How are Angel's leaving Tess and Tess's murder of Alec connected?Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Ubervilles

Expert Answers

Want to remove ads?

Get ad-free questions with an eNotes 48-hour free trial.

Try It Free No Thanks
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The question had to be edited as there is only one question allowed per posting.  Do not forget, however, that you have access to the question group which has many, many answers.

In Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Ubervilles, Angel finds Tess enticing because she contradicts the stereotype of the "Hodge," the stereotype of the dull, farm worker.  Moreover, he is enthralled with Tess's apparent innocence, finding her a "fresh, virginal daughter of nature."  However, when he learns on their wedding night of her rape, his perceptions of Tess change unalterably.  Because she has ruined what has attracted him to her--his idealization of Tess--Angel no longer desires her.  In fact, he finds her repugnant, and leaves her in his great disappointment, much as he leaves his father's church in some disappointment.

After his years of loneliness and hard work in Brazil, Angel finally realizes that no one has loved him as has Tess.  He returns to England to beg her to take him back.  However, in so doing, he is too late to help Tess.  For, her downfall has been sealed by her socioeconomic position; after rejecting Alec D'Uberville repeatedly, she feels compelled to live with him because of the dire circumstances surrounding her family:  They are now homeless, without their patriarch, and starving.  When Angel appears at her door, Tess cries, "Too late! Too late!"  His appearance represents the constant interference that Fate places in the way of her attempts at happiness.  Still, in her final desperate attempt for some happiness, Tess stabs Alec who stands in her way to being with Angel, the only person with whom she has ever had any peace in her turbulent life. Both action of Angel Clare, his rejection of Tess, and his return cause the death of Tess's fated attempts at happiness.


Read the study guide:
Tess of the d'Urbervilles

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question