and autumn, and you always courting me, and always thinking as much of me as you have done through the past summertime!" Chapter 32, pg. 199 She still doesn't know how to tell him her secret.
Tess feels more urgently that she must tell Angel about Alec when they are shopping together and some man from Tantridge recognizes her. The stranger makes a comment about the rumors about Tess's reputation and Angel punches him. The man then says that he had mistaken her for someone else to make peace, but he knows that he's right about her.
Topic Tracking: Coincidence 10
When they return to the dairy, Tess writes a letter explaining what happened with Alec d'Urberville and slips it under Angel's door before she can change her mind. She waits to see what he has to say about it, but he never brings it up and the way he treats her does not change at all. As a result, she thinks he has forgiven her and she is relieved. It only occurs to her on the morning of their wedding that he might not have gotten the letter, so she goes up to his room to look for it. The letter is stuck beneath the carpet at the edge of the door. He never got it, and it is too late to tell him because they are preparing to leave for the wedding. She tries to tell him that she needs to tell him all her flaws, and he promises that they'll talk about it after the wedding.
They have their small wedding, and Tess notices that the carriage that is taking them back to the dairy and then to their new rooms at the manor is dark and scary-looking. Angel makes some reference to a legend about the d'Urberville family and carriages, but she doesn't know the story. Angel thinks it's a bad time to tell her that one of her ancestors killed someone in a carriage and the story is that d'Urbervilles see the carriage before something bad happens to them, so Tess goes on ignorant of the story but dreading having to tell Angel about Alec and her past.
As Tess and Angel are leaving the dairy, a rooster crows in the afternoon, and all the dairy workers are disturbed because country people believe that to be a bad omen.
While Tess and Angel are waiting for their luggage to arrive from Talbothays, another package arrives for Tess from Angel's parents. They have sent her the diamond jewelry Angel's godmother left for his wife.
Their luggage arrives from the dairy along with the news that Rhetty tried to drown herself and Marian got horribly drunk soon after Tess and Angel left. Tess knows that in fairness to the dairymaids who loved Angel to such an extent, she must tell him about her past so that he may leave her for one of them if his feelings for her are changed. Before she can tell him, however, he confesses that he had an affair with a woman in London when he was younger. He assures her that he's never done anything like that since then and begs her forgiveness. He says that he wanted to tell her many times in fairness, but "[he] did not mention it because [he] was afraid of endangering [his] chance of [her], . . . the great prize of [his] life." Chapter 34, pg. 221
Tess is eager to forgive him because now she knows that he'll forgive her the same thing. She tells him about how a man seduced and took advantage of her, but she does not reveal whom it was.
Topic Tracking: Fatalism 7
Tess's story drastically changes the way that Angel feels about her. He feels that he's not even with the same woman he loved because she does not truly exist. He thinks she is manipulative because she did not tell him of her history before they were married. She offers to do whatever he wants her to do and he says, "You are very good. But it strikes me that there is a want of harmony between your present mood of self-sacrifice and your past mood of self-preservation." Chapter 35, pg. 226 Angel blames her lack of morals on her heritage and upbringing, and although he acknowledges that Alec took advantage of her, he still thinks less of her. Tess, in desperation to please him, offers to drown herself or be his servant, his slave, anything, but nothing works to console him because he was in love with his image of her and not herself.
Topic Tracking: Sacrifice 9
Tess and Angel awkwardly spend the next few days trying to find a way to fix things, but there is no solution where they can be in the same place because Angel does not feel that he is her "natural" husband. Yet he can't divorce her because he made a holy vow to be married, so they agree to separate, although Tess is crushed by the arrangement. He plans to finish his farm study and then begin his own farm and she is going to her parents' home in Marlott.
Tess is surprised by the harshness with which Angel is treating her, but she sympathizes with him because she feels that she so little deserves him anyway. He is too shocked at the difference between what she is and what he imagined her to be that he cannot begin to accept her right now. They will part, perhaps forever, in the morning.
