Tess of the DUrbervilles
Thomas Hardy
Contributed by Harvey Landy
Chapter 35
Summary

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.

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