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Chapters 35, 36, and 37

Phase The Fifth: The Woman Pays

Chapter 35

Tess' story ends, but she can immediately see from Angel's face that everything has changed. He wants to know if Tess is out of her mind, why she does not tell him earlier, and how she could have deceived him so deeply. She is stunned that though she can forgive Angel, he cannot forgive her, saying that the nature of her offense is not at all comparable to his. He rises and says that he has been loving another woman in the disguise of Tess all this time. Tess pleads for his good favor, telling him that she will do whatever he asks and obey him like his slave. Angel does not buy her grief, calling it another technique for her self-preservation. He cannot stay in the room and leaves the house.
Tess too cannot be in the room, and she follows him, not speaking. But she cannot remain silent for long, asking what she has done that has belied her love for him. Angel admits that indeed she was more sinned against than a sinner herself, and though he forgives her, he cannot love her as before. Moreover, he decries her d'Urberville pedigree, saying that it only gives him one more reason to dislike her now. Tess is miserable and offers to drown herself if it will take away Angel's sorrow, but Angel just tells her to go back to the house. She obliges.
Later that night, Angel also makes his way back and is relieved to see that Tess is asleep. He sees the painting of the d'Urberville dames and is disgusted. Moreover, he knows that he is no longer a slave to his passion, as the night takes away all his past happiness.

Chapter 36

The next morning, Angel tries to convince himself that the previous night did not happen, but Tess tells him that every word she relayed was the truth. Upon hearing that Tess' baby has died but that the man is still alive, Angel is outraged again. Tess tries to bring up the possibility of divorce, but Angel says that he cannot because this is not a good enough reason. This revelation is devastating to Tess who had thought this would be the final escape for Angel and sees what a horrible situation she has dragged Angel into. She admits to trying to kill herself last night, and Angel makes her promise that she will not attempt to do so anymore.
Angel leaves for the flour-mill, and Tess' only company is the woman housekeeper. Tess keeps an eye out for Angel's return and prepares earnestly for his reception. Seeing her act in such a manner, Angel reproaches her and tells her that she must not act like his servant if she is his wife. Angel is extremely cold towards her, showing not even a fraction of affection for the woman he was so devoted to only a few nights ago.
The next day, Angel tells her that he has thought about the future and that for the sake of appearances, they must stay together for a while before parting, though it is not out of any emotion that they do so. He says he cannot stay with her, for fear of despising her. Tess, by now, is resigned to her awful fate, though inwardly she cannot understand Angel's reaction. Angel is afraid that the secret might be revealed at some point in the future, but Tess feels that in so many years from now and in a difference location, who would reproach them? But she is silent. She resolves to go home, and Angel says that as soon as he is settled, he will write to her.

Chapter 37

That night, Tess hears Angel enter her room. He is sleepwalking and fears that Tess is dead. In his delusion, he lifts her and carries her outside, all the while kissing and lamenting his great loss. Tess realizes that he must be dreaming of the Sunday when he had carried her and the other girls over the flooded road. As they continue to walk, she fears that he might in reality drown her, but she is stirred by the hope that they both might be drowned and die together. Instead, he brings her into a church and places her in an old coffin meant for an abbot, before laying down himself and sleeping. Tess realizes that they cannot stay out there, lest they freeze, but she does not want to wake up her husband, lest he be embarrassed that he has conducted himself in this manner. So she continues the ruse by whispering into her husband's ear for them to continue their walk, and they proceed back to the house.
The next morning, Angel does not appear to remember the incident, and Tess does not have the heart to tell him. They head out that morning, and Angel wishes to pass by the dairy again to close up some last minute business. Tess, therefore, to keep up with appearances must accompany him, so together, they feign marital bliss and pay a visit to the Cricks.
At the dairy, Tess and Angel appear as if normal, though the Cricks can tell something is awry. The pair leave together after a short visit, but they soon part ways. Angel tells her that he is not angry at her but that he needs some time, and if he sees fit, he will send for her but she is not to try to come to him before then. Tess then makes her way back to Marlott.

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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