Tess of the d'Urbervilles: Chapter 36 - Summary

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      In the morning Angel was awakened by the knock at the door. She was the middle-aged woman, who had been appointed by the landlord to look after them. Angel took milk in such a situation that the presence of a third person would prove much more irritating. He prepared tea in the kitchen and then called Tess. Perhaps she had also awakened because when he returned after two or three minutes from outside he found her re-arranging the articles. She was all dressed in white garments and was looking very beautiful. To Angel, she looked quite pure and a perfect maiden. Again the recently buried love survived and he came near her. In a very sweet tone, he asked her to say that she had told a lie—and that she wanted to have a healthy amusement. But Tess said that, that was perfectly true. She also told that though the child who was born out of that commitment had died, yet the father of the child was still alive in England.

      Angel’s face stiffened and he heaved a sigh. Tess wanted that Angel should live happy. For her own self, she did not care. She put a proposal that he should divorce her. Angel smiled at her innocence and told her that so soon he could not do so. Then, Tess repented, that she should have strangled herself in her room the last night as she had thought. Angel Clare was shocked on such a decision of Tess. He made her promise never to do it in the future. The breakfast he had taken. He departed for the mill to learn the machine work. Tess absorbed herself in the kitchen. When Angel returned everything was ready. After lunch, he again went to the Abbey mills and when he returned in the evening Tess was working in the kitchen. Angel asked her to stop the work because she was his wife and not a maid. Tess who had already been lamenting upon her life could not resist more and wept very bitterly. Angel turned his head. Perhaps he had exchanged his heart with stones.

      Tess, to whom Angel was a god, had never thought that her fault would not be forgiven. On the third day when Angel was going to his work, she inclined her cheek towards him so that he might kiss her but Angel told her that they were living together only to avoid the mischief which would be produced by their so soon parting. Otherwise, they had nothing to do as husband and wife, neither as a lover and mistress. He also told her that their ut ion would be very harmful; their children would be despised, they themselves would not be able to get a respectable place in the society. Angel had been thinking a cure of it. He had thought that Tess herself should offer that she would go to her parents and when the time would come Angel might divorce her. This was the way that Angel wanted to indicate but out of his modesty, he could not do. He had no unbreakable link with the mill. They decided that next day they would depart, never to meet again. Tess was very serious. They packed their luggage. That was their last poison-moon-night.

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