This is my first post reviewing the book, Tess of the D’Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented by Thomas Hardy. If you would like to learn more about Thomas Hardy or the setting of the book, read my post about Thomas Hardy from last week.
If I were to name this chapter, I would call it, “The Prick.”
The first paragraph has some great description, probably because I’m also reading it, it reminds me of the descriptive writing of JK Rowling in The Casual Vacancy. Where she describes people and places in some amazing ways that you can’t not help but to visualize it.
In the chapter we meet Parson Tringham and Jack Durbeyfield (the haggler) and Fred.
It seems the parson has taken to calling Jack Durbeyfield, “Sir John,” which prompts a conversation between the two about why he would be “Sir John.” It seems that that Jack is the descendant of the d’Urberville family, a renowned knightly family of Norman blood. At one time the family had land and money, but it seems that is no longer the case.
“Sir John” continues down the road and then decides to lay down in the grass. When Fred, who seems to be of the same class as John Durbeyfield, comes along Sir John calls him, “boy” and sends him on errands. He has him order a carriage to take him home and have a message sent to his wife (to stop doing the washing).
Seriously? What a prick! Maybe it’s a British thing but who the heck does that, even in the 1800’s? Even we common Americans know that knight status doesn’t carry from generation to generation and we definitely know that your title doesn’t pay your bills!