Synopsis of chapter 16
Tess sets out for Talbothays, helped by a lift on a farmer's cart for much of the way. Hardy describes her walking the last part over Egdon Heath, from where she sees the whole Frome valley lying below her, full of dairy farms. She arrives just in time for milking, in late afternoon.
Commentary on chapter 16
This chapter begins Phase the Third, entitled The Rally. Hardy describes Tess as fully restored and full of the joy and energy of youth. He sees women as being especially able to bounce back after setbacks. Much of the chapter is a description of the landscape, much of which is symbolically portrayed.
More on symbolic geography: like pathetic fallacy, symbolic geography is the imposition of human meanings on the natural landscape, often by projecting inner states of being. In Ch 16, Hardy contrasts two valleys. Each valley represents one of Tess's states of being:
Both are fertile, but in different ways. Between the valleys lies upland, representing Tess's difficult experiences of life, her exposure and isolation, her lack of fulfilment (see Ch 43). These are only just a few examples. Learn to read with eyes attuned for such descriptive passages. See also Symbolism.
- Blackmore represents the enclosed, innocent, but less conscious life of her girlhood
- Frome valley, the wider, lighter, more conscious aspect of her developing maturity.
her day's pilgrimage: see Ch 10 for notes on pilgrimage.
Van Alsloot or Sallaert with burghers: Belgian genre painters of the seventeenth century. They often painted landscapes crowded with people. Burghers are townspeople. Hardy's references to paintings are frequent, and he often reconstructs his landscapes in a painterly or even cinematographic way.
the pure River of Life....: a reference to Revelation 22:1. The writer is called the evangelist because it is generally supposed he wrote the Gospel (or Evangel) of John in the New Testament as well as the book of Revelation.
eaten of the tree of knowledge: Genesis 3:1-6 describes Eve eating of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, thus losing her innocence (traditionally this was particularly associated with the loss of her sexual innocence). Tess' 'sin' is different from Eve's sin of disobedience. Nevertheless, it results in guilt and a loss of innocence. Milton treats the subject at length in his epic poem, Paradise Lost, which at times becomes a subtext for the novel.
a Fetishistic utterance in a Monotheistic falsetto: a fetish is a form of pagan ritual. Hardy is suggesting Tess is mainly responding to pagan urges but is putting on a Christian (or Jewish) set of words as a cover for these deeper instincts (see also Ch 27).
the old Benedicite: This is a chant in the Morning Service of the Book of Common Prayer. Benedicite (pronounced ben-ay-die-cee-tay) is the Latin for 'O bless'. The words are derived from The Prayer of Azariah and the Hymn of the Three Children 35-66 in the Apocrypha.
like a fly on a billiard table: some critics have suggested an oblique reference to Shakespeare's King Lear, where Lear says: 'Like flies to wanton boys, so are we to the gods'. However, Hardy's remark suggests indifference rather than cruelty, though in the light of later events, the reference might seem more relevant.
Olympian shades...: again, a painterly set of references. Hardy is suggesting the sun etches the silhouettes of the milkers as carefully as any classical painter or frieze-maker did in Greek or Roman times in their depictions of gods (Olympians), heroes or beauties.
polished brass knobs: some milking cows are allowed to keep their horns. These were covered with knobs to protect the other cows from being gored by them in the enclosed space of the milking barn.
As the last chapter suggests, two years have gone by since Tess set off for Trantridge. Hardy suggests that in this time, Tess has recuperated and is ready to resume her life again.
This is another journey, this time to be contrasted with the other journeys, in that it is made hopefully. Hardy briefly mentions Egdon Heath, a part of Wessex that occurs as the central locus in several of his novels, especially The Return of the Native. Today, there are still small areas of heathland left, running from Morden Heath in the east to Puddletown Heath in the west.
Hardy takes both a bird's-eye and a worm's-eye perspective of the new terrain, as he does, for example, of Casterbridge, at the beginning of The Mayor of Casterbridge. Quite different views come from these perspectives, bringing an ambivalent attitude to the place. The area was especially well-known to Hardy, as many of his relatives lived there. Notice how detailed the description is.
