Tess of the D'Urbervilles Contrasting Regions Quotes
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He was in the agricultural world, but not of it. He served fire and smoke; these denizens of the fields served vegetation, weather, frost, and sun. He traveled with this engine from farm to farm, from county to county, for as yet the steam-threshing machine was itinerant in this part of Wessex. […] The long strap which ran from the driving-wheel of his engine to the red thresher under the rick was the sole tie-line between agriculture and him. (47.4)
This guy rents out his steam-thresher to different farmers all over the county, since the technology is still so new that not everyone has their own. But the new technology doesn't seem to have any place in the fields, where tradition and superstition are still the rule. He travels through these rural areas, but he never becomes part of them. He's always an outsider.