As Tess sleeps that night, she is awakened when Angel comes into her room. He is sleepwalking as he does when he is stressed. He wraps her in a sheet like a corpse and carries her body to the abandoned abbey near the manor. He lays her in a stone coffin and kisses her mouth as if saying goodbye. She does nothing to disturb him because this sleepwalking, grieving affection is the most attention she's had from him since she told him about her past. She leads him back home and he does not mention the walk the following morning, so she says nothing of it either.
They leave the manor together so no one is suspicious, and they stop by the dairy to pick up their few remaining possessions. Although they try to pretend nothing's wrong, the dairyman's wife thinks they seemed odd together.
Tess and Angel part ways at a village not far from Marlott. Angel tells Tess not to come to him unless he sends for her. He says he may come back for her, but he doesn't know yet. He promises to write and let her know where he is. She agrees to everything he says, saying "I agree to the conditions, Angel; because you know best what my punishment ought to be; only - only - don't make it more than I can bear!" Chapter 37, pg. 249 Angel gives her money and tells her to write to his parents if she needs more. As Tess walks away, Angel wishes that she would look back and wave, but she is too hurt by his cruelty to do so.
Topic Tracking: Sacrifice 10
The gatekeeper at Marlott, not recognizing Tess, tells her that John Durbeyfield's daughter has recently married a gentleman, so the town has celebrated the marriage. Tess sneaks to her parents' home through side streets so that she will not bring more shame to her family than she already has.
Joan is angry with Tess when she hears that Tess told Angel of her past. Durbeyfield himself questions whether or not she and Angel are actually "married," basically calling his daughter a tramp. Tess is too hurt to defend herself and decides to find a way out of there as soon as possible. When a letter arrives from Angel telling her that he is going north to look at farms, she tells her family that she's going to join her husband. She leaves them twenty-five pounds out of the fifty that Angel left her and then she goes to look for work.
Topic Tracking: Sacrifice 11
Angel goes to his parents' home after deciding to go to Brazil to try his hand at farming there and pretends that his travels are the reason that Tess is not with him. His mother is upset that she won't meet Tess before Angel leaves for Brazil and keeps telling Angel that it doesn't matter how uneducated his wife is because as long as she is pure and virtuous, she'll be a good wife to Angel. He curses Tess for making him lie to his parents and say that she is pure and virtuous.
Before leaving for Brazil, Angel has to return to the d'Urberville manor and pay the rent and return the key. For a moment, while he's there, he thinks he may have been unfair to Tess. While he's locking up, Izz stops by to visit thinking Tess may be there. Angel takes her home and along the way he prompts her to confess her love for him. He tells her that he and Tess are separated and asks her to go with him to Brazil. She agrees to go although both she and Angel know what they're planning is wrong. He asks if she loves him, and she says yes, but when he asks if she loves him more than Tess does, she says, "nobody could love 'ee more than Tess did! . . . She would have laid down her life for 'ee. I could do no more." Chapter 40, pg. 265 Angel turns the carriage around and takes Izz home feeling somewhat kinder toward Tess but knowing that their situation has not changed.
Eight months after leaving for Brazil, Angel becomes sick and is still unsuccessful in his farming attempts there. Meanwhile, Tess is working to support herself, trying to save the last twenty-five pounds she has from Angel, but she is forced to spend it when she cannot find work. Just before she gets thirty pounds more that Angel sent her before he left for Brazil, Tess gets a letter from her mother asking for twenty pounds to fix the roof. As soon as she gets the money Angel sent her, Tess sends her mother the money she asked for, keeping up the charade that she's living with her husband and can afford to help them out.
Tess gets a letter from Marian telling her of a job at the farm where Marian works. Tess, desperate for work, begins making her way there and looking for jobs along the way. The farm where Marian works is difficult and Tess looks at it as a last resort.
