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Tess of the d'Urberville : Text and Analysis Phase 5: The Woman Pays. Dr. Sarwet Rasul. Review of the Previous Session. We started Phase 4 “ The Consequence”. We covered chapters 25 to 34 and finished phase 4. In doing so we covered the following aspects:

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review of the previous session
Review of the Previous Session
  • We started Phase 4 “ The Consequence”.
  • We covered chapters 25 to 34 and finished phase 4.
  • In doing so we covered the following aspects:
    • Explored the text of these chapters
    • Explored related themes
    • Discussed the development of characters
    • Critically analyzed the selected parts of text
today s session
Today’s Session
  • We will start Phase 5 that is titled as “The Woman Pays”
  • We will cover Chapters 35-44 and would finish this phase.
phase 5 chapter 35
Phase 5, Chapter 35
  • The whole chapter is about Angel’s reaction to Tess’s confession.
  • Angel is disturbed by Tess’s confession.
  • He begs her to deny it, but she cannot. He leaves 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.
  • Angel goes to sleep in a different room.

(Let us look at the Text.)


Her narrative ended; even its re-assertions and secondary explanations were done. Tess’s voice throughout had hardly risen higher than its opening tone; there had been no exculpatory phrase of any kind, and she had not wept.

But the complexion even of external things seemed to suffer transmutation as her announcement progressed. The fire in the grate looked impish—demoniacally funny, as if it did not care in the least about her strait. The fender grinned idly, as if it too did not care. The light from the water-bottle was merely engaged in a chromatic problem. All material objects around announced their irresponsibility with terrible iteration. And yet nothing had changed since the moments when he had been kissing her; or rather, nothing in the substance of things. But the essence of things had changed.

When she ceased, the auricular impressions from their previous endearments seemed to hustle away into the corner of their brains, repeating themselves as echoes from a time of supremely purblind foolishness.

Clare performed the irrelevant act of stirring the fire; the intelligence had not even yet got to the bottom of him. …………………………..

text continues
Text Continues

After stirring the embers he rose to his feet; all the force of her disclosure had imparted itself now. His face had withered. In the strenuousness of his concentration he treadled fitfully on the floor. He could not, by any contrivance, think closely enough; that was the meaning of his vague movement. When he spoke it was in the most inadequate, commonplace voice of the many varied tones she had heard from him.


‘Yes, dearest.’

‘Am I to believe this? From your manner I am to take it as true. O you cannot be out of your mind! You ought to be! Yet you are not... My wife, my Tess—nothing in you warrants such a supposition as that?’

‘I am not out of my mind,’ she said.

‘And yet—‘ He looked vacantly at her, to resume with dazed senses: ‘Why didn’t you tell me before? Ah, yes, you would have told me, in a way—but I hindered you, I remember!’

These and other of his words were nothing but the perfunctory babble of the surface while the depths remained paralyzed. He turned away, and bent over a chair. Tess followed him to the middle of the room, where he was, and stood there staring at him with eyes that did not weep. Presently she slid down upon her knees beside his foot, and from this position she crouched in a heap.

‘In the name of our love, forgive me!’ she whispered with a dry mouth. ‘I have forgiven you for the same!’

And, as he did not answer, she said again— …………………….

text continues1
Text continues

…………. ‘You—yes, you do.’

‘But you do not forgive me?’

‘O Tess, forgiveness does not apply to the case! You were one person; now you are another. My God—how can forgiveness meet such a grotesque—prestidigitation as that!’

He paused, contemplating this definition; then suddenly broke into horrible laughter—as unnatural and ghastly as a laugh in hell.

‘Don’t—don’t! It kills me quite, that!’ she shrieked. ‘O have mercy upon me—have mercy!’

He did not answer; and, sickly white, she jumped up.

‘Angel, Angel! what do you mean by that laugh?’ she cried out. ‘Do you know what this is to me?’

He shook his head.

‘I have been hoping, longing, praying, to make you happy! I have thought what joy it will be to do it, what an unworthy wife I shall be if I do not! That’s what I have felt, Angel!’

