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What makes “The Melancholy Hussar” such as a sad and unhappy tale?

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What makes "The Melancholy Hussar" such as a sad and unhappy tale? To what extent do the attitudes people had at this time affect the atmosphere of despair? The short story of the "Melancholy Hussar" is such a sad and unhappy tale because the events that go on within the story are all very sad. The reader's hopes go up and down all the way through the tale. As you read the story the author Thomas Hardy makes the reader feel very sad and unhappy, by the way he brings realism to the story. The time at which the story is set also makes it sad because the rules of society make it much harder for the young girl Phyllis who is the main character, to have a relationship with a man that she really loved rather than someone whom her father considered to be the right person for her. Also the constant rising and dashing of hope for the future bring over the feeling of despair. This story has a lot of bitter irony about some of the events that make it sad and unhappy, an example of this is when Hardy uses coincidence, bad luck, fate, and chance to the story. Phyllis is always on a roller coaster going backwards and forwards, going from happy to sad. ...read more.


Thomas Hardy used light and dark imagery such as her social condition was twilight and her father was darkness. Hardy raises the hopes of the reader when Humphrey Gould proposes to her and is accepted; now there are hopes for Phyllis's life to get better. But Humphrey Gould has to go away, one year passes and still no Humphrey Gould, all she gets are some letters, which are really very cool. Now the reader's hopes for Phyllis drop. The next event in the story is when Phyllis meets Matthaus Tina. She meets him out of pure coincidence when she is at the bottom of her garden, as she describes it a "solitary figure" walking along the path, this of course was Matthaus Tina (a German Hussar). A few days later Phyllis decides she will go back and see if Matthaus Tina was there again and he was. They began to talk and they touched hands. In those days this was considered to be a really big step. At this point the reader hopes that Phyllis will be happy now she has met someone whom she really likes. The third time that Phyllis meets Matthaus, he is there for a very long time and when he returns to his camp he gets his stripes taken away from and he does not she that there is any point in staying so he asks Phyllis to run away with him. ...read more.


Phyllis looked over the wall and could see two coffins, which lay empty on the ground. Then she saw that it was Matthaus Tina and his friend Christoph who were the two men to be executed they were then executed and the colonel of the regiment said "turn them out" and the coffins were taken away. Just as this happened Phyllis fell from the wall and no one had noticed but she was found, but did not recover consciousness until a few days after. At this very last point in the story nothing could of made Phyllis even unhappier but to have seen, Matthaus Tina and Christoph be executed. There was a very sad ending to the story. Phyllis had lived until she was 87 years old and she still had not told anyone else the story. She told the story to Thomas Hardy when she was very old, she remembered every little detail. When Phyllis was alive she always attended the graves of Matthaus Tina and Christoph when they grew over. The very last sentence in the story was "Phyllis lies near"; this says she is still on her own and very lonely and worst of all she is not buried next to Matthaus Tina. The conditions of that time made it hard for Phyllis to have a relationship with someone other than who her father said. This story is made by the twists of fate and coincidence all contribute to making this a very sad story. ...read more.

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