Tess of the d'Urbervilles

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Tess of the d'Urbervilles Chapter 28 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Angel is not upset by Tess's refusal, and he is reassured that she already let him court her, although he doesn't realize that flirting in the fields is much freer and more common than in stifled middle-class homes.
Angel still condescends to Tess, presuming he knows her line of reasoning, and in doing so once again his social background contrasts itself with Tess's.
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Angel asks again about her refusal, and Tess repeats that she is not good enough for him. She affirms that she loves him, and enjoys being with him, but says it is for Angel's own good that they cannot marry. Angel thinks she is just being self-deprecating, so he compliments her all the more, which just makes her sadder once she is alone again.
Tess determinedly keeps sacrificing herself, trying to make her natural inner passions subject to her social guilt. Angel cannot even conceive of his ideal woman having any kind of hidden flaws, which of course makes it all the harder for her to reveal them.
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Tess struggles within herself now, shaken by Angel's persuasive words. She had decided before Talbothays that she would never marry, as she might cause pain to her husband. Tess wonders why no one has told Angel her history, as she lived not so far away. Her roommates look at her sadly but without bitterness.
Her inner turmoil continues. It is only convention and Angel's preconceived notions that inspire her guilt. Again, if all was in accord with Nature she could love the man she loves and be unaffected by society's judgment.
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Tess has never experienced such simultaneous extremes of pleasure and pain before. Mr. Crick and his wife seemed to have figured out the relationship, so they leave Angel and Tess alone often. One day they are breaking up cheese curds and Angel takes her hand and kisses her arm. She flushes, pleased at his declaration of love but upset at his renewed proposal.
A romantic scene that should be straightforward and sweet, but is instead complicated by all the issues bubbling beneath the surface of both lovers' emotions.
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Angel begins to grow frustrated and compares her to a fickle city girl, but then he says he knows how pure and innocent she is. Tess almost breaks under her own desire, and she promises to tell Angel about her past. Angel condescendingly compares her experiences to a flower's. Tess agrees to tell him everything Sunday.
Again Angel's idealized version of Tess subsumes the real Tess standing before him. She has to fit his idea of the pure Nature-goddess, and so couldn't possibly have an unhappy past or inner anguish.
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Tess runs off and throws herself into a willow thicket. She feels both joyful and miserable, and realizes that her natural passions are overcoming her intellect, and it is almost inevitable that she will succumb.
Tess seeks out Nature again in her sadness. She sees the hand of fate pushing her forward, and knows that she cannot escape.
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Tess is too agitated to go to work, as she will be teased for being in love. In the evening the trees and moon seem monstrous. The days pass, and it is Saturday, and Tess cries out to herself that she will let Angel marry her, but at the same time she can't bear the guilt of hurting him when he finds out her story.
This outburst is the essence of Tess's pain at this point. The oppressive hand of Victorian society works against her even in her anonymity and rural freedom. She still is not free to follow her heart without guilt.
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