‘I know that.’

‘I thought, Angel, that you loved me—me, my very self! If it is I you do love, O how can it be that you look and speak so? It frightens me! Having begun to love you, I love you for ever—in all changes, in all disgraces, because you are yourself. I ask no more. Then how can you, O my own husband, stop loving me?’

‘I repeat, the woman I have been loving is not you.’

‘But who?’

‘Another woman in your shape.’

phase 5 chapter 35 discussion points
Phase 5, Chapter 35: Discussion Points


  • Theme of Guilt
  • Theme of Forgiveness
  • Theme of Permanence of Sin

Contrast of Behaviours:

  • Tess forgives him but he does not forgive Tess for the same thing.
  • The intellectual character of the love that Angel feels for Tess becomes apparent in Angel's reaction. He speaks calmly and rationally rather than resorting to a burst of anger at the news. His behavior is cold and clinical, and his words cautious and precise. This contrasts sharply with Tess's emotional behavior, as she vows that she would die for Angel if he were to so demand. This lends a particularly chilling quality to Angel's newfound contempt for Tess: he grounds his objections to Tess in such solid and inarguable ground, as when he contrasts her current self-sacrifice with past self-preservation, that he leaves no room for his own personal flexibility. Angel's principles doom him to forsake the woman that he previously loved.
phase 5 chapter 36
Phase 5, Chapter 36
  • Angel arises at dawn; the neighboring cottager's wife knocks on the door, but he sends her away because her presence is awkward.
  • Angel prepares breakfast, and the two behave civilly to one another, although each of them is in a wretched condition.
  • Three miserable days go by, during which Angel spends his time at the mill or with his studies.
  • Tess continues to do chores around the house for Angel.
  • He scolds her for behaving as a servant and not a wife.
  • Tess breaks into tears, saying that she had told him that she was not respectable enough to marry him, but he urged her.
  • We as readers notice that Angel Clare’s love for Tess is very impractical and ideal.
  • This idealism blocks his acceptance of Tess as it blocked his acceptance of the Church.
  • Since Tess considers herself responsible for it, she asks Angel to divorce her in order to get rid of her.
  • Finally, Tess offers to go home, and Angel also wants her to go.
related text
Related Text

The pair were, in truth, but the ashes of their former fires. To the hot sorrow of the previous night had succeeded heaviness; it seemed as if nothing could kindle either of them to fervour of sensation any more.

He spoke gently to her, and she replied with a like undemonstrativeness. At last she came up to him, looking in his sharply-defined face as one who had no consciousness that her own formed a visible object also.

‘Angel!’ she said, and paused, touching him with her fingers lightly as a breeze, as though she could hardly believe to be there in the flesh the man who was once her lover. Her eyes were bright, her pale cheek still showed its wonted roundness, though half-dried tears had left glistening traces thereon; and the usually ripe red mouth was almost as pale as her cheek. Throbbingly alive as she was still, under the stress of her mental grief the life beat so brokenly that a little further pull upon it would cause real illness, dull her characteristic eyes, and make her mouth thin…………………

text continues2
Text continues

………….She looked absolutely pure. Nature, in her fantastic trickery, had set such a seal of maidenhood upon Tess’s countenance that he gazed at her with a stupefied air.

‘Tess! Say it is not true! No, it is not true!’

‘It is true.’

‘Every word?’ ‘Every word.’

He looked at her imploringly, as if he would willingly have taken a lie from her lips, knowing it to be one, and have made of it, by some sort of sophistry, a valid denial. However, she only repeated—

‘It is true.’

‘Is he living?’ Angel then asked.

‘The baby died.’

‘But the man? ‘He is alive.’

A last despair passed over Clare’s face.

‘Is he in England?’


He took a few vague steps.

