Mrs. Durbeyfield is Tess’s mother, and the primary caregiver for the multiple Durbeyfield children. Despite the many responsibilities she has, the novel emphasizes Mrs. Durbeyfield’s ineptitude as a parent, characterizing her someone who lacks gentleness and consideration for others. Though not cruel, Mrs. Durbeyfield is not the nurturing type and often appears detached. In fact, Tess is shown to be a much more responsible and suitable caregiver to the children than her mother. Mrs. Durbeyfield’s selfishness and simple-minded nature cause her to support her husband in his plan to marry Tess off, a plan that coincides perfectly with the one Mrs. Durbeyfield already has for Tess—marrying rich. Much of Tess’s life has been dictated by what her mother decides for her. When things do not turn out the way Mrs. Durbeyfield intends, not only is she disappointed, but she takes it personally. Mrs. Durbeyfield, on many occasions, becomes upset with Tess for making decisions that contrast her mother’s visions for her future. Despite this tension, Mrs. Durbeyfield is always quick to forgive Tess, as Tess is often the primary income provider for the family.