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What have you found to enjoy in Thomas Hardy's

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Assignment 3: English Literature-Prose Pre 1914 English-Prose Appreciation What have you found to enjoy in Thomas Hardy's "The Withered Arm'? Thomas Hardy's book introduced a lonely beginning with 'The Lorn Milkmaid'. The book is set in the 19th Century in the countryside and so it is a rural setting. These times seem to have different circumstances with things such as insistence of attending church on Sundays. It appeared as a lonely morning in the milk shed where the 'lorn' milkmaid was milking the cows. There are many other milkers present but it seems she is 'lorn' as she is isolated from them for some reason. Later we learn this is because she has had a child out of wedlock. We see it apparent that this milkmaid has had a relationship with a known 'Farmer Lodge' (as their names were defined by occupation) with a higher status due to his name. These two have obviously parted at some point. ...read more.


She has previously been accused of such 'Supernatural' doings. It turns out the village people had all ready began suspecting Rhoda a while back of being a witch since her 'fall' when she had the illegitimate baby. This shows how superstitious people were in these times and how important virtue was in a woman. The third chapter is a very intricate chapter. It is a big foundation for the book as it is where the commotion begins. The 'vision' arises much inquisitive suspense to the reader's thoughts. It is like the base of the story, and all of the problems that present themselves seem to have been as a result of this chapter and the account of Rhoda's dream. We then move on to an outline of Farmer Lodge's opinion on the 'withered arm'. It appears that he only accepts Gertrude for their physical beauty as he does not seem impressed with the fault and tells Gertrude to 'Keep your arm covered from sight' and she also thinks that 'he loves me less'. ...read more.


The end of this book is the real highlight of its excitement because of the twist where you find out that Gertrude has come to lay her arm on the neck of Rhoda's son, and how a prediction by Conjuror Trendle actually presents itself which is not really expected. The story seems to finish with a solemn conclusion when stating that Gertrude never makes it out alive and Farmer Lodge and Rhoda are symbolically shown as being closer at the end when their son is hung. The book also finishes cunningly as well, leaving it up to you as to where the reader's sympathies should lie. I wasn't really sympathetic for anybody really as all the characters seemed to commit sins of some sort. Rhoda began with her hatred for Gertrude which lead to Farmer Lodge 'loving her less' which then led to Gertrude becoming twisted and obsessed. Well I suppose my sympathies would have to lie in Rhoda's son if anyone! Ben James 10/05/07 English 1 ...read more.

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