Study Guide

Tess of the D'Urbervilles Phase V: "The Woman Pays," Chapter Thirty-Five

By Thomas Hardy

Phase V: "The Woman Pays," Chapter Thirty-Five

  • Tess finishes her story without raising her voice or shedding a single tear.
  • Angel is beyond shocked. He can't believe it.
  • He asks why she didn't tell him before, and then remembers that she had tried, repeatedly.
  • She begins to cry now, and begs to be forgiven.
  • He says that forgiveness has nothing to do with it—she isn't the same person he was in love with.
  • She continues to cry, and promises to do anything he asks her to do.
  • Angel still loves her, but is trying to suppress his feelings.
  • He goes outside and, after a few moments, she follows him.
  • He ignores her.
  • She tells him she was a child when it happened, and didn't understand her danger until it was too late.
  • He admits that she was "more sinned against than sinning," but even as he admits that it wasn't her fault, he can't bring himself to say that he still loves her.
  • As they walk along the river, Tess offers to drown herself so that she'll be out of his way.
  • Of course he tells her not to be a fool, and asks her to go inside and go to bed.
  • She obeys.
  • He wanders around more before coming upstairs, and he finds her asleep.
  • He's inclined to relent, and forgive her, but then he catches another glimpse of one of the D'Urberville ladies in one of the portraits. He sees the resemblance again, and it seems to him that her relationship to that old family is part of her guilt.
  • He leaves the room, and lies on a couch in the living room, totally miserable.