Study Guide

Tess of the D'Urbervilles Phase VII: "Fulfillment," Chapter Fifty-Eight

By Thomas Hardy

Phase VII: "Fulfillment," Chapter Fifty-Eight

  • The next morning, Angel wakes up early and sneaks out to buy some food at a nearby village.
  • Tess doesn't want to leave the house, since they're so secluded there from the outside world.
  • Angel agrees to stay another night.
  • Unfortunately, the caretaker of the house comes by to check things out early the next morning, and sees them while they're asleep.
  • She assumes that they're a rich couple who decided to elope, and doesn't wake them, but she does go to ask her neighbors about what to do.
  • They wake up a few minutes later, and have a vague fear that something's wrong, so they set out again.
  • Angel decides that they had better avoid London and try to make for Bristol, a coastal town where they can find a ship, instead.
  • They head cross-country, and walk well into the night.
  • The moon is behind a cloud, and they almost walk into a huge upright stone.
  • After asking themselves where they could possibly be, they feel around and discover that they're in a huge circle of upright stones, some of which have equally huge stones lying crossways above them.
  • It's Stonehenge, they realize. (Stonehenge is an ancient monument or temple—experts still don't know exactly what it was used for, but the current hypothesis is that it was used for astronomy and star mapping. It's older than old.)
  • Tess stretches out on one of the horizontal stones, which is still warm from the sun, even though it's dark now.
  • She asks Angel to look after 'Liza-Lu if anything should happen to her.
  • Angel promises.
  • Tess goes further, and asks if he would marry 'Liza-Lu if she should die, which she figures she probably will.
  • Angel objects—he doesn't want Tess to die, and it would be kind of weird to marry his sister-in-law.
  • Eventually, Tess falls asleep, and Angel stays next to her, holding her hand.
  • Just as the sun comes up, Angel realizes that they're surrounded by men coming to arrest Tess.
  • He looks for a weapon, but the man in front tells him it's no use.
  • Angel then begs for them at least to allow Tess to finish her sleep, which they agree to.
  • She's not surprised when she wakes up, and says she's ready.