‘My position—is this,’ he said abruptly. ‘I thought—any man would have thought—that by giving up all ambition to win a wife with social standing, with fortune, with knowledge of the world, I should secure rustic innocence as surely as I should secure pink cheeks; but—However, I am no man to reproach you, and I will not.’

text continues3
Text continues

Tess felt his position so entirely that the remainder had not been needed. Therein lay just the distress of it; she saw that he had lost all round.

‘Angel—I should not have let it go on to marriage with you if I had not known that, after all, there was a last way out of it for you; though I hoped you would never—‘

Her voice grew husky.

‘A last way?’

‘I mean, to get rid of me. You CAN get rid of me.’


‘By divorcing me.’

‘Good heavens—how can you be so simple! How can I divorce you?’

‘Can’t you—now I have told you? I thought my confession would give you grounds for that.’

‘O Tess—you are too, too—childish—unformed—crude, I suppose! I don’t know what you are. You don’t understand the law—you don’t understand!’

‘What—you cannot?’

‘Indeed I cannot.’

A quick shame mixed with the misery upon his listener’s face.

‘I thought—I thought,’ she whispered. ‘O, now I see how wicked I seem to you! Believe me—believe me, on my soul,

phase 5 chapter 36 discussion points
Phase 5, Chapter 36: Discussion Points
  • This chapter presents Angel’s response to Tess’s sin.
  • It also focuses on Angel's principles and the effects that they have on his marriage to Tess. As earlier established, it is the idealistic perception that he has of Tess that blocks his acceptance of her.
  • He thinks of her either as a wholehearted saint or sinner.
  • We also notice that by remaining tied to his principles of morality, Angel acts far less decently towards Tess than he would if he were to be more subject to his passions.
phase 5 chapter 37
Phase 5, Chapter 37
  • At midnight, Angel enters the bedroom to find Tess asleep.
  • Clare comes close, and bend over her. “Dead, dead, dead!” he murmurs.
  • He, then, carries Tess in his arms, and rolls her in the sheet as in a shroud.
  • In his sleep-walk then he lifts her from the bed and carries her across the room, leaning her against the banister as if to throw her down, but rather kisses her and goes downstairs.
  • Tess realizes that he is dreaming about the Sunday when he carried her across the water with the other milkmaids.
  • He carries her near the river. Tess is afraid that he would drown her.
  • In his sleep he walks through the shallow water of the river carrying her, but they reach the other side in safety; if she had awakened him, they would have fallen into the gulf and both died.
  • Angel carries her to an empty stone coffin, where he lays Tess and then falls down asleep.
  • Tess sits up in the coffin, but does not awake Angel out of fear that he may die if awakened from sleep-walking. She very carefully walks him back to the house.
  • Next morning Tess realizes that he does not remember what happened last night.
  • As they travel to Marlott they take a brief stop at the dairy.
  • We as readers notice that when Tess and Angel leave, Mrs. Crick remarks how unnatural the two look, as if they were in a dream.
  • Angel leaves Tess near her village and departs.
  • He tells Tess that he has no anger, and he will let her know where he is going as soon as he himself knows.
  • He tells her that until he comes to her she should not come to him, and that she should write if she is ill or if she wants anything.
phase 5 chapter 37 discussion points
Phase 5, Chapter 37: Discussion Points
  • Sleepwalk of Angel shows how much he is psychologically disturbed by Tess's revelation.
  • He so fervently believes that his wife is dead that he carries her to a coffin and lays her there.
  • This is a departure from previous chapters in which Hardy has portrayed Angel as coldly observing his principles without any display of affection for his wife. Here the unconscious Angel shows that he still loves the previous conception he had of Tess, yet cannot reconcile it with this new information about her.

