Tess of the d'Urbervilles is a notable literary work by Thomas Hardy. A complete discussion of this literary work is given, which will help you enhance your literary skills and prepare for the exam. Read the main text, key info, Summary, Themes, Characters, Literary Devices, Quotations, Notes, to various questions of Tess of the d'Urbervilles.
Remember, I was your master once! I will be your master again. If you are any man’s wife you are mine!
In “Tess of the D’Urbervilles” (1891) by Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), these words are spoken by a character named Alec D’Urberville to Tess, the main character. Alec is saying this because he used to be Tess’s employer and had power over her. He believes that because he had control over her in the past, he can control her again, even though Tess is now married to another man.
Suppose a person borrows a toy from his friend. While he has the toy, he can play with the toy and decide what to do with it while he has it. However, then, he returns the toy to his friend. Later, he notices his friend playing with the toy and expresses, “Remember, I had this toy once! I can have it again if I want!” That is the words Alec is saying to Tess. When Alec says he will be Tess’ master again, he wants power and control over Tess like before. It is unfair because Tess is now married to someone else. She should be free to live with her husband without Alec interfering. Alec also says that If she is any man’s wife, she is his! It shows his possessive and selfish attitude. He believes that even though Tess is married to someone else, she still belongs to him somehow because he had a hold on her in the past. It is different from how relationships should work. Once married, they should be loyal and committed to their spouse, not controlled by someone from their past.
In the story, Alec’s words create many problems for Tess and her husband. It shows how some people can try to manipulate and control others, even when wrong. Tess has to encounter many challenges because of Alec’s actions. It makes her life much harder.