differentiating places. Both Talbothay’s and Flintcomb Ash represented a time in her life
whether it be favorable or horrid. Both of these spots contributed a deep meaning to the
The happiest days of Tess’s life were spent on a dairy farm called Talbothay’s. It
and married. Talbothay’s was used as a symbol of grandeur in Tess’s life. It was there
where she found meaning in her life for the first time in the novel and became content
with herself. However, it all came to an abrupt end when she married Angel and told him
of her affair with her cousin Alex. Angel was devastated and left her to fend for herself.
This is when her life got much harder. Through a friend, she got a job working for
Flintcomb Ash. It was a physically exhausting job, in which she had utter hatred for.
From then on she longed for the days with Angel at Talbothay’s.
Talbothay’s and Flintcomb Ash differ extremely in their descriptions. Talbothay’s
was a Utopia in Tess’s life. It was depicted with luscious greenery and rolling hills. It
located in the Vale of Froom, which was known for its rich and fertile soil. There
It was a cruel place in which Tess spent the worst days of her life. There she found the
meaning of true wretchedness, but at the same time began to appreciate her days at
The descriptions Hardy used to depict the two places were central to the meaning
The contrast made between talbothay’s and Flintcomb Ash was used to symbolize
got it worse.
Publishing Company, 1969. 340-341.
York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1991.300-301.