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

Eferring in detail to 2 short stories that you have read, explain what makes them examples of a 'good short story' - Thomas Hardy's 'The Withered Arm' and ' The Superstitious Man's Story'.

Extracts from this document...


Referring in detail to 2 short stories that you have read, explain what makes them examples of a 'good short story' Thomas Hardy's 'The Withered Arm' and ' The Superstitious Man's Story' are both excellent examples of short stories because they both have interesting beginnings and don't spend a long time setting the scene. 'The Withered Arm' is set at a milking farm with milkmaids chatting about Farmer Lodge returning back with his new bride (Gertrude Lodge), "He do bring home his bride tomorrow, I hear." Gertrude Lodge visits a milkmaid called Rhoda Brooks in a dream where Rhoda ends up grabbing tight grip of Gertrude's arm in a tight grip and all of a sudden waking up. Gertrude later becomes good friends with Rhoda Brooks and showed Rhoda the problem with her arm, "she uncovered her left hand and arm: and their outline confronted Rhoda's gaze as the exact original of the limb she had beheld and sized in her dream." Rhoda and her son left town because Rhoda understood why and how it got there. ...read more.


Thomas Hardy also describes a lot about Rhoda Brooks cottage using many adjectives and a simile, "like a bone protruding through the skin". There is a really good description of Gertrude Lodge when she visits Rhoda in the dream, "that young wife, in pale silk dress and white bonnet, but with features shockingly distorted, and wrinkled as by age." This changes the readers susceptive of Gertrude's character. The effective ending in 'The Withered Arm' is that Gertrude discovers that the hanged person is Farmer Lodge and Rhoda Brooks's son. This is known as a twist in the tale. 'The Superstitious Man's Story' is set at the home of William and his wife who are both the main characters. 'The Superstitious Man's Story' is about a married couple at home on Midsummer Eve, "Last night being Old Midsummer Eve." The man 'William' had gone to bed, and his wife who was up finishing the ironing. While she was hard at work 'William' walked downstairs and out of the house without saying a word, "no word was said either side, William not being a man given much to speaking, and his wife being occupied with her work." ...read more.


There is a build up of tension when we find out his boots are still at the stairs even though he's just left the house, "to her great surprise, and might I say alarm, on reaching the foot of the stairs his boots were standing there as they always stood when the had gone to rest." This is effective because this moves on the story by the build up of tension. When Williams's wife finds him asleep there is a good example of a simile, "as sound as a rock." At the end when William actually dies his "fellow-mower" saw a miller-moth come from his mouth and fly straight away. The effective ending in 'The Superstitious Man's Story' is that William actually dies and his spirit is seen at a different place at the time of his death. I liked both these stories because the same author wrote them both and they are both the same type of story (a mystery with a little of horror). They both had good examples of adjectives and similes within them and good story structures. ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Thomas Hardy - analysis of three poems. Afterwards, During wind and rain ...

    3 star(s)

    With the poem's conclusion, as the church-bells ring, emblematic of the comforting message of Christianity that we may be remembered affectionately by the living. The poem, then, becomes Hardy's bell of 'quittance', a song celebrating his life. In conclusion, the poem possesses an "eulogistic" quality, in fact, Hardy would have

  2. Examine Thomas Hardys portrayal of women in twi if the stories you have read, ...

    This is not the original ending to the story but in may 1912 the "adventurous antecents" forced him to change it to this from her sticking with Jim the smuggler and emigrating with him after their marriage, The other

  1. Kavita Sharma 10BMIS 'The Withered Arm' - "Who do you think is to be blamed for ...

    Little did innocent Gertrude know that the person she is using to cure her disfigment is Rhoda's son who was hung because he was accused of arson. Soon after Gertrude realised who it was she could not take the stress and she became ill; physically and mentally.

  2. How Thomas Hardy portrays women in his stories, the withered arm, the distracted preacher ...

    She becomes very conscience stricken between the two men; will she go with her father's choice (Humphrey) or her romance Matthaus? She decided the best thing to do was to conform to society and her father and marry Humphrey, "She would stay at home, and marry him, and suffer."

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

    A good example of the use of shorter sentences, is during the auctioning of Susan, 'The sailor hesitated a moment, looked anew at the woman, came in, unfolded five crisp pieces of paper...' The lengths of the paragraphs also vary, but most of them are long, which is typical of the time period.

  2. Who or what do you think is to blame for the tragic events at ...

    Therefore, it is possible that they may have jumped to the conclusion that since he was a poor, lower class boy, he must have been doing something wrong. The second tragic event at the end of "The Withered Arm" is Gertrude's death.

  1. "The Withered Arm" and "The Superstitious Man's story" - Explain what makes them examples ...

    Gertrude was taken to prison and then thrown out on the street where she died three days later. There are a small number of characters in "The Withered Arm" - the three main characters are as follows: Farmer Lodge, Rhoda Brook and Gertrude Lodge (Farmer Lodge's new bride).

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

    out of the way...the farmer trotted on with relief in his lineaments - having taken no outward notice of the boy whatever.' Farmer Lodge wants this secret to be kept quiet as it was a mistake he made. When his marriage is seriously failing after six years of being with

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