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Archived Group Reads 2012 > Tess, Phase the 3rd; Ch 16-24

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message 1: by SarahC (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1424 comments The Rally


message 2: by Becky (new)

Becky | 170 comments This section seemed a bit slower to me. Obviously Hardy is setting up for Phase the IV, which I'm about to enter.


I loved the section about garlic in the butter. Could a few blades of the herb really do that? I know with wine they talk about how a single tree in the vineyard can change the subtleties a bit. Kind of fascinated by the farm life actually...


And ack, poor little milk maidens.


message 3: by Becky (new)

Becky | 170 comments I would like to point out something about the crow, being used as an ill omen, as Tess and Angel are driving away.

In Greek legend, particularly Ovid's Metamorphosis, the crow was turned from white to black by Apollo. The white crow informed Apollo that his lover was having an affair with a mortal man, and in his rage Apollo turned to crow black, forever after to be seen as a bad omen. Considering that through Angel Hardy often uses the Greek goddess to describe Tess, I believe this was purposeful.

Also, at one point it says Angel calls her "Artemis, Demeter, half teasing." Artemis, the virgin goddess of the hunt, and Demeter, the woman who's daughter was abducted and raped by Hades, and forced to live in the underworld. These are definitly two distinctive sides of Tess. As Artemis, she is very connected the Earth, nature, she is innocent (as I think Hardy wants us to see Tess as, despite her past) but she is also powerful. And as Demeter, a mother who lost her child, who had so much taken from her, but who is still yet the goddess of the hearth, home, and harvest.


message 4: by Denise (new)

Denise (dulcinea3) | 401 comments Thanks for the mythological analysis, Becky! Also, Artemis went to rather extraordinary lengths to protect her chastity, so this may also indicate Angel's view of Tess' purity.


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I am interested in the name Angel. It does seem a bit strange a name for a man of Victorian times, doesn't it?

I enjoyed this section as it had the wonderful feel of being there in the meadows with the cows and the milking. It gave a sense of peace and tranquility to what emotionally was an unsettling time for Tess and Angel. It was interesting that the girls did not hold any jealous feelings towards Tess as it becomes evident that Angel is quite smitten with her. Quite a different reaction than from her original "friends!" Was this Hardy's way of saying that country folk are more kind, more rational, more generous in their feelings for one another?

I love garlic so garlic flavored butter appealed to me! :)


message 6: by Denise (last edited Mar 10, 2012 11:58AM) (new)

Denise (dulcinea3) | 401 comments Yes, Marialyce, it seems that this group of girls see themselves as more of a 'family' or have a more collective sense of their group, so that the good luck of any one of them makes them see it as a collective good. Not quite sure how to express that well.

And I love garlic butter, too! A restaurant here has salmon with garlic butter, and I usually order that when I go there! But I suppose garlic butter doesn't go with everything, so having the whole batch flavored that way might be a problem!


message 7: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (laurata) | 497 comments I was wondering the same thing about the name Marialyce: and I think that it is there to convey the idea of how different he is - or should be, I'm not so far ahed to say how he'll turn out in the end! - from Alec...
I liked the rural atmosphere of these chapeters; I fiunf them relaxing, also for Tess: she needed something like that!


message 8: by Becky (new)

Becky | 170 comments I think Angel's name is Hardy being ironic. I dont think he thought much of dogmatism in religion, and Angel embodies the man stuck between the two worlds of his religious heritage and the neo-pagan Tess.


message 9: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2531 comments This section is my favorite section of the book so far. Hardy obviously knew and loved the country, and he presents such an almost idyllic portrait of the dairy and its people and activities. (The reality, I'm sure, had more downside than he shows, but he certainly makes it sound to me like a little slice of Eden on earth.)

Has Tess really landed "on her feet," and will love bloom and she live happily ever after?

Somehow, knowing Hardy, it's hard to believe that will happen. But it's nice that for perhaps the first time in her life Tess is able truly to enjoy life and to be free from almost all cares and worries.


message 10: by SarahC (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1424 comments Everyman wrote:Has Tess really landed "on her feet," and will love bloom and she live happily ever after?

Somehow, knowing Hardy, it's hard to believe that will happen. But it's nice that for perhaps the first time in her life Tess is able truly to enjoy life and to be free from almost all cares and worries. (Th..."


Yes, I have been thinking about that too. I think Hardy is really saying -- if you take Clare out of the equation, Tess is making something good for herself. She has gone to make a new start, leaving her past and her family (Derbeyfields or otherwise) to be what she can in the world.


message 11: by SarahC (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1424 comments Has anyone thought yet about Clare's professed prejudice against "old families"? It seems just one more thing that could prevent someone like him from seeing the true Tess.

The passage ends by saying that Clare believed Tess was of an "untraditional newness" and that has interested him. And I know that it is often part of a young generation to seek the nontraditional, but isn't is curious too for a person to have such strong views before he or she to have established his own value in the world or to society I should say?


message 12: by SarahC (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1424 comments In Chapter 21, I thought Dairyman Richard Crick's story of the mother of the "girl done wrong" was an interesting contrast to the actions of Tess and her mother.


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) SarahC wrote: "Has anyone thought yet about Clare's professed prejudice against "old families"? It seems just one more thing that could prevent someone like him from seeing the true Tess.

The passage ends by sa..."



This reminds me of the concept of new money like Alec seems to be. It is very much like the young to be looking for things new and modern. I thought it was interesting in how possibly Angel would go to America to farm. How many times have we thrown out things of our grandparents thinking they were too old and not useful?(only to regret that later on when there is a power outage and you can't do anything like open a can!)


message 14: by Daga (new)

Daga | 11 comments Marialyce wrote: "I am interested in the name Angel. It does seem a bit strange a name for a man of Victorian times, doesn't it?
I too was struck by the originality of his name. I was wondering if it was supposed to imply some sort of guarding angel for Tess, someone who will help her go through the atrocities from her past.
And then, I find him - Angel - somewhat disturbing. It seems so unreal at time, so out of his times. I was wondering how common (or at least plausible) it was that someone would get the knowlegde about farming in such a way as his in those times?
Basically, the whole countryside life is so idyllic, so peaceful and perfect, that I can't get rid of the feeling of an awaiting calamity.


message 15: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Mar 17, 2012 04:18AM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Daga wrote: "Marialyce wrote: "I am interested in the name Angel. It does seem a bit strange a name for a man of Victorian times, doesn't it?
I too was struck by the originality of his name. I was wondering if ..."


I think from what little I have read of Hardy, that he is great at foreshadowing calamity, Daga.
I thought pretty much the same of Angel's name. Will he live up to his name's meaning, I wonder? I guess we will see, but my feeling is not good about it.


message 16: by Daga (last edited Mar 17, 2012 08:03AM) (new)

Daga | 11 comments Marialyce wrote: I thought pretty much the same of Angel's name. Will he live up to his name's meaning, I wonder? I guess we will see, but my feeling is not good about it.
I agree that Angel seems too ideal. There is something disquieting about him and because this is only the beginning, I am expecting rather turbulent development.


message 17: by Ruthbie (new)

Ruthbie | 4 comments Although there's not a lot of action duri ang this section of the book, I have to say I love the descriptions of the work done in the dairy, and the camraderie between all the milkmaids despite their unrequited love. I agree also that I did find Angel to be rather a strange name for a man!


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