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Studyworld Studynotes
\Studyworld\ Studyworld Studynotes \ Tess of the D'Urbervilles:
Chapters 4, 5, and 6

Chapter 4

Rolliver's Inn, without a proper liquor license, remains on alert for the authorities each night it serves its customers. The liquor at the Pure Drop Inn, on the other side of town, is less appealing, thus drawing in a steady patronage at Rolliver's for both taste and location. When Mrs. Durbeyfield arrives, she scares the landlady who thinks it is an authority. She heads quickly over to her husband and tells him that she has heard of a family out in Trantridge by the name of d'Urberville, and she hopes to send Tess over to them to claim kin and better their own situation. Just then, Abraham arrives and is delighted to hear that Tess might offer them a better livelihood. Mrs. Durbeyfield reveals that she consulted the fortune-teller and indeed a noble gentleman will marry Tess, though she has not asked Tess if she is willing to go claim kin with the d'Urbervilles. Jack thinks she will be unwilling, calling her "queer."
Just then, Tess arrives and the family makes their way home late that night. Her father, although not inebriated, is still in no condition to make a journey to Casterbridge to deliver a load of beehives. The only alternative is for Tess to go, with Abraham accompanying her, and soon, their horse Prince is hitched up and ready for the trip. As they drive along, Abraham wonders if the stars are worlds, both unlucky and lucky. Tess agrees but says sadly that their world is an unlucky one. Both soon grow weary from the long journey, and Tess falls asleep.
Suddenly, she is jerked awake with the horrible discovery that she has steered the horse incorrectly and killed him! Tess is stunned that she has also killed her family's livelihood, for without Prince, her father has no business. They wait for a wagon to come and fetch them.
When Tess arrives back home, she is overwhelmed by guilt and grief. Jack Durbeyfield refuses to sell Prince's dead body, saying that the d'Urbervilles deserve more than this and buries him properly. The family grieves the loss of their breadwinner, none more than Tess, who considers herself not too far from a murderess.

Chapter 5

As expected, the Durbeyfield livelihood declines with the death of Prince. Taking this opportunity to approach Tess about the possibility of her claiming kin with the d'Urbervilles in Trantridge, Tess' mother convinces her to go, though Tess is reluctant and only agrees out of guilt. Tess, in her youth, is very adept at caring for her younger siblings, so that soon she shoulders a significant portion of the family's burdens.
Making her way to Trantridge, Tess comes across a simple country-house, quite new for the times and nothing like the old houses she was expecting. Standing in front of the d'Urberville home, she wishes that she had not come. In truth, the Parson should have told Jack Durbeyfield that the d'Urberville line from which he descends is taken from the Stoke-d'Urbervilles, the Stokes having attached the d'Urberville name to give them some dignity. In reality, they are not descendents of the ancient old family.
Before Tess can think again, a man appears before her, suave, tall, and swarthy. He inquires about Tess' presence, telling Tess that he is Mr. Alec d'Urberville and that his mother, Mrs. d'Urberville, is unavailable to see her. Tess reveals the nature of her visit, and Alec is receptive and overly flirtatious. They walk the grounds, eating berries and gathering flowers, although Tess is uncomfortable with his attentions. After lunch, she rises to leave and Alec sees her out. He attempts to kiss her but thinks twice. Tess, on the other hand, while uninterested in Alec romantically, is sadly ignorant of her fate - that this man is her undoing and that she will be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Chapter 6

Tess makes her way back home, stuffed full of flowers and berries from her visit. When she returns, she learns that her mother has received a letter, summoning Tess to the d'Urberville manor to tend their chicken-farm. Tess is surprised since she had not seen Mrs. d'Urberville at all, but she admits that Alec did call her "coz." Alec had called on her family on horseback, showering praise on Tess and bringing the letter. Joan Durbeyfield happily says the position must be the d'Urberville's way of acknowledging them as poor relations and lending them a hand. Tess does not want to go, but she agrees, knowing the family has few options. Her father is sad that his role as breadwinner is not effective enough. The children are delirious, singing songs about Tess and their new wealthy kinfolk.
Tess' arrival is arranged, with a return letter citing that a cart will be along to carry her to Trantridge. Joan Durbeyfield is slightly disappointed that Tess will be traveling in a cart, expecting more from the d'Urbervilles. Tess had thought her future would be as a schoolteacher, but apparently Fate has other plans.

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Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Chapters 1, 2, and 3
Chapters 4, 5, and 6
Chapters 7, 8, and 9
Chapters 10 and 11
Chapters 12, 13, 14, and 15
Chapters 16, 17, and 18
Chapters 19, 20, and 21
Chapters 22, 23, and 24
Chapters 25, 26, and 27
Chapters 28, 29, and 30
Chapters 31 and 32
Chapters 33 and 34
Chapters 35, 36, and 37
Chapters 38, 39, and 40
Chapters 41, 42, 43, and 44
Chapters 45, 46, 47, and 48
Chapters 49, 50, 51, and 52
Chapters 53, 54, and 55
Chapters 56, 57, 58, and 59


 

 



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