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Tess of the d’Urbervilles

Thomas Hardy

Phase the Fifth: The Woman Pays, Chapters XXXV–XXXIX

Chapters XXXII–XXXIV

Phase the Fifth: The Woman Pays, Chapters XXXV–XXXIX, page 2

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Summary: Chapter XXXV

Angel is distraught by Tess’s confession. He begs her to deny it, but she cannot. He flees the house, and Tess follows after him. For hours, they walk the grounds of the mansion. Tess tells her husband that she will do anything he asks and even offers to drown herself. Angel orders her to go back to the house. When he returns, Tess is asleep. After an uncomfortable moment looking at the d’Urberville ladies’ portraits, Angel goes to sleep in a different room.

Summary: Chapter XXXVI

Three miserable days go by, during which Angel spends his time at the mill or with his studies. Tess wonders if they should get a divorce, but she learns that the law does not allow divorces. Finally, Tess offers to go home, and Angel tells her she should go.

Summary: Chapter XXXVII

Clare came close, and bent over her. “Dead, dead, dead!” he murmured.

(See Important Quotations Explained)

That night, Tess wakes up and discovers that Angel is sleepwalking. He stumbles into Tess’s room and seizes her in his arms. Moaning that his wife is dead, he carries her over a narrow bridge and into the churchyard, where he lays her in a coffin. Tess carefully leads Angel back into the house, and in the morning he shows no recollection of the event.

The couple makes a brief stop at the dairy on their way to Marlott. They behave awkwardly together in public. Angel leaves Tess near her village, telling her that he will try to accept her past, but that she should not try to come to him until he comes for her.

Summary: Chapter XXXVIII

Tess returns home dolefully and confesses to her mother what has happened. Mrs. Durbeyfield calls her a fool, and Mr. Durbeyfield finds it hard to believe Tess is even married. Tess is miserable at home, and when a letter arrives from Angel informing Tess that he has begun looking for a farm in the north, Tess seizes the excuse to leave and tells her family that she is going to join her husband. She gives them half of the fifty pounds Angel gave her and leaves her home.

Summary: Chapter XXXIX

Three weeks after their marriage, Angel visits his parents and tells them he is traveling to Brazil and not taking Tess. His parents are alarmed and disappointed, but Angel tells them they will meet Tess in a year, when he returns.

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