Chapter 47 Notes from Tess of the d'Urbervilles

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Tess of the d'Urbervilles Chapter 47

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.

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