Hardy’s philosophy is marked with a strong note of fatalism. In his novels characters are helpless creatures and mere puppets in the hands of fate. They cannot enjoy free will. In the case of tees every incident in her life seems to take place as if determined by some unseen indifferent power which takes a malicious delight in her sorrows and sufferings.
It is fate which throws Tees into the trap of unprincipled Alec. When the family horse prince is killed in an accident the family faces a problem of livelihood. Tees is sent of d’Urbervilles to look for work. She meets Alec for the first time and at the sight of her his lust for her to do something for the family. Tees returns home and the next day a letter comes from Alec offering her a job on his mother’s behalf. Much against her will, Tees accepts the job to save her family from economic crisis. But Alec who is very clever young man manages to satisfy his lust for her in the wood when she is exhausted and asleep. When she ends up destitute and pregnant the local villagers chalk her troubles up to fate: as Tees’s own people down in their retreats never tire of saying ‘it was to be’.
In Hardy’s novel fate sometimes takes the form of Love. Fate is acting upon her when Tees is thrown into the company of Angel at Talbothays dairy. She falls in love with Angel and she loves him with all the warmth of her emotional nature. She worships him though she does not want to marry him. She feels that she cannot marry Angel because of the implications of her past indiscretions. She is torn up about her past with Alec d’Urerville and feels ashamed soiled and simply not good enough for Angel. As Angel is keeps pressing her she promises to tell him all her reasons and all her history. She makes five efforts to do so but fails. Fate reaches its climax when her written confession slips under Angel’s carpet instead of reaching his hands.
Fate also works against her when she reveals her past to Angel. After their marriage Angel tells her of his forty eight hours dissipation with a woman in London and asks her forgiveness. She forgives him to forgive her. But Angel is devastated by Tees’s confession of her seduction and the subsequent birth of her son and says, ‘o Tees, forgiveness does not apply to thy apply to thy case!’ So he deserts her and leaves for Brazil.
After Angel leaves and she is forced to work digging turnips at Flintcomb Ash in desperation she seeks out Angel’s parents for relief. During this fateful trip she meets angel’s brothers and overhears them mocking her husband for marrying beneath him: ‘Ah! Poor Angel, poor Angel!.... throwing himself away upon a dairymaid’. She feels forced to leave without seeing his parents who could have helped her avoid the fate that lay just ahead.
Indeed it is at this juncture when she once more meets the ‘converted’ Alec in the barn preaching. Had fate not intervened she would have been able to wait patiently for Angel’s return and avoided murdering Alec and her subsequent early death.