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

Literary analysis of 'The Going' by Thomas Hardy

Extracts from this document...


Q: How does Hardy tell the story in 'The Going'? 'The Going' is a poem mourning the death and loss of Hardy's wife Emma. The themes of anguish, love and regret are echoes throughout the poem however it is unusual and interesting to note that it seems that Hardy is blaming Emma for leaving him and over-romanticizing the time they spent together. The title 'The Going' gives the air that Emma's death was a grand sort of departure. A reader with no knowledge of Hardy's life would perhaps feel that Hardy loved and took much care of his wife throughout his life and her departure was 'grand' in that way, however this is not the case. The circumstances Emma died in illustrated a harsh husband who did not come to his wife's deathbed when the maid told him Emma was very ill - Hardy's grievous poem makes the circumstances are very ironic. In the second stanza, Hardy also refers to Emma's death as the 'great going', which is once again giving the idea that Emma's death was grand; like a Queen leaving. ...read more.


A sense of arrogance and self-righteousness is eluded from his desire to shift the blame away from him - this may make the speaker seem unlikeable. There is a sensual tone in the poem which works to romanticize the mood of the poem and suggest the happy past the couple had in the beginning of their relationship and the happy life they could have had but didn't. Hardy asks Emma why she did not 'lip me the softest call' - this is a reference to physical intimacy and could be a kiss or to whispering 'sweet-nothings'. From that suggestion, it would seem like Hardy was always expectant for such intimacy however this was not the case as the couple were not physically intimate for most of their relationship. There are echoes of their courting days in their youth in the fourth stanza where Hardy describes a younger Emma in flattering and loving terms as the 'swan-necked one' who would 'muse and eye (him)'. The idea of Emma 'eyeing' Hardy suggests a shy and playful Emma sneaking glances at Hardy which evokes empathy in the readers heart for not only Emma but the combined couple of Emma and Hardy during their courtship. ...read more.


Using a device such as alliteration is deliberate and therefore Hardy's use of alliteration shows he had enough capability to make use of this technique. The final stanza in the poem has great significance to the poem and its meaning. Hardy uses short sentences and caesuras to demonstrate how harshly Emma's death came about and how harshly their relationship ended. 'Well, well! All's past amend/Unchangeable. It must go.' shows how he seems reluctant to accept that Emma is now dead as the short sentences make it sound as though he is slowly trying to make himself accept this fact. Sharp caesuras in this stanza also make it feel as though trying to convince himself Emma is gone is very painful. To conclude, Hardy uses literary devices such as alliteration and sensual imagery to give a sensual feel to this poem, however the underlying tone and meaning of this poem is a sad and greivious one as highlighted by Hardy's use of blame and structure. Short sentences and an inconsistent ryhming scheme demonstrate this sad mood. ...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 Other Poets 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 Other Poets essays

  1. Rabindranath Tagore. Tagore being an active politician of his age has written numerous ...

    country if we seek to create the country we wish to live in by our thought, our activity and our service. He criticizes the character of the King, as he is wasting the country's potential by his lack of determination and irresponsible attitude.

  2. Blake is the Enemy of all Authority(TM)- to what extent is this a fair ...

    Song" in 'Song's of Experience' who reprimands the children saying "your spring and your day are wasted in play" and in contrast to the well intentioned protection of the children in the first "Nurse's Song", this poem presages the eventual loss of the children's natural freedom.

  1. Social and literary background to Mirza Ghalib's works. Mirza Asadullah Beg Khan known ...

    Ghalib tells us that somewhere about this time he was in love with a domni, that is, one of a Hindu caste of singing and dancing girls. More than forty years later he was to speak of the grief when she died: "It is forty years or more since it happened...........

  2. The Darkling Thrush, The Voice, The Going and The Convergance of the Twain revision ...

    poem was written on the last day of the last year of the century? * What do the thrush and the poet have in common? How are they different in their attitude to adversity? * Do you like or dislike this poem?

  1. Fern Hill By Dylan Thomas, summary and commentary.

    mercy of his means?; ?time allows/so few and such morning songs.? There are other formulaic systems to charm the ear, such as the conversational ?Now as I was,? ?And as I was,? and ?Oh as I was?; the spatial ?About the lilting house? and ?About the happy yard?; and the

  2. Thomas Hardy- the Walk Analysis

    Furthermore, only in the first stanza does he directly address Emma, but in the next, he is thinking to himself, not even thinking of Emma, but of his environment. This sharp contrast exhibits his loneliness and emptiness that he has to face without Emma, which is present in all the other Emma poems but presented differently.

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