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Chapters 16, 17, and 18

Phase The Third: The Rally

Chapter 16

Tess makes her way to the dairy, glad to be leaving, especially for the sake of her younger siblings to whom she fears she is a bad example. On her trip, she sees the old d'Urberville tombs and scorns their name. Her new surroundings are more expansive and outstretched, with a clear river flowing through as if providing life to everything it touches. Tess' spirits are high, thinking that at the age of 20, there are still many grand opportunities to change her streak of bad luck. Tess arrives at milking-time and sees the dairy's employees round up the cows to be milked.

Chapter 17

The dairy milkers all milk in much the same way: on a stool, with faces cocked sideways and resting on the cow. The head dairyman, Mr. Crick, spies and greets her, welcoming her quickly and then getting down to business. He cautions her to do a good job milking them, otherwise they get prematurely dry, and she immediately sets to work after drinking a cup of milk to relieve her thirst from her journey.
Tess notices one milker in particular, a young man whom even Mr. Crick calls Sir. Upon observing his face, she realizes that it is the same man whom she regretted not being able to dance with at the Marlott club-walking. He does not recall her, to her relief, but she does note that he is more educated, refined, and handsome than the other males at the house. Tess, herself, is also praised for her own good looks by the other dairymaids.
When the milking is done, Tess heads indoors, finding lodging in the dairyhouse, along with a few other maids. Being tired from her journey, she falls to bed immediately. One of the maids tries to tell her about her new home, including some particulars about Angel Clare. She learns that he is a parson's son learning his hand at various agricultural branches and too gentlemanly to consider any of the country girls romantically. It is obvious that these other maids are interested in Angel from their dreamy descriptions.

Chapter 18

Angel Clare's reason for being at the dairy stems from his differences in opinion from his father, a very religious parson from Emminster. Angel, unlike his two older brothers, does not attend a university, even though he shows the most promise. His deviance is precipitated when his father intercepts a book of Angel's, which he considers to be blasphemous. Angel replies that he is curious about the system of philosophy only, but that indeed, he does not wish to have an official religious future although he loves the Church very much. His disappointed parents decide not to send him to college if he does not plan on entering the Church, and Angel accepts his fate, having grown to disdain material wealth and rank. A friend excites him about being a farmer in the Colonies in America, and seeing this as an opportunity to eventual freedom and intellectual liberty, Angel sets about trying to learn the intricacies of farming, and so he comes to be at Talbothays. His interactions with country folk have made him very fond of them.
He also lives in the dairyhouse, in the attic by himself, and takes his meals with the Cricks and the other resident milkers, even though he is somewhat outcast because of Mrs. Crick's concern for his gentlemanly status. Angel does not notice Tess at first, until one morning when he discerns her nice voice among the others in conversation. He immediately has an opinion that she is a fine example of a good and wholesome country girl. He feels he has met her before, though he cannot pinpoint where, which causes him to have a keen interest in Tess.

Browse all book notes

Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Chapters 1, 2, and 3
Chapters 4, 5, and 6
Chapters 7, 8, and 9
Chapters 10 and 11
Chapters 12, 13, 14, and 15
Chapters 16, 17, and 18
Chapters 19, 20, and 21
Chapters 22, 23, and 24
Chapters 25, 26, and 27
Chapters 28, 29, and 30
Chapters 31 and 32
Chapters 33 and 34
Chapters 35, 36, and 37
Chapters 38, 39, and 40
Chapters 41, 42, 43, and 44
Chapters 45, 46, 47, and 48
Chapters 49, 50, 51, and 52
Chapters 53, 54, and 55
Chapters 56, 57, 58, and 59


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