Mr. Durbeyfield is Tess’s father and the head of the Durbeyfield household. Characterized by his laziness and failing health, Mr. Durbeyfield is anything but a model father. His covetous nature combined with his hatred for work leads Mr. Durbeyfield to seek easy routes to money, including using his children as income providers. When Mr. Durbeyfield learns that his family is descended from the noble d’Urbervilles, he concocts a plan to use Tess, his eldest daughter, to marry the Durbeyfields into a prosperous and financially beneficial marriage. This plan serves as an example of both Mr. Durbeyfield’s disregard for Tess’s well-being and desires as well as his intelligence—he may be selfish and lazy, but Mr. Durbeyfield is quick to see the value in capitalizing on the d’Urbervilles connection. After Tess separates from Angel due to his inability to forgive her promiscuity, she returns home to care for her ill mother. Instead of her mother’s passing, however, the family is soon faced with the passing of Mr. Durbeyfield.