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Show how the social, cultural and historical contexts of the early 19th century, as revealed in Hardy's short stories, contribute to the 'reality' and effectiveness of the characters and the events he creates.

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Introduction

Nicola Kellie: 4089 English Literature Horwich St. Josephs: 32159 February 2003 ' The Withered Arm' and other stories Show how the social, cultural and historical contexts of the early 19th century, as revealed in Hardy's short stories, contribute to the 'reality' and effectiveness of the characters and the events he creates. The social, cultural and historical contexts of the early 19th century contribute to the 'reality' and effectiveness of the characters and events that Thomas Hardy created in many of his stories. For example in 'The Withered Arm' the hangings would be classed as a social event. In the story Hardy makes it seem like they were a family day out. He explains how there would be huge crowds turning up to watch. People would also buy souvenirs. There was lots of superstition in the village and there were also different classes, for example; working class and upper class. ...read more.

Middle

A cultural point in this story is that there was a difference between town and the country. It was very busy in the town with large houses and many people but in the country it was completely different with not many houses and not many people, there were lots of fields and it was very quiet. In 'Tony Kytes' there is only one main social point and that is that he had many different girls that he was seeing all at the same time. Hardy writes about how Tony was driving down a road and as he did this he would start by picking up one of his girlfriends, then, as he moved further along the road he would see another one of his girlfriends. Because of this he would have to ask the first girlfriend to hide. Then he picked up the second girlfriend, saw a third girlfriend so asked the second girlfriend to hide. In the end he had all three girlfriends in one vehicle. ...read more.

Conclusion

This meant they would smuggle it in and hide it in the top of a lighthouse and they would sink it around the coast so at night they could go along with a net out of a boat and collect everything that had been smuggled. Finally, the social point is that the social class didn't mean anything, everyone smuggled and lives were based around it. Therefore, it is clear that the social, cultural and historical contexts of the 19th century contribute to the 'reality' and effectiveness of the characters and events he creates. I think this could be because Hardy emphasises these points so it is easier for you to set the scene in your mind and understand the stories. Most of what Hardy wrote is set in Dorset and the neighbouring counties. He was the son of a mason builder and his mother, father and his grand fathers widow brought him up. I think if you read the stories carefully you can see that parts of Hardy's life are reflected into his stories in small doses. ...read more.

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