Angel: One confused man
Posted by Kay on September 21, 1998 at 15:30:09:
In response to The woman pays - somewhat puzzled, written by Constanza on September 21, 1998 at 11:11:17
] I am a little puzzled as to what is Angel's real objection to Tess. He admits she is not guilty, he forgives her, he says she is respectable but he cannot stay with her out of principle...
Angel doesn't seem to be making much sense, does he? I think Angel, who doesn't take religion too literally is living by some guiding principles. Perhaps one of his principles is that he expects his wife to be a virgin when he marries her. Or his principle may be that he expects things to be exactly as they appear. Tess "appeared" pure; therefore she was lying by looking pure but not being pure.
And Alec's whole love-hate relationship with the idea of Tess being a D'Urberville was also weird. At first he claims to hate old families, then he's enchanted by the idea that Tess has good "blood." It will make it easier for the family to accept her, he thinks. He's so enchanted that he goes out of his way to rent the old D'Urberville house. Then, when he finds out about Tess, he goes back to condemning the old family.
He's inconsistent. First he seems to realize that she tried to tell him before. A few pages later he's blaming her for hiding the information for reasons of self preservation.
I also agree with you, Constanza, that if Tess is naturally Alec's wife, then Angel has an obligation to go back and marry that stranger--if that's his principle.
A lot of Angel's inconsistencies may be because of the shock of his whole world collapsing.
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