Kingsbere: Bere Regis
Talbothays: near Moreton, west of Wool
Var or Froom: today spelled Frome.
crowfoot: a member of the butter-cup family of flowers, although it has white petals as opposed to yellow
milchers: another term for a milking cow
phlegmatically: patiently, unemotionally
photosphere: a sphere or envelope of light
psalter: book of Psalms. In fact, the Benedicite (see Liturgy Morning Prayer:Benedicite) is not actually part of the Psalms, but in the Prayer Book would be in the section of chants.
serpentining: snaking or twisting
steading: the buildings used for farm activity
turbid: heavily sedimented
Investigating chapter 16
- What does Hardy suggest about this new journey in terms of:
- previous journeys?
- Tess's emotions and attitudes?
- what she sees on the way?
- Collect Hardy's comments throughout the chapter that suggest Tess's absence or presence will not be noticed.
- How does this stand in contrast to our seeing this new landscape through Tess's eyes?
- Compare the two valleys that Hardy mentions.
- Compare the bird's-eye and the worm's-eye view of the Frome Valley.
- What significant differences are there?
- As if you were a film director, mark the chapter with the different types of camera shots you would use to represent the different perspectives Hardy conveys.
- Look at Hardy's comments about women. Discuss whether they are:
- Do you think Hardy's attitudes are valid?
- Make notes on the colour symbolism in this chapter.
- Note words that suggest fertility.
- Why should Hardy be stressing this?
- What to you are the most significant images in the chapter?
- Why does Hardy think that Tess is pagan at heart?
- English Standard Version
- King James Version
1Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. 6And he said to me, These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place. 7And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book. 8I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me, 9but he said to me, You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God. 10And he said to me, Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 11Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy. 12Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. 13I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. 14Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. 15Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. 16I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star. 17The Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And let the one who hears say, Come. And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. 18I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, 19and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. 20He who testifies to these things says, Surely I am coming soon. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! 21The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.
1And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: 4And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. 5And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. 6And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. 7Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. 8And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. 9Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. 10And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. 11He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 12And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 14Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. 16I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. 17And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. 18For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. 20He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. 21The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
- English Standard Version
- King James Version
1Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, Did God actually say, You shall not eat of any tree in the garden? 2And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3but God said, You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die. 4But the serpent said to the woman, You will not surely die. 5For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. 6So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. 8And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, Where are you? 10And he said, I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself. 11He said, Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat? 12The man said, The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate. 13Then the Lord God said to the woman, What is this that you have done? The woman said, The serpent deceived me, and I ate. 14The Lord God said to the serpent, Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. 15I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel. 16To the woman he said, I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you. 17And to Adam he said, Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, You shall not eat of it, cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return. 20The man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. 22Then the Lord God said, Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever - 23therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
1Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. 8And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. 9And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? 10And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. 11And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? 12And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. 13And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. 14And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 15And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. 16Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. 17And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. 20And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. 21Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. 22And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: 23Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