Theme of Self Sacrifice:

  • Tess is ready for any sacrifice.
  • Despite the threat to her life she does not awake angel.
  • She is ready to serve as a mere servant.
  • She is ready to die; she is ready to be killed.
  • She is ready for separation.
phase 5 chapter 38
Phase 5, Chapter 38
  • Tess returns home very sad.
  • She attempts to arrive at home unobserved, but cannot. She sees a girl whom she knew from school and claims that her husband is now away at business.
  • Text: Irony of Situation
  • TEXT: At sight of her father’s chimney she asked herself how she could possibly enter the house? Inside that cottage her relations were calmly supposing her far away on a wedding-tour with a comparatively rich man, who was to conduct her to bouncing prosperity; while here she was, friendless, creeping up to the old door quite by herself, with no better place to go to in the world.
  • She confesses to her mother that she has told the truth to Angel.
  • Mrs. Durbeyfield rebukes her for this and calls her a fool. On the other hand her father, Mr. Durbeyfield finds it hard to believe Tess is even married.
  • Tess is miserable at home.
  • She receives a letter from Angel informing her that he has begun looking for a farm in the north.
  • Tess uses this as an excuse to leave her parent’s place by saying that she wants to join her husband.
  • Before she leaves, she gives half of the fifty pounds Angel has given her to her mother.
phase 5 chapter 38 discussion points
Phase 5, Chapter 38: Discussion Points
  • Tess returns to her parents for the second time being humiliated.
  • Theme of Sin:
  • Here the mother of Tess, Joan, becomes a mouthpiece of Hardy to remind Tess that she committed a sin by marrying Angel without telling him about Alec.
  • Tess as a Pawn:
  • Both her parents focus completely on the effect that Tess's marriage has on them. This reminds us of how they they manipulated Tess when they sent her to claim kinship with the d'Urbervilles.
  • To them Tess is only a pawn that they move for their own benefit.
phase 5 chapter 39
Phase 5, Chapter 39
  • Three weeks after their marriage, Angel visits his parents.
  • He informs them that he is traveling to Brazil and not taking Tess along.
  • His parents are alarmed and disappointed, but Angel tells them they will meet Tess in a year, when he returns.
  • Angel tells his parents that he has decided to go to Brazil. They regret that they could not have met his wife and that they did not attend the wedding. Mrs. Clare questions Angel about Tess, asking if he was her first love, and if she is pure and virtuous without question. He answers that she is.
  • Angel’s parents surprise him by reading a biblical passage about how virtuous wives are loving, loyal, selfless, and “working.”
  • It is ironic that Mrs. Clare applies the passage directly to Tess, talking about her wholehearted acceptance of Angel’s choice not to marry a fine lady.
  • As Angel is disturbed by this he leaves the room. Thus Mrs. Clare guesses that Angel discovered something dishonorable in Tess’s past.
  • However, it is interesting that Angel denies this claim of his mother.
phase 5 chapter 39 discussion points
Phase 5, Chapter 39: Discussion Points
  • It is of great importance for us as readers that Angel admits that he may have treated Tess harshly, but at this point he does nothing to make reparations.
  • Rather, he admits his own faults without yet taking steps to amend them.
  • However his guilt over his treatment of Tess builds throughout this chapter.
phase 5 chapter 40
Phase 5, Chapter 40
  • Angel discusses his Brazil plan with his parents at breakfast.
  • Then he goes to bank to put the jewelry in the bank.
  • He arranges to have some additional money sent to Tess, then travels to the Wellbridge Farm to finish some business there.
  • He wonders whether he has been cruelly blinded, and believes that if she had told him sooner he would have forgiven her.
  • At the farm he encounters Izz and invites her to go to Brazil with him.
  • Izz agrees, and says that she loves him. He asks if she loves him more than Tess, and Izz replies that no one could love him as much as Tess did.
  • Finally Angel claims that he does not know what he has been saying, and apologizes for his momentary levity. He tells Izz that she has saved him by her honest words about Tess from an impulse toward folly.
  • Angel sadly takes Izz to her home and leaves for Brazil alone a few days later.
phase 5 chapter 41
Phase 5, Chapter 41
  • It has been eight months that Tess and Angel parted.
  • Tess keeps on working at different dairies near Port Bredy to the west of Blackmoor Valley.
  • She somehow manages to hide from her family that she is separated from her husband.
  • When she runs short of money she has to use the money Angel left for her.
  • Her parents write to her asking for money to help repair the cottage roof, and she sends them nearly everything she has.
  • Though she is short on money, Tess is too ashamed to ask the Clares for money.
  • Meanwhile Angel lies ill from fever in Brazil, having been drenched with thunderstorms and affected other hardships.
  • Tess now journeys to an upland farm to which she had been recommended by Marian, who learned of her separation through Izz. Though it is a tough land to travel to but she decides to do so because she badly needs a job.
  • On her journey, she meets the man whom Angel confronted for addressing Tess coarsely. He tells Tess that she should apologize for allowing Angel to inappropriately defend her honor, but Tess cannot answer him. Tess instead runs away, where she hides in the forested area.
  • She hides there for quite a long time until it is morning. There she finds dying birds around her and helps by relieving them from the pain of life them .
phase 5 chapter 41 some text and discussion points
Phase 5, Chapter 41: Some Text and Discussion Points
  • Text: With the impulse of a soul who could feel for kindred sufferers as much as for herself, Tess’s first thought was to put the still living birds out of their torture, and to this end with her own hands she broke the necks of as many as she could find, leaving them to lie where she had found them till the game-keepers should come—as they probably would come—to look for them a second time.
  • ‘Poor darlings—to suppose myself the most miserable being on earth in the sight o’ such misery as yours!’ she exclaimed, her tears running down as she killed the birds tenderly. ‘And not a twinge of bodily pain about me! I be not mangled, and I be not bleeding, and I have two hands to feed and clothe me.’ She was ashamed of herself for her gloom of the night, based on nothing more tangible than a sense of condemnation under an arbitrary law of society which had no foundation in Nature.

