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Half way through Chapter XX, Hardy describes the 'summer fog' that was suddenly occurring and all the activities that were taking place at the time of this fog and actually within it.

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James Williams Phase the Third - The Rally January '03 Half way through Chapter XX, Hardy describes the 'summer fog' that was suddenly occurring and all the activities that were taking place at the time of this fog and actually within it. Hardy focuses mainly on the fog in two paragraphs and in each paragraph, he offers to different perspectives of the appearance of the fog which automatically suggests to the reader that this fog in the middle of summer, which is in itself unexpected, has a deeper meaning behind it. Tess and Angel are alone, due to it being "non-human hours", in the fog near the water-fowl. This is one of the first real times that Tess and Angel have been alone together and to them, spending a summer night together alone would be very special. This is why Hardy chose to have thick, dense fog on this night. Fog makes it hard to see what it ahead of you and makes everything look mysterious and uncertain, no matter which way you look. ...read more.


Hardy describes the fog as being in "layers" which could represent all the different levels of meaning for the fog being there. The fog is also described as being "woolly" which suggests to the reader that it is thick, untidy in appearance and dry. The next part of description is vital in revealing the hidden meanings behind the fog. Hardy says that the fog is "apparently no thicker than counterpanes..." which is saying that if you were looking down on the fog from a distance it would appear very thin and smooth, whereas where Tess and Angel are, it is dense and thick and the "apparently" represents the pair having no knowledge of the 'big-picture' of the fog. The descriptions then move on to the conditions of the ground below them, perhaps the only direction they could see. There were patches of ground Hardy calls "islands" where the cows had been sleeping and obviously disturbed some of the ground. This too could represent the patches on Tess' mind of her past where there is some "disturbed ground" amongst surrounding clean, untouched ground. ...read more.


The sea being described as white also adds the idea of innocence to the areas of Tess' background that have not been disturbed by people such as Alec. Half way through this paragraph, Hardy begins to describe the direct affects the fog is having on Tess. Or her appearance to be precise. He ignores the fact that Angel is also in the fog and just focuses his attentions, once again, purely on Tess. Hardy describes the dew from the fog that is clinging to Tess' eyelashes as "minute diamonds". This creates the sense of how such a simple thing as dew can be converted into something so luxurious by just being in the presence of Tess Durbeyfield. In the next sentence Hardy informs the reader that as time passes and the day matured the dew on Tess dried and then she "lost her strange and ethereal beauty..." This could be implying that since Tess was raped and then months have passed, some of her beauty, perhaps in her innocence, had been stolen from her by Alec and it was fading away. ...read more.

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