whether they be old or new; it is a biological necessity and hallmark for the male sex to reproduce and carry on lineages and family names. For Angel Clare, a morally rigid train of thought forces him to view Tess as nothing more than tarnished goods, allowing him to indulge in sinful actions to attain a new counterpart on his international journey.
Conversely, it is still ironic that Tess conjoins with Alec d’Urberville in Phase the Sixth because of the reasoning behind this unwanted pair: Angel left! All stems back to the patriarchal underpinnings of English society during this time and the “double standard” applied on the basis of sex. ❏When Angel is muttering “My wife is dead” in the dream scene, does this represent that his wife is dead to him or to society, or is it foreshadowing Tess’s death? In this scene, Angel is muttering this because not only is Tess’s explicit “perfection” from his point of view tarnished, but also he now knows that other people know of this as well. He knows that Tess isn’t the perfect girl that he once thought she was, and the fact that other people know as well, haunts him even more, due to the status quo of women and the persona that they are supposed to embody as individuals and as human beings. ❏Does the idea of Alec and Tess’s past experiences haunt Angel? Or is this Hardy foreshadowing the future? Angel’s disapproval of Tess after hearing of her past is due to him being unable to come to terms with the fact that she had her purity stripped away from her by another man. Angel viewed her as the perfect woman, not having had a man taint her innocence. This is why his image of Tess is shattered after finding out about her past, and knowing she has been with another man before him. The dream Angel had of putting a dead Tess in a coffin represents how his mind is consumed by this news, even in the subconscious. The pure, innocent Tess he knew her to be is dead to him, like in his dream, and he must let go of her (lay her to rest in the coffin), or so be believes he must do. ❏Why would Tess stop at a church on her way back from the Clare’s vicarage, when after meeting Angel she has seemed to condemn the religious status-quo? Tess’s stop at the church is a reinforcement of Fate’s role in the novel. Her complacent actions at this point in the novel can be traced back to Chapter 11, when the narrator asks, “Where was Tess’s guardian angel? Where was Providence?,”yet these are nowhere to be found! Such ultimately leads to Tess’s rape, and subsequent series of unfortunate events that loom thereafter. Consequently, Hardy’s artistic choice to bring back Alec at the end of this phase emphasizes Tess’s lack of control in her own life. She is simply helpless and hopeless; so much to the point where she reevaluates religion and its purpose in her own life. At this point in the novel, Tess’s view of religion suggests a belief in predestination, as she becomes hopeless, believing that even following religion is futile when it comes to reshaping her future. All is already decided, she ponders, so what is the purpose of attempting to change the predetermined?