Special Sub-Topic: 'Tess of the d'Urbervilles'
|The ancient name of Tess's family is, as the title stipulates, d'Urberville. However, the family uses a different form of the name. What is it?|
Durbeyfield. Tess's ancestors came to England with William the Conqueror and once were a potent family in the area. However, in the time of the novel Tess's father is the only descendant of the family and, being a pauperized drunkard, he cannot restore the bygone splendor of the family.
|As a result of a very unlucky decision Tess agrees to go to her supposed relatives to seek help for the family. What is the main reason that makes her go?|
She feels responsible for the death of the family's only horse. Because of Tess's lack of attention, the Durbeyfields lost their only horse, Prince, and the 'haggling business' became disorganized. For this reason she felt it her duty to visit the Stokes-d'Urbervilles even though she did not believe that such a visit might really help her family.
|Consequently Tess's fate is bound with unscrupulous Alec d'Urberville. At first she manages to escape his interest but then she's obliged to accept his offer of an occupation. All the time she has to guard herself against Alec's attempts at her innocence and finally she fails. Where does Tess become a 'Maiden No More'?|
In The Chase. The Chase is said to be 'the oldest wood in England' and it is there that Alec manages to abuse Tess's innocence and lack of experience and, which none of them knows just then, to ruin her life forever. Marlott is the village of Tess's origin, Emminster is the place where Angel's parents live and Talbothays is where Tess was employed as a dairymaid.
|Her sin does not pass without a dire consequence and not long after that we see Tess as a young mother of a child. Worse still, the baby is so weak that very soon is on the verge of death. Terrified Tess baptizes the child. What name does she choose?|
Sorrow. Not a very pleasant name for a child but probably that's what Tess mostly got from her only offspring. The child is refused a Christian funeral and Tess buries him herself in the corner of the cemetery.
|After the death of her child Tess leaves her village to find a job as a dairymaid. She begins to work for a mild couple of Mr. and Mrs. Crick. Not only does she work but also lodges with them. How many other people apart from Tess and the Cricks live in the house?|
Four. Three other maids who live under the Cricks' roof are Marian, Izz Huett and Retty Priddle. Except for them Mr. Crick hosts Angel Clare, who is learning about the farming business to establish a farm of his own.
|Each dairy worker has their favorite cows that it is easiest for them to milk. Which of these names is not a name of one of Tess's favorites?|
Mighty. I know this was probably not a very easy one. The other five that prefer Tess's hands to all the others' are: Fancy, Lofty, Mist, Tidy and Loud. Dairyman Crick does not like his workers to milk their favorite cows as he does not want to make the animals too used to one person. However, a sign of Angel's affection for Tess is arranging cows in such a way that she gets these eight to milk. When Angel reveals his feelings to Tess, she is milking Old Pretty.
|Tess is not the only one to fall in love with Angel. In fact, all the other milkmaids feel similar affection. Obviously, each expresses it somehow differently. Which of them is told to have been caught kissing Angel's shadow?|
Izz Huett. All the girls feel they have no chance with Angel but yet they continue loving him. What is more, they don't seem to be jealous of one another and particularly of Tess even though they realize that she has become Angel's favorite. Improbable as it seems, I suppose it is quite touching. After Angel and Tess's wedding Retty tries to commit suicide and Marian takes to drinking.
|The novel is full of ill omens and particularly many appear on Tess's wedding day. One of them is connected with Tess's family lineage. What precisely does it concern?|
The d'Urberville Coach. The first person to mention the legend is Angel but he abstains from telling Tess everything not to upset her. The rest is then explained by Alec. It is said that once a d'Urberville kidnapped a girl and when he was driving away with her in a coach, murder was committed. Since then d'Urbervilles see or hear the coach when something bad is going to happen to them. Tess is supposed to see the coach on her wedding day and indeed she is soon left by Angel.
|Is it true that Hardy's own name appears in the book?|
y. When Dairyman Crick explains Angel's opinions on the old families he mentiones a number of those which, like d'Urbervilles, were once potent and then lost their significance. The Hardys are mentioned among other families.
|Angel has two brothers both of whom studied at Cambridge. However, Mr. Clare decided not to pay for Angel's education there. Why?|
Because of his heretical ideas. Angel's father is a member of Orthodox clergy while Angel cannot quite comply with his views. He does not intend to become a clergyman and Mr. Clare believes that it is highly improper to pay for education that won't be used to serve the Church. Angel understands his father's point and does not press.
|How many siblings does Tess have?|
Eight & 8. We get to know the names of Tess, 'Liza-Lu, Abraham, Hope and Modesty. The rest is usually referred to as 'younger children'.
|When she is left by Angel, Tess returns home but she finds out that she is a burden for her family so she leaves to seek employment. Thanks to Marian she is employed by Mr. Groby but the work is very hard and finally she decides to go to Mr. Clare for help. However, she does not dare to enter and not having achieved anything she returns home. On this way she meets Alec d'Urberville. What is his present occupation?|
He is a preacher. Alec seems to have converted to genuine faith and to regret for his sins. When he sees Tess at first he tries to make up for the harm he did to her but later he re-converts and is set on winning her back. Finally, she succumbs having lost hope of Angel's return. In fact Alec is continually portrayed as devil (for example, in one scene he emerges from smoke with a pitchfork in his hand) but in my personal opinion his conduct when he tries to win Tess is nobler than that of Angel.
|After having managed to make Tess live with him, Alec does not live long. How does he die?|
Tess stabs him with a knife. When Angel finally decides to forgive his wife, he finds her in a lodging with her first lover. She does not feel herself worthy of Angel and when Alec begins to criticize and mock him, Tess stabs d'Urberville and runs to catch up with her husband. It is only then that they are reconciled. Though it took him so long to forgive her the accidental affair Angel has no problem to put up with her murder.
|After Alec's death Angel and Tess spend a few happy days together moving to the interior part of the country. Where does Tess spend her last night with her husband?|
On a stone altar. They sleep in Stonehenge and in the morning Tess is arrested for murder. She feels that the death that she will be punished with is a good thing because she won't have to see Angel despising her again.
|The history of Tess, as in a folk ballad to which it is sometimes compared, is brought to a tragical end. Angel and 'Liza-Lu, whom he is to marry according to Tess's wish, watch her die. How does Tess d'Urberville die?|
She is hanged. She is hanged as a punishment for murder. I must say that the most striking thing about Tess is that, as Irving Howe puts it, 'Tess is that rare creature in literature: goodness made interesting.' Hardly ever does one find such examples.
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