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Study of Pre-1914 Prose - Analysis of short stories by Thomas Hardy.

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Introduction

Study of Pre-1914 Prose Analysis of short stories by Thomas Hardy Thomas Hardy was born in 1840 and died in his late eighties. As a child Thomas Hardy spent most of his time in a small village near the edge of a wild moor land, which he called Egdon Heath in his stories. Hardy's early years were spent at home in front of a warm fire with his grandmother and parents telling him stories about the neighbourhood that they had lived in for generations. Hardy's "Wessex tales" and many other stories were all based on what he had seen through out his life and named his surroundings with what he wanted such as the nearest town, Dorchester, was changed to Casterbridge. Thomas Hardy created "Wessex", and his short stories, like "Wessex Tales". Wessex is based on a real worldly environment, an area in the South West of England that in real life includes counties such as Dorset, Somerset, Oxfordshire and Devon. In the days before televisions and films and in countries where many could not read, people still loved stories. Instead of seeing or reading them they heard them. People told each other stories and gossiped about what is happening around the neighbourhood, which was very small at the time. ...read more.

Middle

However what is not predictable is the anti-climax that the writer adds on to the story for effect. He states that William Privett is seen again, after he is dead at the spring where his son had died. This was rather unusual or strange in the context of the story because we did not know about his son dying and also did not expect William Privett to be seen again. Another of Thomas Hardy's stories titled "The Withered Arm" is great in description as he uses this innate gift to express someone or something in the deepest form which could actually help the reader picture the person or object clearly. First of all, we can see clearly that marriages could only happen between people of the same class and that it could only be between social equals and this is one of the aspects of that the society judged a person on. Farmer Lodge was of a high class so married Gertrude, a beautiful young lady, also of high class. By doing this Farmer Lodge left Rhoda, who is of lower class. The reason why Rhoda sends her son to spy on Farmer Lodge's new wife is to see if she is of equal society and is more beautiful, which was also looked on by society - the appearance of a person. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is shown when Thomas Hardy writes, "they are obliged to make an example of him, there have been so much destruction of property lately". Nevertheless, "The Distracted Preacher", another of Thomas Hardy's collection is tragic as it based on how pious people were in Victorian times about religion. "The Distracted Preacher" is set in a town called Nether-Moynton, which was recreated by Hardy from a place near Dorchester called Owre Moyne (Owermoigne). Again society shows how people reacted towards appearance. The minister was good looking so it caused people to say, "Why didn't we know of this before he came, that might have gived him a warmer welcome!" With "To Please His Wife" Being bases on how a class in society and being well dressed can give you some powers over women and marriage. Overall I think that Thomas Hardy recreated his life time by using multiple storylines as "The Superstitious Mans Story" is based on superstition, and "The Withered Arm" based on how beauty and appearance affects status in society. "The Distracted Preacher" is based on, to some extent, religion and "To Please His Wife" is about authority and jealousy affecting true love. All of these 'life-like' events are events that take place in someone's life, and some how these collections of stories are like a deeply evolved and highly detailed diary of Thomas Hardy's life. Samad Farhat 10Q 1 07/05/2007 ...read more.

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