Tess of the d'Urbervilles | Study Guide

Thomas Hardy

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Course Hero. "Tess of the d'Urbervilles Study Guide." August 23, 2017. Accessed September 24, 2020. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Tess-of-the-dUrbervilles/.


Course Hero, "Tess of the d'Urbervilles Study Guide," August 23, 2017, accessed September 24, 2020, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Tess-of-the-dUrbervilles/.

Tess of the d'Urbervilles | Characters

Character Description
Tess Durbeyfield Inexperienced, hard-working, moral, and proud, Tess Durbeyfield is a poor country girl whose life takes unfortunate, and ultimately tragic, turns through no fault of her own. Read More
Angel Clare Angel Clare, a proud and opinionated middle-class young man, has refused a religious vocation and is leaning toward becoming a farmer. Read More
Alec d'Urberville Rich, cynical, and arrogant, Alec d'Urberville is an amoral, devious, and persistent young man who ruins Tess's life. Read More
Mrs. Brooks Mrs. Brooks is the householder, or landlady, at The Herons in Sandbourne, where Tess is staying with Alec.
Mercy Chant The Clares' neighbor, Mercy Chant is a religious young woman who, expected to marry Angel, eventually becomes engaged to his brother Cuthbert.
Mr. Clare Angel's inflexible father, Mr. Clare is a low Church clergyman who punished his son by refusing to send him to university because he refused to take religious orders.
Mrs. Clare Angel's snobbish and class-conscious mother, Mrs. Clare is basically kind and religious. Her one point of contention is that Mr. Clare refused to pay for Angel to go to university, and she nags her husband about it.
Cuthbert Clare Angel's brother, Cuthbert Clare is a snobbish scholar at Cambridge who has taken religious orders and will marry Mercy Chant.
Felix Clare Angel's brother Felix Clare is a curate, or assistant clergyman, in the adjoining town.
Dairyman Crick Dairyman Richard Crick, a kind dairy farmer who treats his workers well, is Tess's employer for several years, the happiest of her life.
Mrs. Crick Dairyman Crick's wife, Mrs. Crick is a kind, respectable, generous, and observant woman.
Mrs. Darch Car and Nancy's mother, Mrs. Darch observes the altercation at the Flower-de-Luce and hints at more trouble as Tess leaves with Alec.
Car Darch A favorite of Alec d'Urberville, Car "Queen of Spades" Darch, also called Dark Car, is a physically strong, dark-haired, dark-complexioned woman.
Nancy Darch Car's younger sister, Nancy "Queen of Diamonds" Darch works at Trantridge and later in Chalk-Newton; an Amazon, she does the work of men.
Mrs. d'Urberville Old, blind, and widowed, Mrs. d'Urberville has Tess look after her chickens, which she can identify by touch; she is said to be fonder of her chickens than of the people in her household.
Abraham Durbeyfield Abraham Durbeyfield, Tess's brother, is seven years younger than Tess.
Hope Durbeyfield Hope is one of the two Durbeyfield girls younger than Abraham.
Jack Durbeyfield Tess's drunk and lazy father, Jack (John) Durbeyfield becomes overly proud when he discovers his noble lineage and quickly begins seeking ways to leverage it. With his excuses, grand ideas, and schemes—the first of which is to send Tess to the d'Urberville home—he has a limited work ethic, does not provide for his family, and is a laughingstock in Marlott.
Joan Durbeyfield Tess's ineffectual mother, Joan Durbeyfield frequently protects her own interests, not her children's. She doesn't warn Tess of Alec's intentions in the hope Tess will marry him and thus support the family. Lacking Tess's moral code, she recommends Tess not tell Angel about her past; nevertheless, Joan is forgiving, as helpful as she can be, and saddened by the events in Tess's life.
Liza-Lu Durbeyfield Four years younger than her sister Tess, Eliza-Louisa "Liza-Lu" Durbeyfield, according to Tess, is as good, hardworking, and loyal as Tess, but without Tess's unfortunate past. At the end of her life Tess asks Angel to marry Liza-Lu.
Modesty Durbeyfield Modesty is one of the two Durbeyfield girls younger than Abraham.
Elizabeth Elizabeth is Mrs. d'Urberville's maid; she helps Tess with the chickens.
Frances Frances is a light-haired employee at the Cricks' dairy.
Fred Fred is the boy whom Jack Durbeyfield, just after learning of his ancestry, sends to request a horse and carriage and his evening meal.
Deborah Fyander Deborah Fyander is an older milkmaid at the Cricks' dairy.
Farmer Groby Tess's employer at Flintcomb-Ash, Farmer Groby is a dislikable man who knows Tess's disreputable past and makes extra demands on her. He appears earlier as the man who insults Tess and with whom Angel fights.
Izz Huett An honest and hard-working milkmaid at the Cricks' dairy, Izz Huett is loyal to Tess but in love with Angel Clare and later accepts his short-lived invitation to accompany him to Brazil. She later writes Angel telling him of Tess's despair.
Jonathan Kail An employee at the Cricks' dairy, Jonathan Kail brings Angel and Tess their luggage and word of the milkmaids' reactions to their leaving.
Beck Knibbs Beck Knibbs is a married employee at the Cricks' dairy.
Bill Lewell Bill Lewell is an employee at the Cricks' dairy.
Marian A milkmaid at the Cricks' dairy, Marian is also in love with Angel; she loses her job because of her excessive drinking after Tess and Angel marry. She and Izz write to Angel to tell him of Tess's despair.
Painter The sign painter, whom Tess meets on her way home from Trantridge after Alec has raped her, directs Tess to the Reverend Mr. Clare as a source of wisdom who can answer her questions.
Postman The postman at Sandbourne directs Angel to The Herons, the house at which the d'Urbervilles are staying.
Retty Priddle The red-haired milkmaid at the Cricks' dairy, Retty Priddle is in love with Angel Clare and attempts suicide after he and Tess marry.
Mrs. Rolliver Mrs. Rolliver is the owner of Rolliver's Inn, an ale house where the Durbeyfields drink. It is technically illegal for Mrs. Rolliver to sell alcohol, but she does.
Amby Seedling Amby Seedling is Izz Huett's admirer, to whom she finally pays attention after Angel leaves for Brazil.
Sexton The sexton meets Angel at Jack Durbeyfield's grave and informs him the gravestone wasn't paid for.
Shepherd The shepherd tells Tess the stone on which Alec d'Urberville made her swear not to tempt him was a torture site, not a holy place.
Sorrow Sorrow is Tess's infant son whom she baptizes herself before he dies.
Parson Tringham Parson Tringham is the man who informs Jack Durbeyfield about his noble ancestry.
Turnpike-Keeper After Angel sends Tess away, the turnpike-keeper updates her on Marlott news as she returns to her parents' home.
Vicar The vicar, new in the village, refuses to give Tess's son a Christian burial; he later relents and does so for a little money and with no one else present.
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