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Tess of the d'Urbervilles Study Questions

Who is John Durberyfield?

Joan Durbeyfield is a middle-aged peddler from the Vale of Blackmoor.
What news does Parson Tringham give Durbeyfield?
Parson Tringham tells Durbeyfield that he is descended from the d'Urbervilles – a knightly family that
dates back to a knight that fought alongside William the Conqueror.
How does Durbeyfield react to the parson’s news?
Durbeyfield is astonished, and asks the Parson for more information about his lineage.
How does the parson respond to Durbeyfield?
The parson answers Durbeyfield's questions and tells him more about the d'Urbervilles.
Describe the area that surrounds the village of Marlott.
Marlott is located in the Vale of Blackmoor, which is a secluded area several hours away from London.
It is covered in fields that never brown, open fields which are seldom arable, and a languorous
Describe Tess’s initial appearance & actions. How does she look. Note the color scheme of her
clothes. (Keep an eye out for all bird imagery, especially as it relates with Tess.)
Tess was fine and handsome, but not handsomer than the others, and she has large, innocent eyes. She
wears a red ribbon in her hair and white clothes, like the others.
What brings Angel to Marlott? What happens during Angel’s brief visit to the village?
Angel is traveling with his two brothers, who were traveling during their holidays. Angel goes and joins
the May Day dance.
How do Mr. & Mrs. Durbeyfield, Abraham, & Tess all eventually end up at Rolliver’s Inn?
Mr. Durbeyfield goes to the inn first to tell others of his ancestry. Mrs. Durbeyfield goes to the inn later
to get Mr. Durbeyfield to come home. Abraham goes to the inn to get Mr. and Mrs. Durbeyfield to go
home. Tess follows to get her brother and her parents to return home.
Why do Tess & Abraham end up driving the beehives to market?
Her father spent too much time at the inn and is too drunken and tired.
What are Tess’s feelings about her family’s past?
15. Tess tells Abe that they live in a “blighted world.” What happens to Prince?
16. What red images does Hardy include in the description of Prince’s death? (Remember the
reference to rays of light later.)
17. How does her guilt regarding Prince make her feel obligated to her parents?
18. What reasons does Joan d. have for sending Tess to the d’Urbervilles? What are T’s feelings
about going there?
19. Why is T. surprised that the d’Urberville estate is “all new”?
20. What is the Chase? Describe it. In what way is it primeval?
21. Briefly describe the family history of Simon Stoke.

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