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\Studyworld\ Studyworld Studynotes \ Tess of the D'Urbervilles:
Plot Summary

The Durbeyfields learn that they are descendents of the d'Urbervilles, an ancient and distinguished family. Tess is sent to claim kin with them, in hopes that they will assist her family in their poverty. She meets Alec d'Urberville, who is not really a d'Urberville at all since his family only attaches on the last name, and when she does not respond to his romantic gestures, he rapes her one night as she sleeps. Tess is left scarred and impregnated by the experience, and she tries to escape her past by going to Talbothays. There she meets Angel Clare, with whom she falls in love and marries, but her guilt causes her to reveal all her past indiscretions to him. Hearing this, Angel rebuffs her, unwilling to love her as before and leaving her alone as he tries to make a living in Brazil. Tess, meanwhile, struggles on her own, embarrassed at being deserted and humiliated by her past. Alec finds her again, and though he appears as a converted religious man, he soon drops the disguise and continues his old ways. He manipulates Tess into marrying him, telling her that Angel will not return for her. However, Angel realizes that he has been wrong and comes back to love Tess, but he finds her in the arms of Alec d'Urberville though she is really in love with Angel. Tess' fury at Alec for his deception causes her to kill him. Angel tries to hide Tess, but she is caught and executed. Angel mourns her death, and marries her sister instead, keeping a promise he made to Tess.

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