Depictions of nature often reflect the mood in Tess of the D’Urbervilles. For example as Tess sits listening to Angel play the harp, “The floating pollen seemed to be in his notes made visible, and the dampness of the garden the weeping of the garden’s sensibility. Though near nightfall, the rank-smelling weed-flowers glowed as if they would not close, for intentness, and the waves of colour mixed with the waves of sound” (page 139).
Yet later, after Tess has separated from Angel, and is sleeping outside in a plantation the scene is described violently. “The plantation wherein she had taken shelter ran down at this spot into a peak which ended it hitherward, outside the hedge being arable ground. Under the trees several pheasants lay about, their rich plumage dabbled with blood; some were dead, some feebly twitching a wing, some starring up at the sky, some pulsating quickly, some contorted, some stretched out-all of them writhing in agony except the fortunate ones whose tortures had ended during the night by the inability of nature to bear more” (p 297).
Can you think of other places in the text where descriptions of nature accurately depict the mood of the characters?