Though the central action of Tomas Hardy’s novel “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” centres on Tess, the other characters are not lacking in interest and idivuduality. Undoubtedly, Tess’s life is market by two contradictory temperaments, those of the sensual Alec d’Urberville and the intellectual Angel Clare. Both characters are described with artistic detail to show a blend of weakness and strength governed by fate. Both are flesh and symbol complementing the other in the fall and rise, rise and fall of Tess herself and both play crucial roles in shaping her destiny.
Although Alec is the evil man in Tess’s life, he has some good qualities, coming trough us more as a man than Angel does. Alec is tall with a dark complexion, crude red lips and black moustache. There are touches of barbarism in his contour as well as a singular force in his face. Alec feels sexually attracted to Tess from the very beginning and showing to be straightforward with regard to what he wants and how to achieve it, he will do anything to take her. One night his dark instincts reveal and taking advantage of Tess’s youth and innocence, he seduces her. Although we can not forgive him for raping Tess, we have to recognise that he is not a complete villain. What he shows is a combination of desire to master her again and a genuine regard for her welfare. He is troubled for his sight of her agonising labour at Flincomb.Ash, he react against society for its cruel treatment of Tess’s family and he offers to help her in a variety of ways. Nevertheless, Alec is angry at her ingratitude and very often he taunts her about her missing husband, until in the end Tess kills him.
... harshness, but finds her living with Alec. Tess kills Alec in desperation, she is arrested and hanged. ... loyal In Trantridge, facing the beau Alec! s blandishments, Tess is apathetic, and tried her best ... wants to help her and her family. Alec admires Tess for not kowtowing to him; at the ... her past, he hypocritically desert her. Tess becomes Alec's mistress. Angel returns from Brazil, repenting his ...
The other man in Tess’s life is Angel Clare, the youngest son of the vicar of Emminster. Angel is a handsome man of twenty-six years old, bright and well educated. Since he chose not to go to the ministry, like his two elder brothers, his father doesn’t send him to Cambridge for further studies. Angel chooses farming for his vocation and as a result he goes to Talbothday’s Diary to learn all that he needs, being precisely there where he falls in love with Tess. Hardy reveals Angel as an interesting and complex character, full contradictions and confusions. In many ways he is a modern man, as indicated in his rejection of immoral, aristocratic families but at the same time he is dogmatic and rigid about his morality and fully personifies the role convention can play in shaping one’s destiny. He believes that woman should be pure and chaste and for this reason he can’t forgive Tess’s affair with Alec. Although Angel ironically believes himself free from the Church, his mind is a prisoner to its principles. Self-centered and confused, he thinks only of his own dilemma, revealing to be a suffering and developing character who fully represents one aspect of human nature common to so many of us: “between the idea and its practice falls the shadow of reality.”
If each man is seen in contrast to the other, both are seen in contrast to Tess. Alec’s lust and sensuality are cleverly mirrored in Tess’s natural affection, warmth and passionate feelings. Angel’s rational intellectualism, is reflected in Tess’s mysticism, reverie and natural poetry. The interconnection between the two characters is also present in their relationship with Tess. Alec doesn’t wish to discard her since it is Tess who insists on going home. This contrasts curiously with Angel’s possession of Tees, his unphysical but mental and emotional domination of her, his hold oer her despite his rejection, his fulfilment in the deserted mansion after the murder of Alec, his possibly continued possession of Tess in Liza Lu. Definitely, the contrast is worked on a number of levels: Alec abuses Tess in the flesh but Angel in the spirit; Alec’s condemnation of Tess’s husband finds its equivalent in Angel’s unspoken condemnation of Tess’s seducer. Alec returns, Angel doesn’t until too late; Alec is in Tess’s mind her real husband, while Angel who marries her is not and does not consummate the marriage, at least not, until too late.
The poor peddler John Durbeyfield is stunned to learn that he is the descendent of an ancient noble family, the d'Urbervilles. He and his wife decide to send their oldest daughter, Tess, to the d'Urberville mansion, where they hope Mrs. d'Urberville will make her fortune. In reality, Mrs. d'Urberville is no relation to Tess at all; her husband, the merchant Simon Stokes, simply changed his name to ...
Consequently, it seems to be certain that neither Alec is completely bad nor Angel completely good. In both Hardy is presenting mail dominance, with the resulting reduction of the woman in both, the flesh and the spirit. On one side Angel seems to be a better man than Alec but on the other, it is Angel rather than Alec who destroys Tess with his rejection. In conclusion, although different, both men help her and both contribute to her ruin. In relation to both, Tess is in each case a victim.