Short note on Angel Clare’s Sleep-walking scene

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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.


Short note on Angel Clare’s Sleep-walking scene.

In “Tess of the D’Urbervilles” (1891) by Thomas Hardy (1840-1928),  one of the most memorable and haunting scenes is Angel Clare’s sleepwalking episode. This scene happens during a central moment in the story. It shows Angel’s character’s inner turmoil and conflict.

Angel Clare is a complex character in the novel, torn between his ideological beliefs and societal expectations. He falls in love with Tess, a poor and innocent country girl, but their relationship faces numerous challenges. The sleepwalking scene occurs after Angel has abandoned Tess. She is struggling with the consequences of her past actions.

In this scene, Angel dwells at a dairy farm, where he meets Tess again after their separation. As he sleeps, he experiences a vivid and disturbed dream. He sleepwalks out of his room and into the garden. In his dream, he sees a vision of Tess, bathed in moonlight. This vision means his conflicted feelings towards Tess, his zeal for her, and his realization of the injustice he has done to her.

The sleepwalking scene is meaningful because it symbolizes Angel’s internal struggle and the awakening of his true feelings for Tess. It demonstrates the depth of his love for her and his remorse for abandoning her when she most needed him. This scene also highlights the theme of fate and destiny, as societal criteria and expectations drive Angel’s actions, but his subconscious mind desires Tess.

In short, Angel Clare’s sleepwalking scene is a powerful moment in the story. It shows how Angel left Tess still loves her deeply, even though he tries to deny his feelings. The scene appears in a dream, where he sees Tess as an unnatural figure, which signifies his inner conflict and regret. This scene reminds us that love can be complicated, and societal pressures can lead us to make choices that we later regret.