• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A Pair of Blue Eyes by Thomas Hardy What is revealed about the character of Elfride Swancourt in chapters VI-X ?

Extracts from this document...


A Pair of Blue Eyes by Thomas Hardy What is revealed about the character of Elfride Swancourt in chapters VI-X ? Throughout the novel Elfride is viewed through the eyes of those around her Hardy uses them to put across his ideas on the nature of women, by making the thoughts, dialogues and descriptions, a representation to his thoughts and ideas. It is hard to distinguish whether his thoughts on Elfride represent Elfride's character or the traits of all women in the novel and in the society of that era. At the beginning of chapter six we are at the residence of Lord Luxellian. Elfride, Stephen and Mr. Swancourt are checking the house. The first time we see Elfride's thoughts are when she sees Stephen kissing another woman on the lawn. The quotation "Her unpracticed thoughts were occupied..." is a prime example of Hardy's use of adjectives to describe Elfride's nature. The word "unpracticed" implies that her mind is unused and distracted, and also that her mind is not developed as of yet and this symbolises her immaturity. Elfride's thoughts move on "Elfride at once assumed that she could not be an inferior". In this quotation she makes a comparison of class between herself and Stephen. She regards herself as superior to Stephen, but only due to her father's wealth. ...read more.


We then unearth that she loved him for being "docile and gentle" but he is dissatisfied with this comment but is still willing to marry her. Hardy then sets up the story line for later in the novel by making a reference to the "Court of King Arthur's Castle" the novel written by Elfride. Elfride then tests his love for her by asking who he would rather save, herself or Knight (Stephen's good friend and tutor). We are shown again her playful side when she says " 'And let him drown. Come on or you don't love me!' she teasingly went on..." Hardy uses the adverb "teasingly" to imply that anything she says is not real and not as important as anything Stephen says. When he has given in to her, "a woman's flush of triumph lit her eyes." This once again indicates that Elfride is playing a game with Elfride. But this "triumph" maybe Elfride confirming their mutual love. In Chapter eight we find out about Stephen's background but there is first a reference to the missing earrings after Stephen has been out looking for it: "Never mind though I am much vexed; they are my prettiest." This quotation is an indication of Elfride's vanity as she is more interested because they were her "prettiest" and not their sentimental value. ...read more.


Stephen contemplates leaving Endlestow to earn money but Elfride is unhappy with this and tries to persuade him to stay with her. He argues that once he has worked to make a name for himself her father will allow their marriage but she disagrees and believes that "...now is as good a time as any!" She then argues that other women will seduce him but he declines this argument. This may have been said because if Stephen is not around to be a constant reminder of their love then she might go a stray as she later does. Her arguments are passionate as Elfride seems to be really speaking from her heart. Throughout the text Elfride is viewed and assessed by the reader. We can conclude that Hardy's views of women are in some cases portrayed in the character of Elfride. Hardy sees women as objects of desire by men, as Elfride is seen by Stephen. Her character is playful seeing that the world is a game. She is very simple and takes things at face value although she is able to delve deeper in arguments. Her nature is very whimsical and spontaneous as she takes what she wants because she is so desirous. Although she is na�ve, she is inquisitive. It is quite obvious that these characteristics do not always refer to all women but are just a few that Hardy dwells on to portray Elfride. Keval Chandarana 4U 21/1/2000 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Thomas Hardy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Thomas Hardy essays

  1. On The Western Circuit by Thomas Hardy

    "Reading over all those sweet letters to me signed "Anna," he replied with dreary resignation". Although Raye had been an honest man in his marriage to Anna, he still wishes within his heart to be with Edith, he retains the letters as written by Edith although they were under Anna's name.

  2. How does Hardy portray his grief and loss in The Voice?

    At the beginning of the marriage. "When you have changed from the one who was all to me," This shows that Thomas Hardy felt guilty as he may have been partly to blame for them splitting up. Thomas Hardy describes his life through the weather, in the last line of the first verse he commented on

  1. Analysing The First Two Chapters of 'The Mayor of Casterbridge' and How They Act ...

    He told Michael about the type of work available in Weydon-Priors. The turnip-hoer had a very brief appearance in the novel indeed. He did have quite a significant part, as the reader discovers that there was a lack of work for the working-class and that Weydon-Priors was a changing area, good for some, bad for most.

  2. Thomas Hardy "The Withered Arm" and "The Sons Veto".

    'Throughout these changes Sophy had been treated like the child she was in nature though not in years. She was left with no control over anything that had been her husband's beyond her modest personal income.' Towards the end of the story Hardy shifts the narrative as Sophy was not

  1. Deception is a Driving Factor in the development of the narrative. Discuss this suggestion ...

    In the era of Shakespeare it was traditional for a man to pronounce his love through concentrating on a woman's physical appearance: comparing her features to beautiful often naturalistic things, as in this case the softness of a dove's down.

  2. Good women- Bad men?

    know whether she should move anywhere in case he came back and never found her again. The Withered Arm Secondly I am going to speak about one of Hardy's short stories 'The Withered Arm'. This is a story of a single mother, Rhoda Brook, who works on the farm of her son's father as a milkmaid.

  1. How does Hardy use his knowledge of the Bible, Art, the universe and Wessex ...

    church, even on Christmas Day, as because of the weather 'they did not care, to trudge two or three miles to sit wet footed in the church'. If their belief had been strong, then it wouldn't have mattered what they had had to endure to demonstrate their faith.

  2. The attitudes and beliefs which influence the outcome of the story 'The Withered Arm' ...

    At the time when this was diagnosed people were suspicious. Farmer Lodge thought it was a judgement from heaven. Gertrude also said, "My husband says it is as if some witch, or the devil himself, had taken hold of me."

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work