Theme of Death as an End to Suffering :

  • When Tess kills the dying birds that were shot by the hunting party, she demonstrates her compassion and sympathy with the afflicted. She demonstrates mercy by sparing the animals' pain; although a direct analogy between Tess and the wounded birds is a drastic oversimplification, this event nevertheless introduces the idea of death as a compassionate end to suffering and thus appropriately frames and foreshadows the inevitable end to Tess.
phase 5 chapter 42
Phase 5, Chapter 42
  • Tess starts again alone toward Chalk-Newton, where she has breakfast at an inn.
  • At this inn there are several young men who give comments and compliments to Tess on her beauty.
  • Tess takes to making herself ugly to protect herself from lustful men.
  • She covers her chin and cuts off her eyebrows. She also dresses in old, unattractive clothing.
  • When Tess reaches the farm near the village of Flintcomb-Ash, Marian is curious about Angel, but Tess asks her not to inquire about him.
  • The place is barren and rough. Hardy’s use of imagery compliments the poor condition of Tess.
  • The owner of the farm agrees to give Tess a job, and Tess sends her new address to her parents.
some text chapter 42
Some text Chapter 42

Marian was quite respectful in her inquiries, but seemed much moved by the fact that Tess should still continue in no better condition than at first; though she had dimly heard of the separation.

‘Tess—Mrs Clare—the dear wife of dear he! And is it really so bad as this, my child? Why is your cwomely face tied up in such a way? Anybody been beating ‘ee? Not HE?’

‘No, no, no! I merely did it not to be clipsed or colled, Marian.’

She pulled off in disgust a bandage which could suggest such wild thoughts.

‘And you’ve got no collar on’ (Tess had been accustomed to wear a little white collar at the dairy).

‘I know it, Marian.’ ‘You’ve lost it travelling.’

‘I’ve not lost it. The truth is, I don’t care anything about my looks; and so I didn’t put it on.’

‘And you don’t wear your wedding-ring?’

