• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7

In your opinion, who is most to blame for the outcome in “On the Western Circuit”?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Dani White 11/4 January 2001 In your opinion, who is most to blame for the outcome in "On the Western Circuit"? On the Western Circuit was published in 1984. It was written by Thomas Hardy who was known as one of the greatest novelist in the English language. He was born in 1839 and died in 1928. On the Western Circuit was taken from a collection of Thomas Hardy's novels called 'Life's Little Ironies'. A lot of Thomas Hardy's novels were viewed as negative and it would seem he had a pessimistic view on life. He thought it was impossible to find true happiness. Thomas Hardy wrote his novels in the Victorian era. At this point there were a lot of double standards and women were extremely repressed by men and society. Thomas Hardy was a realist and aware of the challenges and pressures faced by women. They had limited education, limited wealth and limited power. Society only had real respect for those women married and in a secure relationship. Hardy disagreed with Victorian values and was conscious of the difficulties society caused. In this particular novel there are themes of deception, powerless women, education, blame, Victorian values and society. The women in the story all set out with good intent but are not aware of what the repercussions that will ensue as a result of their actions and desires. As a result of their various desires they all find themselves trapped in situations they cannot change, without being looked down upon by society. The pressures of society's 'perfect' expectations leads them to circumstances they would rather not be in. They are pulled down by society and not able to truthfully express their emotions. In the story, Anna, an attractive but uneducated servant is spotted on a funfair by Charles Bradford Raye, a wealthy educated Esquire from London. Charles picks out Anna, as the prettiest, from a group of girls. ...read more.

Middle

When Charles discovers that Anna is pregnant, firstly he raises her hopes by assuring her he will come and see her. This is soon over ridden when he sends another later saying he cannot get away and will not be visiting her. Considering the circumstances you would assume that Charles would rush to see Anna and look try to comfort her and look after her as she is carrying his child alone. It takes another cleverly written letter from Edith Harnham to make Charles take responsibility for his actions and say he will look after Anna. He deciders to marry Anna but I think he is only persuaded to do this because of the pretty and clever letters he receives from Edith. His reason for the marriage is obviously not based on love. Society would come into the story here; Charles cannot leave Anna, a poor young servant to bring his child up alone. She would obviously be looked down on and if it was found out he had made he pregnant he may also not be thought as highly off. We can see how society would react from Mr Harnhams reaction. When he finds out Anna is pregnant he instantly wants her to leave and she is told to leave the house. "...an inkling of Anna's circumstances reached the knowledge of Mrs. Harnhams husband or not cannot be said, but the girl was compelled, in spite of Edith's entreaties, to leave the house" Charles suspiciously wants the wedding to be private. This suggests he is not proud of his bride and surprisingly considering why he chooses her initially does not want to show her off. He may be ashamed of his reasons for marrying Anna, or feel very guilty, so he does not want a lot of people to witness the wedding. From another point of view, Charles could be seen to be just a young romantic man, who made one mistake and now has to pay the consequences for the rest of his life. ...read more.

Conclusion

She has never experienced true love and this may have been her only chance but she is unable to do it. Society traps her in her current marriage although she is lonely and longing for love. She also longs for children, which her and her husband do not have and he is not considering. She is only driven by desires that she should not really express. It may have been hard to keep such passionate feelings inside and writing the letters would have made her aware of Charles and Anna's relationship constantly. At the end of the story, although she has to go home knowing she will never be able to be with her true love, she does make sure Anna is married and goes back to her husband. She must have suffered immensely with divided loyalties. Society and their pressures may have influenced the women's actions in the story. Hardy was aware of the difficulties that women faced at this time and the story highlights this. He knew that sexual desire was evil and women were powerless. They had no vote and were economically dependant upon men. They could not be fulfilled. There lives were not dictated by themselves. All the characters in the play are driven by uncontrollable desires. Hardy would say that no one could control his or her fate or future. He believed humans were at the mercy of forces beyond their control. My sympathies would lie mostly with Charles and Anna, as they will now have to spend the rest of their lives pretending and making people see their relationship for something it is not. I think I would blame Edith mostly because she was older and more experienced with the world and you would think she would have more knowledge to stop her acting the way she did. I do believe all the characters must have found it hard given the restrictive culture in their society not to be able to express the feelings they held for each other. This would definitely resulted in many being unable to fulfil their hopes and aspirations. ...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 British History: Monarchy & Politics 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 British History: Monarchy & Politics essays

  1. War Story.

    Then he saw a disturbing scene. One of his comrades had trodden on a landmine. Daniel couldn't bear to watch. There wasn't even a scream. The brave soldier had just...gone. His family were probably waiting at home, for their son or brother to come home.

  2. How do the poets in 'Charlotte O'Neils song' and 'Nothing Changed' show their feelings ...

    'Nothing's Changed' is a far more angry poem. Whereas the girl in the first poem is able to make a change to the way she is treated, the second poem seems to suggest that although things have changed politically, society is still divided. Only it it's money which divides people up now and not just colour.

  1. arctic story

    "James can we have breakfast now?" I asked "Yes," he replied "Come on then cook it," I demanded "No, I cooked it yesterday," James said It was quite nice, but only because he had extra food. I preferred to travel light, very light! I said "It's not going to taste very nice; it will have a

  2. the perfect lie

    No part of my body moved, well I couldn't move, I was way too shocked! I came to a point a few minutes later, this cannot be true and eventually minutes later I was able to talk. Now I know how Aunt Mary felt I think I had a bit of a black out, in fact I did.

  1. A continuation of thomas hardy's on the western circuit

    The child was lost. Charles had guessed this when he saw the result of their accident. The pain still stung Anna. She had time to muse over the recent incidents when she was bed ridden. She had been left alone with her thoughts often these days as Charles was never found to be nearby.

  2. Personal and Imaginative writing: Ghost Story.

    I said cautiously. "You'll be fine. All you have to do, is get up there, preferably quickly so we don't all freeze to death, and we'll do the rest. All right babe?" James said comfortingly. "Yeah, I'm fine. Here goes nothing" and with that, I attached one end of the rope to a very large stone.

  1. James - creative writing.

    Bill who was by far the strongest of the to creepers so he kicked the door down. A man was standing next to the door and said "I think you what the brothel." To which he got the echoed reply of, "YES!"

  2. Heaven to Hell

    Each doctor replaced their tools in the appropriate positions and left the small room whilst Mark and Judy sat down on chairs they'd found in the room and moved them to be beside James. Judy burst into tears at once and leant over to comfort and hug her only child

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