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Kavita Sharma 10BMIS 'The Withered Arm' - "Who do you think is to be blamed for the tragedies?"

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Kavita Sharma 10BMIS 'The Withered Arm' - "Who do you think is to be blamed for the tragedies?" In this essay I am going to try my best to answer the question "Who do you think is to blame for the tragedy of 'The Withered Arm'?" I will attempt to include as much information and reasons to whom I think is to be blamed and why. I will try to justify these reasons with various quotes and descriptions by referring to the text. Thomas Hardy was born in 1840 and died in 1825. He was a great novelist who wrote many famous novels such as 'Mayor of Casterbridge' and 'Far From The Madding Crowd.' These novels are now known for being classic literature. Most of the novels he wrote were depressing and ironic. 'The Withered Arm' is one of many Thomas Hardy short novels, it is set in the late 1800's in a village called Holmstoke that has a small rural community of mostly milkmaids. There are three main characters in this novel they consist of: Farmer Lodge; a wealthy and respected man, who is well known for his good reputation. Also there is Rhoda Brook; a not so wealthy woman and less fortunate than Farmer Lodge with a reputation of being a witch. Lastly there is also Gertrude Lodge; she is Farmer Lodge's new wife. ...read more.


It was the one that was shocking and disturbing especially towards Rhoda and Gertrude. With Rhoda's witchcraft powers she wonders if it was actually her who caused the withered arm. There was a supernatural force to this tragedy and it was unavoidable to Rhoda. Rhoda only had the dream because she envied Gertrude - "If the sweet and kindly Gertrude Lodge only knew of the dream-scene in the bed-chamber, what would she think?" This quote emphasises that Rhoda was feeling guilty about having such an evil dream and that after meeting Gertrude she realised that she is a good person. Tragedy is the main theme of the novel and it symbolises an event that is usually bad, which ends in a dramatic way, which is often unexpected. Tragedies can be caused by people's actions or decisions, which can have unpleasant effects, and it could have been avoided if people took more care and consideration in one another's actions. A tragedy can lead to an un-happy life. Blame is also a keyword in this novel because it provokes guilt and regret, which is exactly the feeling of Farmer Lodge especially, towards the end of the novel but also towards Rhoda. Blame means to be held responsible or being the cause of something. To be blamed means holding someone guilty for something they've done wrong, or in some cases they've done nothing wrong. ...read more.


The shock of everything that had happened to her caused her to die. When Gertrude and Rhoda's son both died, I think that's when Farmer Lodge became softer and sensitive. He felt guilty for everything he did to Rhoda and how he treated both Rhoda and Gertrude. He left his money to a boy's charity and gave some to Rhoda so that she could manage on her own. "Burdened at first with moodiness and remorse, he eventually changed for the better, and appeared as a chastened and thoughtful man." To conclude this essay I have decided that Farmer Lodge is responsible for all the tragedies that occurred within 'The Withered Arm'. He should not have left Rhoda bringing up their child on her own without any support. Farmer Lodge leaving Rhoda made her become curious and jealous when he re-married to Gertrude, as a result this feeling caused Rhoda to have a dream. Gertrude was affected because it caused her arm to gradually wither until it came to a point when the arm was cureless by any ointment or medication. If Farmer Lodge had been a good father and frequently helped his son and Rhoda out with financial difficulties maybe no tragedies would occur and everything would have been normal. Gertrude died of not having the satisfaction of a cured arm and being loved and feeling beautiful again. I think Gertrude did not deserve to have a difficult and miserable life. She was an innocent and kindhearted woman who was just madly in love with her newly wed husband. 1 ...read more.

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