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Chapters 41, 42, 43, and 44

Chapter 41

Tess, meanwhile, has left her home, finding irregular positions here and there to support herself, not wanting to live off Angel's allowance. However, during a bout of bad weather, she has to fall back on her husband's money. Moreover, she learns that her family needs a new roof, and accordingly, she sends them some money as well. Soon, she is broke, parting with her last bill reluctantly, it being her last symbol of Angel's presence in her life. Nonetheless, though she is without funds, she does not petition Angel's parents for money, as he instructs her to do. At the same time, Angel is feverishly ill in Brazil owing to the inclement weather.
Tess has initial difficulty finding employment, until a letter reaches her from Marian informing her of an opening at her dairyhouse some distance away. She decides to accept the offer, but on her way there, she meets up with same man whom Angel hits after he insults her. Unable to answer his harsh inquiries, she runs away from him and hides. In her reclusion under a tree, she hears strange noises in the night. In the morning, she learns that the sounds are from dying birds, shot by hunters and as yet uncollected, and seeing their misery, she ends their suffering by killing them. She knows that her pain is nothing in comparison to theirs.

Chapter 42

As Tess continues to make her way to Marian's dairy house, she passes many strangers who comment on her nice looks. Made extremely uncomfortable by their stares, she makes herself look as unattractive as possible, and she is like that when she comes across Marian. Her friend knows that Angel has left her but she is shocked that Tess has fallen in appearances to such a large degree, but Tess does not wish to talk about it. The mistress of the house hires Tess to work until Old Lady-Day, and Tess finds lodging nearby. She writes to her parents to let them know where she is, so they can forward any mail Angel might send to her at Marlott.

Chapter 43

The new place is a destitute and dreary place, but Marian and Tess work hard alongside each other. Even when the rains come, they do not stop, knowing that if they do not work, they do not get paid. Marian talks much of their old times at Talbothays, and even though Tess does not wish to think about Angel, she falls to the irresistibility of remembering old times. Marian admits to her excessive drinking, but says that it is her only comfort after losing Angel. Caught up in the good times, Marian decides to write to Izz and Retty to see if they would be willing to come work and relive Talbothays.
Winter soon arrives and comes on strong. She and Marian now have indoor tasks, until the weather changes. Izz arrives soon enough to join the other two. Tess also meets her new employer and learns that he is the same man from whom she had run away on the road and that Angel hit that night in the inn. He, Farmer Groby, does not like her and criticizes her handiwork in comparison to the other girls, even though Tess is new to the job. Tess is determined to stay overtime to finish up her job, and Marian and Izz stay with her. When Izz tires, she heads off to bed, leaving Marian and Tess to finish up. Marian, though sworn into Izz's confidence, cannot help but relay Izz's encounter with Angel to Tess. Tess bursts into tears and resolves to write to Angel, which she has not yet done, to declare her love for him, thinking Izz's story proves his mutual affection. Yet, she cannot finish the letter and it is unsent. She wonders, if he loved her, how could he have propositioned Izzy so shortly after their marriage?

Chapter 44

Tess is disturbed that she has still received no news from Angel. Her only point of contact with him is through his parents at Emminster Vicarage, but she does not make contact with them. Still she is hopeful that they might be understanding of her plight, and she decides to pay them a visit one Sunday to see if they have news about Angel.
The journey is long, but Tess carries on, but the more she walks, the less confident she is of herself and her ability to talk with Angel's parents. Before she makes her presence known, she hides her thick walking boots and puts on her shoes. Then she rings the doorbell, but everyone is at church, so she decides to wait for them. Not wanting for them to see her out in the open when they return, she retreats slightly. She becomes timid about making herself known and begins to walk away.
She overhears a conversation involving Angel's two brothers who find and confiscate her boots, thinking they belong to some poor soul who is trying to deceive the town into paying him kindness. Tess is saddened, and makes a final retreat. Coming across an old woman who tells her about the preaching of a fiery young man in a nearby barn, Tess makes her way there. The doctrine being preached is similar to that encouraged by Angel's father, but Tess is startled to see that the preacher is none other than Alec d'Urberville.

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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