Tess and Angel have idealized versions of each other instead of a realistic view: How does the idealized version affect each of the characters in Tess of the d'Ubervilles?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is the perfect example of how love is blind. When people fall in love, they tend to see only the best in each other. Also, when people are getting to know each other, they tend to put their best face forward. It seems as if Tess wants to believe that Angel is just what his name implies and Angel wants to believe that Tess is the average maid. Because of these desires, they don't bring up the deep, dark issues before marriage and take the chance that the other will accept them for who they are if the secret ever surfaces. Sadly, this sets both Tess and Angel up for a tremendous fall into disappointment. The self-righteous disappointment that Angel feels towards Tess is hypocritical, yet typical for the time period. Women were supposed to be pure at marriage and have no past to speak of. Tess had hope in Angel's spiritual side. She hoped he would show mercy on her after he had committed the exact same sins.  Sadly, this was not the case and he abandons her. Disappointment and sadness are the result. It's definitely a good lesson to learn from; be up front and honest so you're not disappointed later by the shallow reactions of others when they finally find out your past.

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Tess of the d'Urbervilles

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