Tess of the d'Urbervilles: Chapter 10 - Summary

Also Read

      Every village has its own customs, its own rites, its own ways to behave and enjoy and often its own code of morality. The people of Trantridge had also a custom which should be called a defect. On every Saturday they went to the market in the nearby town Chaseborough, shopped there, danced and drank there. Almost always late at night they reached their houses. Being unfamiliar with the customs there, Tess long hesitated to move to the town. But on one Saturday she was pressed hard by the girls of her own age and she started paying regular visits to the town, since then. Often she would go alone, but while returning she always sought some company.

      It so happened that the market day and a fair, both arrived on a Saturday. The people started towards the town with more zeal and enlightened hearts. Tess had come today alone. Soon she was free from her working. She was searching for a company, that on a crossing Alec met her and presented his company. Tess refused to have the lift in his coach. She went to the place where the Trantridge villagers were busy in their jovialities. They were hard drunk and on every sound of dance a man or a woman collapsed. It was getting very late. She asked them to set off, but they did not. There also Alec pleaded her to have a lift but in vain.

      When they started towards the village it was very late. The moonlight was making the effects of the wine more intense. The village girls were walking in a very jolly mood, all conversing, putting remarks on one another and laughing heartily. Then a streak of honey which was flowing down behind a girl from the smashed pot in her basket became their topic. Everyone guessed what it could be. To some it looked like the lock of the girl and to those who were overpowered by the alcohol, it became a snake. The girl whose honey was flowing was Car Darch. She was once very much favored by Alec. She felt as if she was being laughed at. She turned behind and saw Tess whose laughter because of being very sweet was more distinguished. Car and other girls felt jealous of Tess, because she had snatched from them the chances of courting Alec which once they usually had. Car tore her bodice and showing her rotundities shamelessly to the men also, said in her fit of anger that she was also as beautiful as Tess was. The stark naked breast of Car, though invited the attention of the intoxicated men, produced in Tess a contempt for her and she abused her by calling her a whore. This was enough for her to invite the rebukes, reproaches and abuses of all the girls. At the same moment Alec appeared from behind and asked her to sit on the horse. Had it been any other moment she would have refused but then she could not and without any hesitation sat behind him to avoid that unbearable bickering. Before they could guess anything the horse disappeared from their sight.

Previous Post Next Post