Unsuccessful everywhere else, Tess works her way toward Marian. As she is walking on the road at dusk one night the man from Tantridge walks past her and recognizes her again. She refuses to speak to him and runs away from him because she's afraid of what he'll do to her. She spends the night hiding in the bushes.
Topic Tracking: Coincidence 11
To draw no further attention from men, Tess wraps her face like she has a toothache and cuts off her eyebrows. She wants no attention if it's not from her husband. She makes her way to Flintcomb Ash, the place where Marian works, and is hired on at the same farm. Marian is sympathetic to Tess about Angel, and Tess insists that no one is to know that she's married or who her husband is because she thinks that he would be ashamed of her.
Marian and Tess dig turnips in the fields until it snows, and then they are sent into the barn to husk and stack sheaves of corn, difficult labor for women. Izz shows up at the farm to work there after getting a letter from Marian as well, and the three of them are together again without Rhetty because she's still not doing well.
While they're working in the barn, Tess recognizes two of the women as the Queen of Spades and her sister from Tantridge, the women who picked the fight with her the night that Alec d'Urberville seduced her. The women don't recognize her.
That is not the only Tantridge connection, however, because when the farm owner arrives to check their work, Tess is dismayed to see that it is the man from Tantridge that she and Angel encountered in the inn and that she ran from on the road only days before. He treats her poorly as a way of getting back at her for the way Angel hit him at the inn and the way she ignored him on the road only days before.
Topic Tracking: Coincidence 12
Tess has to stay late to work more because she works a little slower than the other women, so Marian and Izz stay to help her. While Tess is resting at one point, Izz tells Marian about her encounter with Angel. Then when Izz goes to rest, Marian tells Tess about it. Tess is crushed that Angel would do such a thing, but she thinks it is her own fault for not writing to him so that he knows she is waiting for him. She tries to write him a letter that night, but she doesn't know what to say. She knows he does not love her, or he would have come for her or written to her. He wouldn't have asked Izz to go with him to Brazil.
Tess, driven to near desperation by what she's learned, decides to go to Angel's parents to find out news of him. She begins the thirty-mile walk at 4 a.m. on a Sunday morning and arrives before church is out. She hides her walking boots in a hedge at the edge of town and puts on the pretty shoes Angel gave her before they were married so that she will look presentable to her in-laws. She is very nervous about meeting them, so instead of waiting at their home, she goes back to the edge of town to wait for a while so that she will not interrupt their lunch. Before she makes it through town, however, church lets out and people are in the streets. Behind her on the road two young men walk and talk together and they sound like Angel, so she realizes that they are his brothers. As they walk past her to catch up with Mercy Chant walking alone in front of her, Tess overhears them say what a shame it is that Angel went and married some lowly dairymaid when he should have married Mercy.
Tess, expecting that the whole family feels that way, is crushed and decides to return to the farm immediately, but before she can get her walking boots, Angel's brothers have noticed them in the hedge and taken them to give to someone needy in their village.
Halfway back to the farm, Tess passes a barn where some fiery preacher is talking about his past sinful ways and how he was changed by the words of one elderly pastor he was cruel to. Tess recognizes the voice as that of Alec d'Urberville.
Topic Tracking: Coincidence 13
Tess stands paralyzed as Alec quotes scripture and only when she moves as she prepares to leave does he notice her among the crowd. He falters in his speech and she leaves as quickly as possible. He catches up with her on the road and tells her that he wishes to convert her, but she doesn't buy into his piety because it's too drastic a change. She tells him,
"You, and those like you, take your fill of pleasure on earth by making the life of such as me bitter and black with sorrow; and then it is a fine thing, when you have had enough of that, to think of securing your pleasure in heaven by becoming converted!" Chapter 45, pg. 303
He swears he's changed his ways, but he does worry that seeing her might be too much temptation and might stir up old feelings. He asks her to cover her face with her veil so that she might not tempt him and makes her swear that she won't intentionally tempt him. She appeases him just to get him to go away because she likes him even less than she did before and he leaves her.
