Tess of the d’Urbervilles By Thomas Hardy

Tess of the d’Urbervilles

By Thomas Hardy

Four main characters (and
one-sentence description of each)

Tess Durbeyfield - She is the main character
who is raped, then married, but shunned by her husband because of the rape
while before they were married, he had an affair.

Alec d’Urberville - He is a man believed
by the Durbeyfield’s to be a relative, but Tess finds out that he is no
relative. He falls in love with Tess and rapes her.

Angel Clare - Tess met him at Talbothay’s
farm and they fell in love to later get married but separated immediately
after the marriage.

Joan Durbeyfield - She is Tess’ mother
who pushed Tess to find help in the d’Urbervilles only to get Tess raped,
and tells Tess to never mention the rape or the child to anyone.

Two minor characters (and
one-sentence description of each)

Marian - She was a worker at Talbothay’s
with Tess and fell in love with Angel like Tess, but after Tess married

Angel, she remained strong and helped Tess find work after Angel left.

The Clare’s - These are the members of

Angel’s family who did not know of Tess’ problems, but would have helped
her if they did.

Three main settings (and one-sentence description
of each)

Marlott - This is Tess’ home town where
she grew up and returned to after the incident at the d’Urbervilles.

Alec d’Urberville’s house - Tess went to
stay at this house after their family fell in need and sought help from
the supposed relatives.

Talbothays - Trying to find a new life,

Tess came here and met Angel whom she fell in love with and married despite
competition from three other girls.

One paragraph plot outline

The father of the Durbeyfield household
is wandering home when he is told that he is of the ancient line of the
d’Urbervilles, a once powerful family. Knowing this, he returns home
happy and relays the news to his family. Although being from a once
great family, his current family is in need and decides to seek help from
relatives by the name of d’Urberville. The family sent Tess to ask
them for help. Tess went and began working for them. However,
she finds out that they are not truly of the d’Urberville line and simply
changed their names to d’Urberville. Also, she finds out that the
son of the house, Alec, is not of good character. He rapes her and
she gets pregnant. She leaves for home in a bad mood. Gives
birth, and works with the other girls in the fields. The baby dies
and Tess decides to look for a new life elsewhere where no one knows of
her and the incident after promising herself that she would never get married.

She ends up at Talbothays working as a milk maid. There, she meets
three girls and a man, Angel Clare, working there. She and the other
three girls like Angel, but Angel picks Tess out of the three. They
fall in love, and get married. However, Tess never told Angel about
the rape and the child until the night after the wedding. Although
he had an affair before the wedding, he grows furious and leaves her to
go to America where he grows ill. In the meantime, Tess returns home
distraught and seeks to flee from her troubles. She meets Alec who
still loves her and keeps pressing her to marry him saying that Angel is
never going to come back. Marian, one of the girls who liked Angel,
finds Tess work at the farm she works at. There she works for a year
before deciding to live with Alec. She lives with Alec for a while
before Angel comes back expressing his continuing love for her. However,
to leave Alec, she murders him and leaves with Angel. They stay in
a house on the way home for a week. However, when they leave, Tess
is arrested for murder and executed. Angel marries Tess’ younger
sister as Tess’ last wish.

Two symbols and references

The pillar with the hand print - This pillar
symbolizes Tess’ guilt of adultery and murder. Alec says that it
was erected by the druid’s for some punishment, while others say it was
a cross. Tess was arrested after sleeping by it.

Tess’ baby - This baby symbolized Tess’
bad circumstances which was out of Tess’ control. It symbolizes innocence
in a sense since this baby was innocent having done nothing wrong, but
it was punished by society for coming from such an evil act. Having
been raped, Tess was also innocent of the crime, but she was still punished
and pushed aside