Tess of the d’Urbervilles – The Most Important Scene in the Novel?

Discuss the following scenes.

Try to decide upon one scene which you consider to be the most important scene in the whole novel.

Be prepared to explain why you think it is so important.

Which themes and/ or characters feature in the scene?

How does the scene link to others scenes and other themes?


  1. Parson Tringham informs Jack of his family’s fallen history.
  2. Tess falls asleep on the wagon and the family’s horse is killed.
  3. Alec attempts to seduce Tess with strawberries and roses.
  4. Tess is raped on The Chase.
  5. Tess buries Sorrow.
  6. Tess in the garden at Talbothays.
  7. Tess and Angel confess their sins to one another.
  8. Tess kills the pheasants.
  9. Tess and Angel at Stone Henge.