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The attitudes and beliefs which influence the outcome of the story 'The Withered Arm' by Thomas Hardy
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The attitudes and beliefs which influence the outcome of the story
'The Withered Arm' by Thomas Hardy
The Withered Arm is a novel based in a 1800s agricultural society. At the beginning we are introduced to the talk of the poor milk maids and men who gossip about the richer members of their community, the main person being Farmer Lodge, a rich land owner who is bringing his young new wife back to Holmstoke. They also talk about one of the milk maids called Rhoda. She has an illegitimate son by Farmer Lodge; she is isolated from the main group as she is suspected as being a witch. From the story it is very apparent to how class divisions were set. Each person knew their place in society. The story is almost a microcosm of society at the time.
Throughout the story, the very different attitudes towards men and women are made clear. Men desire to be respected, they want an heir. It is almost as if they have their wives as a trophy. This can be seen from when Gertrude first goes to Holmstoke, Farmer Lodge says to her "You must expect to be
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