Tess of the d’Urbervilles – Task Eleven

“Yes; at that dance on the green; but you would not dance with me. O, I hope that is no ill- omen for us now!”

Links to Tess’s faith in local superstitions and fate. She feels that Angel’s failure to take Tess as a partner at their first meeting may indicate ill-luck in the future.

“She knew that they were waiting like wolves just outside the circumscribing light, but she had long spells of power to keep them in hungry subjection there.”

Tess’s fears are animalised here, given the threatening metaphor of “wolves”. It is easy to see her fears stalking around the edge of her mind, but she is unable to banish them completely because she so completely believes that it is not her destiny to be happy.

“[t]hat it would always be summer and autumn, and you always courting me, and always thinking as much of me as you have done through the past summertime!”

Tess longs to hold back time. The summer and autumn were a period of intense happiness, but she fears that as the seasons change her fortune will sour. Here, Tess again shows her strong faith in the seasons, nature and her own belief that her fate will be an unhappy one. Notice that she wants Angel to “think as much of me as you have done” – she fears he will come to think less of her, and this transpires.