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\Studyworld\ Studyworld Studynotes \ Tess of the D'Urbervilles:
Chapters 7, 8, and 9

Chapter 7

On the morning of her departure, Tess wakes early and dresses quickly. However, once her mother sees her, she exclaims that she will need to look much better if she wishes to fit in with the d'Urbervilles. Joan Durbeyfield sets to work, primping Tess, and soon her daughter is a radiant figure. Tess knows that her mother's heart is set on her marriage prospects at her new home, but Tess does not care for such thoughts. Tess bids farewell to her family, choked with tears. Jack Durbeyfield even instructs her that if Alec is willing, she can sell him the "Sir John" title, but Tess is too sad to respond. Joan and the girls walk with Tess until she reaches the cart.
To their surprise, a second vehicle pulls up behind the cart - a carriage driven by Alec - in which to carry Tess to the d'Urberville home. Joan is delirious with joy at the sight of the young man, but soon her daughter fades out of sight and she is gone. She and the children are sad to see her go, and she even has some misgivings about Alec, unsure of his intentions, but she is confident that he will marry Tess somehow.

Chapter 8

Meanwhile, Tess and Alec drive together with him paying her many compliments on her appearance. Ever since the accident with Prince, Tess has been more timid on transportation and so she asks Alec to slow down. He is surprised, thinking her a brave lass, and eggs her on by speeding even more so to terrify her. Though Tess does not want to show her fear, she is inclined to clutch Alec's waist throughout the ride. Alec agrees to slow down if Tess will let him kiss her and being unable to persuade him to remedy his driving otherwise, she assents but wipes off her cheek where his lips touch her. This gesture insults Alec who speeds up again, only agreeing to slow down if he may kiss her again without her wiping her face. She agrees but just then her hat blows away. Alec moves to retrieve it for her, but Tess is quicker and descends the carriage first. Afterwards, she will not reboard the carriage, irritating Alec since he feels that she did it on purpose. Tess' anger gets the best of her and she berates him for the maltreatment. Alec feels sorry then for injuring her and tries to get her to ride with him, promising to go slow for the rest of the trip, but Tess refuses. She proceeds to walk, but she does not mind that Alec keeps pace beside her on the carriage. Along the way, she notices his sincerity of feeling sorry for upsetting her, but she no longer has any confidence in him. Even though Tess had threatened to return home if Alec continued to irritate her, she realizes sadly that she cannot head home anymore without extreme embarrassment. Soon, they arrive at the d'Urberville home.

Chapter 9

Tess acquaints herself with the fowls under her care, which reside in a small cottage with every room given over for their accommodations. Her first duty is to bring all the chickens to Mrs. d'Urberville since she is blind but still wishes to see her fowls. Tess, along with a servant, brings the chickens, four at a time, over to the main house for inspection, making several trips. Tess is intrigued to see the blind woman acknowledge all the chickens by name. Mrs. d'Urberville asks Tess then if she can whistle, charging her with educating her bullfinches with tunes they can imitate. Tess agrees to begin the music education tomorrow, and she also notices disdain on Mrs. d'Urberville's part for her son Alec.
Tess, not having recently whistled, finds a remote location in which to practice for her debut tomorrow. Her greatest efforts are unrewarded since only air and no notes come from her lips. Alec, who has been observing her, laughs at the sight of Tess and her puckered attempts. Although Tess does not want his help, he manages to teach her how to whistle. Alec also inquires about Tess' perception of his mother and tries to make her stay more welcome.
Alec's playfulness makes her relationship more familiar with him, and although she is still put off by his advances, she realizes that she is dependent on him while she is there. Tess finds that whistling to the birds is a task she very much enjoys, but one day, she fears that Alec might be spying on her. She tries to investigate but discovers nothing, but from then on, whatever aroused her suspicions, likely Alec, no longer returns.

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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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