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

Through the two main characters of Rhodaand Gertrude the writer allows the reader to know his opinion on gender equality at the time.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Through the two main characters of Rhoda and Gertrude the writer allows the reader to know his opinion on gender equality at the time. As well as criticising the way in which men treat women, he also states his feelings on how women treat other women and their selves. Rhoda is firstly represented as a mysterious, lonely and segregated person who has a history with the character, Farmer Lodge. This assumption can be taken from the way the fellow workers treat Rhoda and their conversations involving Farmer Lodge and his new bride. For example one milk maid says, "Tis hard for she" while looking at Rhoda who is described by the writer as, "a thin fading woman of thirty milked somewhat apart from the rest". This description is just, because the workers speak blatantly about Rhoda and her past, even though she is in hearing distance. It is like they are aware of her presence, but choose to discount it because Rhoda, in their eyes is worthless. ...read more.

Middle

and body just because of a man's actions and how they choose to treat women, in this case in a disparaging way. The writer also uses Rhoda's self- absorption (...his mother not observing that he was cutting a notch with his pocket-knife); obsessive fixation on Gertrude's appearance and the twisted gratification she receives at hearing of Gertrude's faults ("She is not tall. She is rather short". He replied. "Ah!" said his mother with satisfaction) to criticise how weak some women can be. The writer sympathises with Rhoda's mistreatment but also pities her for allowing she to become a victim in the first place. This opinion is later confirmed when Rhoda is so consumed with envy and scorn that she dreams about Gertrude. The dream being a metaphor for her inner feelings. Up to this point the writer doesn't prompt much sympathy for the character of Rhoda as she is construed as bitter and slightly vindictive, yet after the event we see a softer side to her. ...read more.

Conclusion

Men think so much of personal appearance", to once again criticize both males and females of the time. Men for making women degrade themselves in order to pathetically please 'their man' and women for allowing themselves to be so hopelessly dependant on a males approval and love. He is saying that, that kind of relationship is destructive, to a female especially since most men of the time focused solely on appearance, "Yes; and he was very proud of mine at first." The writer uses the characters of Rhoda and Gertrude as a kind of before and after picture. In the beginning we see that Rhoda Brook is a lonely, poor woman who is branded a witch and thought of as highly scandalous yet we see Gertrude as an innocent and beautiful young woman, the later image is ironic because the beautiful Gertrude does transform into a Rhoda-like being, bitter and obsessive. The writer is allowing us to see the process in which vanity, reliance, obsession and the behaviour of men towards women along with the nature of the female friendship enables the downfall of a person. ...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. Good women- Bad men?

    Another reason for Farmer Lodge to have lost interest in his wife is that she has bore him no child, and although I think this is not right of him to lose interest in her because of this, I can understand why.

  2. To what extent do you think Michael Henchard is responsible for his own downfall? ...

    I don't like t'other name at all for my own flesh and blood.... She won't object." "No. O no. But-" "Well, then, I shall do it," said he, peremptorily. The audience see a stubborn and self-centred side to Michael here.

  1. Compare and contrast at least two of the female characters in two or more ...

    she is aware of being better off than others around her and so does not want to flaunt her wealth and social status, whereas Farmer Lodge "seemed pleased" with the attention. This gives the reader a negative impression of Farmer Lodge, while the reader warms to Gertrude even more, as she comes across as a very genuine, selfless person.

  2. Which of the two key male characters in

    Henchard Michael Henchard is the first character that we meet in the Mayor of Casterbridge. We see him to be a rash, volatile young man with a dangerous drink habit. He does whatever he thinks of on the impulse, and then regrets it later. Take the first chapter, for example.

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

    However at the very end the pity turns to Rhoda when her son dies. It makes you reflect on how horribly she was treated by society, by Farmer Lodge and then she loses her only son and her only true friend.

  2. Analysing The First Two Chapters of 'The Mayor of Casterbridge' and How They Act ...

    Michael and Susan have a declining relationship. Susan doesn't converse with Michael and just saunters along with him silently. As with Michael, we don't discover Susan's name at first. This is probably because Thomas wants to set the scene first, then the characters, etc. Although we don't know that Susan and Michael are in wedlock, we o know that Susan is the mother of young Elizabeth-Jane.

  1. Which of the female characters in the short story, in your opinion, suffers the ...

    "While here and there in the thatch above a rafter showed like a bone protruding through the skin." Again this resembles Rhoda in the way that it getting more and more derelict with age. "....her dark eyes, that had once been handsome" this shows that Rhoda was once beautiful and

  2. A Withered Arm

    he was cutting a notch with his pocket-knife in the beech-backed chair. THE YOUNG WIFE; THE road from Anglebury to Holmstoke is in general level ; but there is one place where a sharp ascent breaks its monotony. Farmers homeward-bound from the former market-town, who trot all the rest of the way, walk their horses up this short incline.

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