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Question: Question about Tess of the D'Urbervilles!?
At the end of the first part, before "Maiden No More", was Tess raped by her employer, or did she succumb to his advances and regret it later!? also, was it a one-time thing, that night in the field, or did it continue for several weeks!?

It sounds like she was raped, but I was wondering if it happened repeatedly during the several weeks she remained there!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

Best Answer - Chosen by Asker:
We definitely can't say that it was undeniably rape!. The fact that there is doubt about the whole thing points to the fact that it could have been either!. Hardy, I think, left this part intentionally unclear!.

We might like to think that Tess was just a victim and she was "raped", but it's very possible to argue that Tess passively consented!. (The text allows both interpretations, which suggests that the latter was on Hardy's mind and might be what he was trying to get at!.) We know from later in the novel that Tess is a sexualized figure and that she enjoys sex (she and Angel break into that house near the end and spend a few days together in bed), and that she is willing to sacrifice her body for material gain (before she kills Alec, she is staying with him and having sex with him solely for the lifestyle and supporting her family)!. So we know that she's willing to sleep with Alec for material gain, and that she's willing to sacrifice her body sexually to support her family (sacrifice is a big theme in the novel)!.!.!. so it's perfectly plausible to think, and perhaps we are meant to think, that during the first part of the novel Tess does have a sexual relationship with Alec in order to keep her job and provide for her family!. It would just be the same situation as what happens later!. The "rape" scene, then, might be just one moment in an on-going sexual relationship between Tess and Alec, where Tess is unhappy but passively consents to sex in order to keep herself and her family supported!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

I have not read the whole book but I saw an adaptation by Polanski and because I was confused I read the specific part of the book!. I believe she was raped for two reasons: 1) because Hardy says clearly that Tess came to pay for the sins of her ancestors who did the same to other servants and 2) because she repeatedly withdraws from Alec's touch or even pushes him, so if you take under consideration the fact that she did not want him and made it clear, it was against her will for me!.

In the same adaptation it was implied that Tess became his mistress after this!. I believe that he would still continue chasing her around but Tess would be on her guard now, so maybe the reason she leaves is to avoid having him near her altogether!. It would be also more tragic if she became pregnant the first time and she is definitely the definition of an unlucky person in that book from the family she was born into, her father's believing the teasing about their family, to her running into Alec and then Angel whom I pretty much hate and would never forgive by the way!. He is more responsible for her ending up as Alec's mistress than Alec himself!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

She was raped, it was a one time thing and they separated!.
If she met him several timesand they had an affair, the murder at the end and all her suffering would not make so much sense dramatically, it would be less believable!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

She was sleeping in the field in the mist!. This D'Uberfield guy took advantage of her!. One time thing!. Those days Victorian lasses were demure!. Good thing Tess killed him!. Go Tess!.Www@QuestionHome@Com