Tess is working out in the turnip field at Flintcomb Ash a short time later when Alec shows up and asks her to marry him so that he can right the wrong that he did to her. He confesses that he's still enchanted by her as well, so it's not just a sacrifice to do the right thing. Tess tells him that she is married and she does not love anyone but her husband. She won't tell him who her husband is, though. She sends Alec away, but he makes another visit to Flintcomb Ash at the cottage where she lives. Alec blames Tess for his distraction from his newfound faith because he's in love with her. He asks her to pray for him, and she says, "How can I pray for you, when I am forbidden to believe that the great Power who moves the world would alter his plans on my account?" Chapter 46, pg. 314
Topic Tracking: Fatalism 8
She sends him away again, but there's a part of her that knows that if she married him, she wouldn't have to stay at this farm and work so hard. Alec d'Urberville is determined to have Tess and he isn't going to give up until he gets his wish.
Tess is working in the field with the farmer and all the workers doing back breaking labor when Alec returns again, but he is no longer dressed like a clergyman. He waits until they break for lunch to approach her. He tells her that he's left the church because he can't get her out of his head. He insists that she should marry him because it's her fault he's lost his faith. "'You have been the cause of my backsliding,' he continued, stretching his arm towards her waist; 'you should be willing to share it, and leave that mule you call husband forever.'" Chapter 47, pg. 325 She slaps him with her glove and draws blood from his lip, hoping that he'll hurt her and give up on her, but he does neither. Instead he says, "Remember, my lady, I was your master once! I will be your master again. If you are any man's wife you are mine!" Chapter 47, pg. 326
He returns in the afternoon for her answer to his proposal and Tess works alongside all the other farm workers until nightfall hoping he'll go away. But he doesn't. Alec walks her home, offering to give her money and to take care of her family. Tess feels so vulnerable, abandoned, and tired that she is tempted to take his offer. She still refuses, but she is so weakened that she writes to Angel begging him to come to her or let her come to him, even as a servant, so she can be near him. She is fighting to avoid temptation and knows of nowhere else to turn.
While Angel has been in Brazil, he's had time to think about Tess and their situation. He even talks to another Englishman about it to get some perspective, and the man tells him that he was wrong to abandon her as he's done. Angel reconsiders his views and decides that it matters less what Tess did before she loved him because when she met him, she loved him truly and devotedly. Then he wonders why she hasn't written to him in the year since their separation, forgetting that he didn't want to hear from her until now. Meanwhile, her desperate letter is on its way to him from his parents' home.
As Tess waits to hear from him, she learns to sing all the songs that he liked when he worked at the dairy because she hopes to sing them for him if he comes back to her. Then her younger sister, Liza Lu, comes to Flintcomb Ash in the afternoon to tell Tess that their mother is dying, their father won't work, and they have no money. Tess leaves immediately even though there are a few days left in her work contract.
Tess goes home and nurses her mother back to health and tries to get the family's fields cleared for planting. Her father, only slightly sickly and still greatly lazy, helps a little. As Tess is working one night, she notices that there is a strange man helping plow the Durbeyfield tract of land and she is surprised to realize that it's Alec again. He's given her family more money as a ploy to win her over, knowing that her family's poverty worries her. She tells him once again to leave her and her family alone and he gets angry and leaves the field. She's worried that he's going to her parents' home again, so she starts home when Liza Lu comes to tell her that their father has dropped dead. Tess and her family will be kicked out of their home now because their lease ends with the end of John Durbeyfield's life. Tess is truly desperate now because they have no money and nowhere to go.
Topic Tracking: Sacrifice 12
Tess is sitting in the window of her parents' cottage at night thinking of how she's moving the family to Kingsbere the following day. Alec rides up and she doesn't even notice him until he taps on the window. She tells him that she thought she'd heard a carriage pass, but she paid no attention to it, so she wasn't looking for him. He takes that opportunity to tell her the d'Urberville legend about how the carriage is a bad omen for d'Urbervilles.
