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

The Withered Arm - This story belongs to the collection of Hardy's "The Wessex Tales"

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

THE WITHERED ARM This story belongs to the collection of Hardy's "The Wessex Tales" The withered arm was inspired by a local story about witchcraft. The story is about a lower class woman called Rhoda who has an affair with an upper class man called Farmer Lodge, they have a son. Lodge shows no interest in his child. Twelve years later Farmer Lodge gets married to an upper class woman called Gertrude. Rhoda was jealous of Gertrude. One day Rhoda had a dream that she hurt Gertrude's arm. The following day Gertrude shows Rhoda her arm. Rhoda was shocked to see it. Gertrude later asked Rhoda if she had some medicine for her arm because it was getting worse. Gertrude asks Rhoda to go with to see a medicine man who is into witchcraft but Gertrude does not mind because she wants her arm back to normal. ...read more.

Middle

People believed it was pointless to educate women and some people never educated their sons because they did not have enough money. Hardy portrays Rhoda Brook and Gertrude as contrasting characters .Rhoda is often portrayed in a negative light and Gertrude in a positive light. Gertrude is portrayed as a poor unmarried single mother, ageing, tall and dark but proud. Rhoda is a jealous, bitter and obsessive woman of the lower working class. On the other hand Hardy portrays Gertrude as an upper class lady, married but childless, she is easy going, very kind, generous and caring. Hardy describes her as a young woman, fresh face, short, plump and rich because of her large house that has a lot of land behind and in front. Rhoda's house is described as a hut with mud walls. ...read more.

Conclusion

He also fell in with the wrong people and was accused of arson and then got hanged for it. In Rhoda's view Gertrude was evil and this was seen as a vision and not a real thing. We know this because in the story Rhoda said "this is the meaning of what Satan showed me in the vision! You are like her at last!" Gertrude was an innocent victim. She was vain and obsessed with being perfect but it was the societies fault because of the gossip and the image of Gertrude as being a lady and not an outcast. Lodge is also made to look irresponsible because he abuses his status and the power it gave him in society. Also he was insensitive and did not support Rhoda. He was selfish and uncaring. Overall I think Farmer Lodge is more to blame because he did not care for Gertrude or Rhoda. ...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 Thomas Hardy 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 Thomas Hardy essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Tess says, Once victim, always victim thats the law. In the light ...

    3 star(s)

    We gain here, a sense of Tess's affinity within the natural environment as she proceeds through this profusion of growth. Hardy has likened Tess to 'a fascinated bird' as she is totally mesmerised by Angel and in awe of his handsome physique.

  2. The characterization and lives led by Gertrude Lodge and Rhoda Brook in Hardy's The ...

    At the same time, the reader can see how Rhoda Brook feels affection for Gertrude, and that she has a frightening fascination with Gertrude's affliction; which mystified her so: " held to her by a gruesome fascination", this reflects the extent of the horrid fascination measured against guilt.

  1. Compare the effects of the values and attitudes of the 1800s on the role ...

    She was also very interested in the Rest Cure, devised by Dr Silas Weir Mitchell. The rest cure was firstly devised to help shell-shocked soldiers of the American Civil War, but Weir Mitchell adapted it to 'cure' the mental diseases of women.

  2. The attitudes and beliefs which influence the outcome of the story 'The Withered Arm' ...

    In the 19th Century a hanging was entertainment and not seen as gruesome. Gertrude had gone from being a kind hearted lady getting shoes for classes below her to saying, "O lord, hang some guilty or innocent person soon!" Gertrude had by the end become quite a selfish person and

  1. Compare and contrast Hardy's presentation of the two women throughout 'The Withered Arm'.

    get worse and worse by now Lodges interest in Gertrude had begun to fade. The more Gertrude's arm withered the more Farmer Lodges interests in her withered. . It was Rhoda's obsession that is responsible for Gertrude's affliction, which leads to paralysis as well as the loss of both her looks and her husbands love.

  2. How does Hardy create a sense of tension and terror in "The Withered Arm"?

    We don't know what Gertrude wants or why she has come to see Rhoda, this creates tension. Rhoda has also had a vision of this woman attacking her on the previous night and now she is walking towards her for no apparent reason, her being transfixed on Gertrude shows her angst and fear at the sight of the young woman.

  1. Thomas Hardy "The Withered Arm" and "The Sons Veto".

    the fact she did not conform to the rules of society, and due to this she was accused of having magical powers.We see when the new bride arrives Rhoda has some sort of obsession of what she is like, we this when she tells her son, 'you can give her

  2. How The Mayor of Casterbridge reflects the social, historical and cultural influences of the ...

    Even though this did happen in the story, in real life things of this sort were becoming less and less common. Of course in Hardy's day there was no television, radio or computers and so their idea of entertainment is much different to ours.

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