“Too late, too late! Don’t come close to me. Angel! No – you must not.”-Explain

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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.


Too late, too late! Don’t come close to me. Angel! No – you must not.

In “Tess of the D’Urbervilles” (1891) by Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), these words are spoken by Tess, the main character. She says these words when Angel Clare tries to approach her after learning about a difficult and painful secret from her past. Let us explain this in the following sentences.

Tess is a young woman who has encountered many troubles in her life. She has a secret from her past that she is ashamed of. Angel Clare is a man who loves Tess deeply. He wants to be close to her and share his life with her, but he does not know her secret yet. When Tess expresses these words, she means it is too late for Angel to love her because he does not know the whole truth about her. She acknowledges he will not love her if he finds out her secret. So, she is warning him not to get closer to her emotionally. Here, she calls him by his name, Angel, because she sees him as a kind and pure person. However, she tells him not to come closer because she thinks he should stay away from her and not be hurt by her secret. Tess feels guilty and ashamed because of her past and does not want to bring any pain to Angel. So, she tries to push him away to save him from the truth. This part of the story reveals how love can be complicated and how sometimes people sacrifice for the ones they love, even if it means letting them go.

In short, Tess is telling Angel to stay away from her because she fears her secret will hurt him, even though she loves him deeply. The story’s sad and emotional moment reflects the complexities of love and human emotions.