...And yet that same hungry heart of hers pitied her friends

cornúpeta

Member
Spanish-spanish
Hi there!. I'm reading an Oxford version of Tess of the d'Urbervills for English learners. The complete paragraph goes "Tess's heart ached. She knew that she loved Angel Clare, perhaps all the more passionately because the others also loved him. And yet that same hungry heart of hers pitied her friends".

I thought Tess's heart ached due to her past, I cannot find the relation between that past and her pity to her friends.

I find the whole story very sad and still so beautiful, I'd really appreciate any clue you gave me to catch the meaning of this phrase which fits here.

As ever, thank you in advance and have a slowly raining week-end :)
 
  • DocPenfro

    Senior Member
    English - British
    The ambivalence in Tess' emotions is more obvious in the original writing. Tess regards herself as a "fallen woman", and therefore unworthy of the love of a gentleman like Angel Clare, although she already suspects that he has feelings for her. She knows that her three fellow-milkmaids are infatuated with him with no hope of reciprocation; that they are doomed to, at best, tedious alliances with local farmhands and for that reason she feels pity for them. Tess knows that they are all sharing the same love for Clare; unrequited in the case of her friends, and impossible (by contemporary standards of propriety) in her own case.

    You need to look at the story from the viewpoint of a reader of the nineteenth century, when attitudes to sexual matters were very different from today.
     

    cornúpeta

    Member
    Spanish-spanish
    The ambivalence in Tess' emotions is more obvious in the original writing. Tess regards herself as a "fallen woman", and therefore unworthy of the love of a gentleman like Angel Clare, although she already suspects that he has feelings for her. She knows that her three fellow-milkmaids are infatuated with him with no hope of reciprocation; that they are doomed to, at best, tedious alliances with local farmhands and for that reason she feels pity for them. Tess knows that they are all sharing the same love for Clare; unrequited in the case of her friends, and impossible (by contemporary standards of propriety) in her own case.

    You need to look at the story from the viewpoint of a reader of the nineteenth century, when attitudes to sexual matters were very different from today.
    you're right, at least I agree with your view, which I had somehow catched. Thank you for your explanation and advice.

    For now, I do not dare go to the original writing, I'm afraid I wouldn't understand most of the content and so, I'd have to be all the time disturbing you and nice people alike. So, I'll go on with the English learners version, which by the way includes audio and allows me to learn and enjoy such a sad, wise and poetic story. .... I'd even say it is more of nowadays than most of us -specially women, admit. But it's only a fifty year old woman's opinion, never mind.

    Thanks again, excuse my bad English and have a wonderful Sunday:)

    Carmen
     
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