‘Yes, I do; but not in public. I wear it round my neck on a ribbon. I don’t wish people to think who I am by marriage, or that I am married at all; it would be so awkward while I lead my present life.’

phase 5 chapter 43
Phase 5, Chapter 43
  • Tess sets to work at Flintcomb-Ash, sustained by her sense of patience.
  • Marian now has alcohol as her only comfort.
  • She suggests that they should invite IzzHuett and Retty.
  • Marian soon hears from Izz that she is coming.
  • The winter is particularly harsh so by so that one day practically it becomes impossible to work.
  • Marian tells Tess that the harsh weather improves Tess's beauty, and that her husband should see her now. Tess asks her not to mention him.
  • When Marian asserts that Angle should not have left her we notice that Tess defends Angel.
  • Text: ‘He was a very splendid lover, no doubt,’ she said; ‘but I don’t think he is a too fond husband to go away from you so soon.’
  • ‘He had to go—he was obliged to go, to see about the land over there!’ pleaded Tess.
  • ‘He might have tided ‘ee over the winter.’
  • ‘Ah—that’s owing to an accident—a misunderstanding; and we won’t argue it,’ Tess answered, with tearfulness in her words. ‘Perhaps there’s a good deal to be said for him! He did not go away, like some husbands, without telling me; and I can always find out where he is.’
chapter continues
Chapter Continues
  • To much distress Tess finds that her employer is the Trantridge native from whom she had taken flight.
  • The man enjoys the fact that he has regained his superior position. Tess does not answer him, so he demands an apology.
  • Tess continues to work, but she finally sinks down upon a heap of wheat-ears at her feet. Marian cries out that the work requires harder flesh than hers.
  • The farmer suddenly enters and reprimands her for not working. Izz and Marian continue working to make up for Tess after the farmer leaves.
  • Tess also comes to know from Marian Angel asked Izz to accompany him to Brazil, but changed his mind later on. Tess cries at this news, thinking that she has been wrong and neglectful.
  • She also tries to write a letter to him.

(Let us read some relevant Text.)

chapter 43 closing text
Chapter 43: Closing Text

‘Well, yes. Izz said, ‘Don’t ‘ee tell her’; but I am sure I can’t help it! It was what he wanted Izz to do. He wanted her to go off to Brazil with him.’

Tess’s face faded as white as the scene without, and its curves straightened. ‘And did Izz refuse to go?’ she asked.

‘I don’t know. Anyhow he changed his mind.’

‘Pooh—then he didn’t mean it! ‘Twas just a man’s jest!’

‘Yes he did; for he drove her a good-ways towards the station.’

‘He didn’t take her!’

They pulled on in silence till Tess, without any premonitory symptoms, burst out crying.

‘There!’ said Marian. ‘Now I wish I hadn’t told ‘ee!’

‘No. It is a very good thing that you have done! I have been living on in a thirtover, lackaday way, and have not seen what it may lead to! I ought to have sent him a letter oftener. He said I could not go to him, but he didn’t say I was not to write as often as I liked. I won’t dally like this any longer! I have been very wrong and neglectful in leaving everything to be done by him!’

The dim light in the barn grew dimmer, and they could see to work no longer. When Tess had reached home that evening, and had entered into the privacy of her little white-washed chamber, she began impetuously writing a letter to Clare. But falling into doubt, she could not finish it. Afterwards she took the ring from the ribbon on which she wore it next her heart, and retained it on her finger all night, as if to fortify herself in the sensation that she was really the wife of this elusive lover of hers, who could propose that Izz should go with him abroad, so shortly after he had left her. Knowing that, how could she write entreaties to him, or show that she cared for him any more?

phase 5 chapter 43 discussion points
Phase 5, Chapter 43: Discussion Points

Recurring Themes:

  • Theme of Permanence of Sin
  • Theme of Guilt
phase 5 chapter 44
Phase 5, Chapter 44
  • Tess wonders why her husband has not written to her, for he had told him that he would at least let her know of his whereabouts.
  • She wonders whether he is indifferent or ill.
  • To know about the circumstances of Angel she decides to visit Angel’s family.
  • On a Sunday morning, the only morning in which Tess may leave, Tess leaves for Emminster to discover what has happened to him and begins the long walk to the vicarage.
  • She takes off her boots and hides them, planning to put them on again for the walk home.
  • When Tess reaches the home of the Clares at Emminster, nobody answers, for they are all at church.
  • She overhears Angel’s brothers discussing Angel’s unfortunate marriage, and when they find her boots, they assume they belong to a peasant. Tess is ashamed and unhappy and decides not to meet Angel’s family after all.
  • Text: ‘Ah!’ she said, still sighing in pity of herself, ‘THEY didn’t know that I wore those over the roughest part of the road to save these pretty ones HE bought for me—no—they did not know it! And they didn’t think that HE chose the colour o’ my pretty frock—no—how could they? If they had known perhaps they would not have cared, for they don’t care much for him, poor thing!’
  • Tess leaves Emminster and reaches the village of Evershead, where she comes to know a great Christian man is preaching.
  • She continues her journey and comes across a barn in which a passionate sermon is being delivered. She looks inside, and recognizes the preacher as Alec d’Urberville who is delivering a sermon on justification by faith .
phase 5 chapter 44 discussion points
Phase 5, Chapter 44: Discussion Points
  • With reference to this chapter a few things are important:
  • Continuously suffering and facing indignities.
  • The reappearance of Alec d'Urberville again foreshadows some happenings.
  • Irony of the situation:
  • Angel who is the son of a very strictly religious and moral minister finds himself a businessman, while the unscrupulous hedonist becomes a fundamentalist preacher. It is even more ironic that his conversion is brought by Angel’s own father Reverend Clare.
  • However, doubt are raised by the amount to which Alec has changed since Tess has left Trantridge.
chapter 44 closing text
Chapter 44: Closing Text
  • Tess was all the more interested, as she stood listening behind, in finding that the preacher’s doctrine was a vehement form of the view of Angel’s father, and her interest intensified when the speaker began to detail his own spiritual experiences of how he had come by those views. He had, he said, been the greatest of sinners. He had scoffed; he had wantonly associated with the reckless and the lewd. But a day of awakening had come, and, in a human sense, it had been brought about mainly by the influence of a certain clergyman, whom he had at first grossly insulted; but whose parting words had sunk into his heart, and had remained there, till by the grace of Heaven they had worked this change in him, and made him what they saw him.
  • But more startling to Tess than the doctrine had been the voice, which, impossible as it seemed, was precisely that of Alec d’Urberville. Her face fixed in painful suspense, she came round to the front of the barn, and passed before it. The low winter sun beamed directly upon the great double-doored entrance on this side; one of the doors being open, so that the rays stretched far in over the threshing-floor to the preacher and his audience, all snugly sheltered from the northern breeze. The listeners were entirely villagers, among them being the man whom she had seen carrying the red paint-pot on a former memorable occasion. But her attention was given to the central figure, who stood upon some sacks of corn, facing the people and the door. The three o’clock sun shone full upon him, and the strange enervating conviction that her seducer confronted her, which had been gaining ground in Tess ever since she had heard his words distinctly, was at last established as a fact indeed. END OF PHASE THE FIFTH
overall comments on phase 5
Overall Comments on Phase 5
  • Phase the Fifth, “The Woman Pays,” as the title of the phase shows, marks the suffering of Tess.
  • In addition, the decline of Tess’s physical appearance also indicates the sharp downturn in her life. We notice that she even cuts off her eyebrows to make herself unattractive to lustful young men.
  • In terms of plot it is important that Tess’s reencounter with Alec d’Urberville is brought at a point of her greatest weakness and maximum suffering. s she has gone to ask for help from Angel’s parents. While “[grieving] for the beloved man whose unyielding judgment has caused her all these later sorrows,” she encounters the man who condemned her to that judgment, and the stage is set for Tess’s hardest challenge: to avoid the temptation to give in to Alec d’Urberville again in order to help herself and her family.

As far as References of Materials Used are concerned at the end of the novel the whole list of references would be given in the last session of the novel.

summary of the session
Summary of the Session
  • We started Phase 5 that is titled as “The Woman Pays”
  • We covered Chapters 35-44 and finished this phase.