- 1 Bless the Lord all you works of the Lord: sing his praise and exalt him for ever. 2 Bless the Lord you heavens: sing his praise and exalt him for ever. 3 Bless the Lord you angels of the Lord: bless the Lord all you his hosts; bless the Lord you waters above the heavens: sing his praise and exalt him for ever. 4 Bless the Lord sun and moon: bless the Lord you stars of heaven; bless the Lord all rain and dew: sing his praise and exalt him for ever. 5 Bless the Lord all winds that blow: bless the Lord you fire and heat; bless the Lord scorching wind and bitter cold: sing his praise and exalt him for ever. 6 Bless the Lord dews and falling snows: bless the Lord you nights and days; bless the Lord light and darkness: sing his praise and exalt him for ever. 7 Bless the Lord frost and cold: bless the Lord you ice and snow; bless the Lord lightnings and clouds: sing his praise and exalt him for ever. 8 O let the earth bless the Lord: bless the Lord you mountains and hills; bless the Lord all that grows in the ground: sing his praise and exalt him for ever. 9 Bless the Lord you springs: bless the Lord you seas and rivers; bless the Lord you whales and all that swim in the waters: sing his praise and exalt him for ever. 10 Bless the Lord all birds of the air: bless the Lord you beasts and cattle; bless the Lord all people on earth: sing his praise and exalt him for ever. 11 O people of God bless the Lord: bless the Lord you priests of the Lord; bless the Lord you servants of the Lord: sing his praise and exalt him for ever. 12 Bless the Lord all you of upright spirit: bless the Lord you that are holy and humble in heart; bless the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.(Common Worship)
- All ye Works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever. O ye Angels of the Lord, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever. O ye Heavens, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever. O ye Waters that be above the firmament, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever.O all ye Powers of the Lord, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Sun and Moon, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Stars of heaven, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Showers and Dew, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Winds of God, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Fire and Heat, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Winter and Summer, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Dews and Frosts, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Frost and Cold, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Ice and Snow, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Nights and Days, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Light and Darkness, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Lightnings and Clouds, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever.O let the Earth bless the Lord: yea, let it praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Mountains and Hills, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever.O all ye Green Things upon the earth, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Wells, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Seas and Floods, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Whales, and all that move in the waters, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever.O all ye Fowls of the air, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever.O all ye Beasts and Cattle, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Children of Men, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever.O let Israel bless the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Priests of the Lord, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Servants of the Lord, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye Spirits and Souls of the Righteous, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever.O ye holy and humble Men of heart, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever.O Ananias, Azarias, and Misael, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever.Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost;As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen.(Book of Common Prayer)
In literature, something that is chosen to take on a particular meaning by the writer, e.g. clouds as symbols of mutability.
the treatment of inanimate objects, such as trees and houses, as if they had or understood human feelings, thought, or sensations
A journey to a sacred place made for religious reasons. 2. In Christian thought, the journey of the believer through this world towards heaven.
Gospel - Literally 'good news' - used of the message preached by Jesus recorded in the New Testament.
1. The central message of the Christian faith
2. Title given to the four New Testament books which describe the life of Jesus Christ
A 'testament' is a covenant (binding agreement), a term used in the Bible of God's relationship with his people. The New Testament is the second part of the Christian Bible. Its name comes from the new covenant or relationship with God.
According to the book of Genesis in the Bible the first woman, said to have been created by God out of Adam's rib, to be his companion.
According to the Book of Genesis, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil grew in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat its fruit by God. When they disobeyed, they lost their innocence and close relationship with God.
Disobedience to the known will of God. According to Christian theology human beings have displayed a pre-disposition to sin since the Fall of Humankind.
Some other literary text that is present in the mind of writers when creating a new text, and by references, parallels or in some other way, becomes present in the new text also.
Term applied to those who are not Christian, particularly followers of the classical religion of Greece and Rome and of the pre-Christian religions of Europe.
A prescribed order of performing religious or other devotional acts.
Name originally given to disciples of Jesus by outsiders and gradually adopted by the Early Church.
1) In the Bible a member of the Hebrew race
2) Someone who belongs to the Jewish faith which believes in one God and the importance of Jewish Law.
The book of prayers and church services first put together by Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury in the time of King Edward VI (1547-53) for common (ie. general) use in English churches.
Books whose status as part of the Bible is disputed.
To do with Ancient Greek and Roman civilisation or literature.
A book containing written prayers to assist worshippers. 'The Prayer Book' is also a term used to denote the 'Book of Common Prayer' ('BCP').
In literature, something that is chosen to take on a particular meaning by the writer, e.g. clouds as symbols of mutability.
John is quite unlike the other gospels in its concentration on the significance of Jesus as seen through the eyes of the beloved Disciple who was almost certainly John the son of Zebedee, the traditional author of this gospel. It is the gospel of signs and includes the unique series of I am sayings by Jesus e.g. 'I am the way, the truth and the life'. This recalls the portrayal of God as the I AM in the Old Testament (Ex 3:14).
Famous stories from the Bible: Feeding of the 5000; Jesus and Nicodemus; Jesus, his death and resurrection
Big ideas: Bread; Blood; Cross; Sheep, shepherd, lambs; Miracles
Essentially the hymn book of the Jerusalem temple, expressing the whole range of human emotion, from dark depression to exuberant joy; many attributed to David.
Big ideas: Psalms