Ilustration of Tess on hilly pink terrain with trees and clouds in the background

Tess of the d'Urbervilles

by Thomas Hardy

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Phase the First: The Maiden, Chapters 5–11: Questions and Answers

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Study Questions
1. What tips the balance of Tess’s decision as to whether to approach Mrs. D’Urberville?

2. What is the name of the home of Mrs. D’Urberville?

3. Why has Simon Stoke decided to rename himself D’Urberville?

4. What job is Tess given by the D’Urbervilles?

5. How is Tess dressed when her parents send her off?

6. What is the mother-son relationship of Mrs. D’Urberville and Alec like?

7. What does Alec teach Tess how to do?

8. What defect marks the social life of the people in and around Trantridge?

9. Who picks a fight with Tess on the way home from Chase¬borough, and why?

10. What happens in The Chase?

1. Her guilt over the death of Prince, combined with her feeling that she is responsible for the family, cause Tess finally to agree to the idea of applying to Mrs. D’Urberville for help.

2. The manorial home of Mrs. D’Urberville is named The Slopes.

3. Simon Stoke has earned a fortune as a merchant, or perhaps as a moneylender, in the industrialized north of England. Stoke does not want to be associated with his unprestigious (or shady) past, and he believes that an aristocratic name would be more distinguished than his original one. He found the name D’Urberville in a history book dealing with old families in the south of England.

4. Tess is assigned the job of tending to a group of fowl kept by Mrs. D’Urberville. She must feed, care for, and entertain these birds.

5. Tess is dressed in a white muslin dress and her newly washed hair is tied with a large red ribbon.

6. Mrs. D’Urberville is not ignorant of her son’s faults, but nevertheless loves him. She is “bitterly fond” of Alec.

7. Alec teaches Tess how to whistle so that she can keep Mrs. D’Urberville’s birds happy.

8. The villagers around Trantridge live for the moment, disdaining the idea of saving for the future. Many of them are hard drinkers.

9. The Darch sisters, jealous that Alec is now smitten with Tess instead of them, pick a fight with her.

10. Unheedful of the route home, Alec drives his carriage until his horse is exhausted. He deposits Tess in a portion of The Chase and goes to look for directions. When he comes back, he ascertains Tess is asleep, and takes her.

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