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Thomas Hardy- the Walk Analysis

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Introduction

Njeri Muhia Mrs. Muthama 20th October 2011 Critical Analysis of The Walk by Thomas Hardy Grief is a complicated thing, and Thomas Hardy clearly depicts the varying and contrasting emotions that overcome him when it comes to dealing with the death of his wife Emma. The Emma series encapsulates how Hardy felt for his late wife, her passing, and his involvement in her death. The Walk definitely varies as compared to the rest of the poems in the Emma series; there is a contradiction in the construction, illustration of Emma, and the general tone as well as a change in attitude when considering the ?difference? and change in his life after the passing of Emma, though includes some of his stylistic elements. The construction of the poem is greatly different as compared to the other Emma poems, however some elements of Hardy?s style are still captured in the poem. Firstly, most of the poems in the Emma series are presented in three or more stanzas. ...read more.

Middle

The rhyme scheme as well is very atypical. Normally Hardy uses alternating rhyme schemes, however this is the only poem constructed entirely by rhyming couplets. This contrast presents a quietness, a solemnity to the poem?s tone of sheer guilt, unlike in the other poems that follow more complex schemes. By virtue of doing this, Hardy adds depth to the poems tone and emotiveness. However, Hardy continues to use enjambment in this poem, like in your Last Drive and Shadow On The Stone to create a sense of conversation, and free flowing thought. The use of the rhetorical question also includes that uncertainty that is present in many other Emma poems, but the difference here is that he in not unclear of Emma, but of his environment. He has finally resolved with Emma?s passing. What is more, he continues to create such an intensity and loneliness in his dramatic endings that are quite simplistic, impressing a sense of an echo. It is present in that empty ?look of a room? in this poem, the unclear voice of ?the woman calling? in The Voice, and in the ?cave just under, with a voice still so hollow?, in After A Journey. ...read more.

Conclusion

He describes her as ?weak and lame?, and this is the only description of her in this poem. The sheer fact that he fails to divulge in a memory that is not reflective of her beauty, but instead chooses to point out that he left her in this state emphasizes the grief and guilt that he is facing. Moreover, this poem is more self-reflective, he focuses more on what he did, and how he acted at this point in the marriage, instead of focusing on the memory, or the landscape, which has been a clear motif in his other poems, there is no ?soft sweet scene? like in the Phantom Horsewoman, we are only given a ?hill-top tree/By the gated ways?. By not describing the memory in detail, the reader focuses on his actions, and his ever so obvious feelings of guilt. The Walk is a simple lyric that emphasizes a change in focus, Hardy has deviated from the obvious concentration of Emma and their memories and is now grappling with his inevitable future, and recognizing his emotions and his participation?on his own. ...read more.

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