Richard Crick: Character Analysis in Tess of the d'Urbervilles

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The Physique

      Mr. Richard Crick is a dairy-man of the great Dairy of Talbothays. He is looking somewhat finer dressed and is quite distinguished from others owing to his middle-agedness and attractive personality is the master of the dairy. We see him for the first time, with the eyes of Tess in his long white pinner and a jacket underneath his wraps. He is presenting a marketing aspect of the dairy.

      We come to know by and by that he has a double personality. Continuously for six days of the week, he is the Dairyman busy in his milking and butter making like all his servants; but on the seventh day he is a man in shining broadcloth with his family ready to march to the Church.

A Kind-Hearted Master

      Nearly hundred milkers are there under his management and about eight to ten cows are milked by one servant. This way, he is the master of so many men, but it is really a wonder that he never treats them like his servants. He takes everyone to be his equal. He is always kind, always helpful. When Tess arrives for the first time in the Dairy he wants that, that day she should not work and should take complete rest to remove the fatigue of the journey. He forwards every kind of facility to the maids like Izz, Marian, Retty and Tess; he gives them shelter under his own roof. Gives them breakfast and other meals on his own table. He keeps no distance between his ownself and his maids. He behaves with them as a father does with his children. Since a few days back Tess has fainted he asks her to stop the work, because he himself feels that it is too hot. His affectionate language is worth noting.

      Upon my soul and body, this here stooping do fairly make my back open and shut. And you, maidy Tess, you wasn't well a day or two ago—this will make your headache finely. Don’t do anymore, if you feel faintly, leave the rest to finish it. A master never wants that his work should be delayed, therefore, his intention remains always to keep his servants busy.

      Again, when Angel and Tess are married he provides them quite homely atmosphere and himself becomes their friend to give them a very grand feast. When they depart, he is much grieved; he is more grieved when he comes to know about the drowning of Retty and drinking of Marian.

      But he never likes deliberate shirking. One who shirks, he rebukes him very harshly. Old Deborah, who lives in the nearby village often comes late and Crick is always angry with her. Others who are sincere, get full prize for their labor.

Master of His Work

      He is very much experienced in his work. Everything he can do with his own hands. He knows which cow will suit whom; he knows when to send a cow for calving; he knows the reasons of turning of the milk sour. He also knows the influential effects of music on cows. Like a greater director of film industry, he directs every servant. He is sincere in his trade and to his customer. A single complaint is sufficient for him to put the whole day’s labor of all the servants and to root out the garlic plants from the grazing field.


      He and his wife both are superstitious. Both belief in strange stories. If the butter does not come out despite hours of churning, surely someone is in love with someone. Then there is a story related by this poor simpleton. His conversations provide very interesting matters on certain occasions.

A God Fearing Person

      It is not only the fear of God which forces him to go to Church on every Sunday. He does so out of his love for Church. He has a great respect for the vicars and clergymen. Since Angel is the son of the most earnest and most reverend priest, he gives him his due respect and a distinguished place. His wife also respects him and gives him insistingly a separate taste for his breakfast. When he goes to his parents, the couple sends some pudding and mead to them. He has no ambition except that he does not want to die of hunger.

Main Aspects of the Characters in a Nut-Shell

1. A distinguished personality in the Dairy.
2. He is a kind hearted master, but does not like shirking.
3. He is the master of his trade.
4. His nature is superstitious.
5. He is a God fearing and God-loving man.
6. He has no ambition.

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