Alec offers her family the cottage she lived in at Tantridge while she tended birds there, but Tess refuses the offer.
When Alec finally leaves, Tess writes another letter to Angel that says:
"O why have you treated me so monstrously, Angel! I do not deserve it. I have thought it all over carefully, and I can never, never forgive you! You know that I did not intend to wrong you - why have you so wronged me? You are cruel, cruel indeed! I will try to forget you. It is all injustice I have received at your hands!" Chapter 51, pg. 350
Joan Durbeyfield knows that Alec stopped by while she was gone, but Tess won't tell her what he wanted until they are settled in Kingsbere the following day.
Tess is beginning to feel that, as much as she dislikes Alec d'Urberville, he is the only husband she has ever had, physically and financially. Her resistance is weakened by his persistence and Angel's indifference.
As Tess and her family are moving the next day, she sees Marian and Izz at an inn. Both girls are leaving Flintcomb Ash. They ask her if the gentleman who kept coming to see her at the farm found her, and she tells him that he has found her, but she tells them nothing else. Marian and Izz are suspicious about Alec because they have heard rumors about what happened to Tess at Tantridge. They worry that Alec is trying to steal Tess away from Angel although they know Tess still loves Angel. They write an anonymous letter to Angel at his parents' home warning him that someone is trying to tempt Tess away from him.
Tess and her family get to Kingsbere and learn that the rooms they've rented were given to someone else, and the cart they rented to move their possessions has to be returned. The cart driver dumps their furniture and belongings on the side of the road near the abandoned church where the d'Urbervilles are buried. Tess prepares the bed for the children to sleep in that night while her mother, Liza Lu, and Abraham go look for food.
Alec approaches Joan and the children and they direct him to where Tess is. Joan doesn't like him much, but she sees that he may be the person who provides for their family, so she cooperates with him. When Alec finds Tess, she is in the darkened church looking at the tombs of her ancestors. She tells him to go away again, but he goes to talk with her mother instead, knowing that Joan will take him up on the offer of the cottage and the job tending the birds at Tantridge. That is how he will get Tess, and he knows it. So does she. When he leaves, she sits in the church and envies her ancestors on the other side of the tomb walls.
Angel returns to Emminister a thinner, duller version of himself and his parents give him Tess 's latest letter full of blame and anger. He realizes that she is right and is sad that he has treated her so badly. His mother, thinking to comfort him, tells him not to mourn a girl as lowly as a dairymaid, and he tells his parents that Tess is a d'Urberville as his way of defending her.
Angel sees that Tess might not be so willing to have him back as her desperately sad letter indicated, but he decides that he has to find her and see her. He writes to her mother in Marlott only to learn that Joan no longer lives there and Tess is not with her at the time. Joan says she will write to Angel when Tess returns, but Angel doesn't want to wait that long.
Just before he leaves to find Tess, he receives the anonymous letter from Marian and Izz and knows that he must find Tess.
Angel goes to Flintcomb Ash because that is where her loving letter was sent. While he's there, he finds out that she did not tell anyone that she was married, and she did not use his name. He also learns how hard she worked on the farm there and sees that she must've needed money and was too proud to ask his parents for it. He feels awful for the way that Tess had to live while he was gone.
He tracks her to Marlott, where she went to tend to her parents, and in trying to find out where they've gone to next, he stumbles across the burial plot of Tess 's father in the churchyard. He's buried as "Sir John Durbeyfield," and the church caretaker enjoys explaining to Angel that for all his high family tree, Durbeyfield's headstone isn't even paid for. Angel learns that Joan is in Tantridge, and as he's leaving town, he pays the mason for Durbeyfield's headstone.
When he finally finds Joan, she sheepishly tells him that Tess is in Sandbourne, so he heads in that direction after making sure that Tess's mother doesn't need anything.
