Jiffynotes index page

\\ home \ Tess of the D'Urbervilles:
Chapters 31 and 32

Chapter 31

After Tess writes to her mother, Joan Durbeyfield writes back quickly congratulating her but cautioning her not to reveal her past intimacy with Alec d'Urberville. Tess' love for Angel is strong, and they become an inseparable pair. Angel remarks on how delightful it will be when they are married, and his whole family can see the proof that she is a real d'Urberville.
One evening, all of a sudden, Tess cries out that she is not worthy of Angel and wonders why he could not have loved her when he saw her at the dance to spare her the years she spent without him. Angel lovingly calls her capricious with her fits and asks when they shall set their wedding-day. She cannot decide on a date, saying that she likes things as they are. Just then, the Cricks and two milkmaids come across the two and Tess springs up from embarrassment. Still, the Cricks say they were already aware of the relationship and are happy for them.
Later that night, the girls stay up and talk to Tess about Angel, disappointed that they will marry even though they do not hate Tess for her luck. Tess says that he should really be marrying one of them since they are better than her, and then she bursts out crying. The girls see that they have upset Tess, and speak no further on the issue. However, Tess, through her tears, resolves to reveal her entire past to Angel, against her mother's wishes, since she can no longer bear the deception.

Chapter 32

This dilemma keeps Tess from naming a wedding day, but she soon knows that she cannot postpone any longer. The year is ending, as is Angel's time on the farm, and since Crick no longer needs her services, Angel sees it as the perfect time to be wed. Though Tess is not entirely willing, she finally agrees to marry him at the end of the year so that they can leave the dairy together. The Cricks are sad to lose Tess, since they had divined that she would be more than a dairymaid from the moment they laid eyes on her.
Tess writes to her mother again, informing her of the date of the wedding, but receives no reply. Meanwhile, Angel decides that he also wishes to learn the workings of a flour-mill should he decide to incorporate corn growing on his farm. He informs Tess that after their marriage, they will spend a short while at the Wellbridge flour mills, and he excitedly relays the little known fact that their lodgings during that time had been used by the d'Urbervilles in the past. Afterwards, they will tour some of the farms on the other side of London and then pay a visit to his parents.
Tess fears that Angel has forgotten to announce their wedding date at church at the proper time, but Angel informs her that they will use a marriage license instead. Tess is much relieved that there will be no opportunity at church to stop the wedding using the license. She is even more delighted when packages arrive for her containing a wedding dress ordered by Angel. She tries on the outfit and is reminded of a tune her mother used to sing about the fate of a woman who has done wrong, and again Tess is haunted by her past.

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


Copyright © 1999 - Jiffynotes.com. All Rights Reserved.
To cite information from this page, please cite the date when you
looked at our site and the author as Jiffynotes.com.
Privacy Statement