Being names Tess truly means that I am obliged to have read “Tess of the D’ubervilles” by Thomas Hardy at some point of my life. Whether one is familiar with this classic tale or not some very interesting questions can be considered namely, what was the point of no return for Tess?
Was it when her father became convinced that he was the descendant of a Norman knight? Or when Tess caused the death of her family’s only horse thereby forcing her to work for the Duberville (or Stoke) family?
In modern times many would consider the working conditions that Tess endured with Alec Duberville as sexual harassment. But this young woman not only had to endure giving birth to a child of rape, but also watching him die.
A new life emerges for Tess upon becoming a dairymaid. But can anyone, particularly a woman, ever escape their past? Was Tess wrong not to tell Angel about her past? Should we fault her for trying to be happy and marrying her true love? Or should we place some shame on Angel? Was he the real hypocrite for concealing his past relationship but rejecting Tess for what she endured? Would things have been different if Angel came to his senses earlier?
But as we know in life money can be a serious game changer. Perhaps Tess would have waited for Angel to come around if it were not for her and her family’s severe financial straits. There was only two choices in Tess’ mind. Hold onto your last shred of integrity and starve, or let go of your pride and help you and your family survive.
Is that why she agreed to become Alec’s mistress? Did she truly believe that she had lost Angel forever? If that was the case one could understand why Angel’s sudden arrival would cause her to be so mentally disturbed that she would resort to murdering Alec Durberville.
Was this the point of no return for Tess? That is what makes this classic tale so controversial because there are so many viewpoints and opinions one can form. But for my final thought I have to say that the person who has the most to mourn is Angel. He was the product of his time, his upbringing, and his own weaknesses. And sadly he came out the loser on all accounts!
(thanks for checking out my first book review. Be sure to follow Countess Chronicles for more in the future!)