Angel arrives in Sandbourne late at night, so he rents a room and tries to figure out what Tess is doing in such a ritzy place. He decides that she must be working as a maid or housekeeper for one of the inns or private homes there, and he sets out searching for her as soon as morning comes. At the post office he learns that there is a Mrs. d'Urberville in town, so he goes to the hotel that the postman gives him. He thinks Tess is claiming marriage and keeping her family name as he'd once suggested. He is pleased with her choice.
Looking around the room as he waits for her, Angel realizes that Tess is living well, which makes him think that she somehow got the jewels his godmother left her and sold them. He has no clue what has actually happened.
It is still early in the morning, and Tess is in a fancy robe and slippers like a fine lady who hasn't worked in a long time. He notices the dramatic difference when she comes into the room where he's waiting. She looks stricken when she sees him, and he opens his arms to her expecting to be welcomed. He admits that he made a horrible mistake when he left her, and she tells him, "[t]oo late, too late!" Chapter 55, pg. 371
Tess frantically murmurs about how "he" had won her back by being kind and taking care of her family after her father died. She tells Angel that "he" told her that Angel would never come back for her, and now she hates "him" because "he" lied to her again because Angel did come back. Tess is obviously shaken, but she tells Angel not to come back. He figures out that she has married the man who seduced her years ago. Angel leaves, devastated at the realization that "his original Tess had spiritually ceased to recognize the body before him as hers - allowing it to drift, like a corpse upon the current, in a direction disassociated from its living will." Chapter 55, pg. 372 She has given up her body because her heart is so broken that it no longer matters to her what is done with her body.
Topic Tracking: Fatalism 9
Tess goes back upstairs and weeps in the rooms she shares with Alec. When she tells him what has happened, he mocks her and she finally snaps. She tells him, "O, you have torn my life all to pieces . . . made me be what I prayed you in pity not to make me be again!" Chapter 56, pg. 374 She stabs him in the heart with a carving knife, dresses, and leaves the hotel. The landlady doesn't know what has happened until she sees a red stain spreading on the ceiling below the d'Urbervilles' room.
Angel is leaving town, but he can't stand still long enough to wait for the train, so he starts walking in the direction of home. Tess, running behind him, finally catches him. She tells him that she's killed Alec so that he can't come between them again. Angel isn't sure if Tess is delusional or serious, so they begin walking through the woods just in case. They find a vacant manor house to hide in and Angel has gotten enough food to last them for days. They have little more than a vague idea of lying low for a while and then going to a port town and leaving the country to escape Tess's crime.
Angel and Tess spend five happy days locked up in the vacant manor. While they are there together, things are as they were at the dairy before they were married. They never talk about the time they've spent apart; they are just happy to be together. Tess is reluctant to leave the manor house because she knows that her days are numbered. Angel humors her until they are forced to leave when the landlady discovers them hiding out there. They travel north all day and deep into the night until Tess can travel no further. They stop to rest in a large field at a circle of stones, soon realizing that it is Stonehenge. Tess lays down upon one of the fallen stones, like a human sacrifice. Before she falls asleep, she tells Angel that if something should happen to her, she wants him to marry her younger sister, Liza Lu, because Liza Lu is a purer, more innocent version of Tess.
As the sun comes up, Tess and Angel are surrounded by 16 men who have come to capture Tess. Tess peacefully goes with them feeling satisfied that Angel loves her and will not have time to grow to despise her now.
Topic Tracking: Sacrifice 13
Topic Tracking: Fatalism 10
Angel and Liza Lu walk hand in hand away from the prison, leaving the city quickly. They look serious and intent. The bell of the town tolls 8 a.m. as they hurry away. When the reach the top of a hill outside the town, they turn and look back in time to see a black flag raised above the prison. They know that Tess has been executed and they kneel together there before they walk away hand in hand. "[T]he President of the Immortals, . . . had ended his sport with Tess. And the d'Urberville knights and dames slept on in their tombs unknowing." Chapter 59, pg. 390
Topic Tracking: Fatalism 11