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"Although he could write hilarious comedy, Hardy was more inclined to see things in a tragic light." How far do you agree with both parts of this statement? Refer to two stories to support your answer.

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Introduction

Jenni Duffy "Although he could write hilarious comedy, Hardy was more inclined to see things in a tragic light." How far do you agree with both parts of this statement? Refer to two stories to support your answer. Thomas Hardy was one of the best writers of the nineteenth century and wrote many short stories. I have read two of these: "Tony Kytes, the Arch-Deceiver" and "Old Mrs Chundle". I do agree, "Although he could write hilarious comedy, Hardy was more inclined to see things in a tragic light" because although the stories tell very different tales they are set out in the same way: comedy, tragedy then irony. One story is funnier and the other sees things in a more tragic light. Both stories are quite comical which is shown in the situations the characters find themselves in. In "Tony Kytes, the Arch-Deceiver" Tony ends up with three women in his wagon, two of which are hiding in the back of it. We can already predict that something funny is going to happen. He then gets off his wagon leaving the reins of the horse with the third woman resulting in a comical crash where each woman discovers that Tony has been leading them on. ...read more.

Middle

Another sad situation is when Mrs Chundle is talking to the curate, he asks her where a road right near to her house leads to but she does not know. So he thinks that she has not lived here very long when in fact she has lived there for nearly thirty-five years. She then goes on to say that she only ever goes to two places each year. This again is not particularly tragic, but sadder, as it implies that Mrs Chundle is not very sociable, she does not go out very much and she is quite lonely. This helps in suggesting that Hardy did write in a more tragic light as he could of written Mrs Chundle as a sociable woman who goes out a lot, but instead he wrote her as a lonely woman who does not go out very much. At the end of "Old Mrs Chundle" she dies. This is the most tragic element to both stories. This situation is particularly tragic not sad. The irony that is present in both stories is brought into the story after Mrs Chundle dies. As, after this happens, the curate finds out that she has left everything to him in her will! This adds to the tragedy of the story as in the end, even after the curate decides he does not want to see Mrs Chundle anymore, she still leaves everything to him, which makes you feel even worse for her. ...read more.

Conclusion

This conveys the sad or tragic feel to the story. The tragedy of the story of "Old Mrs Chundle" is also, like "Tony Kytes the Arch-Deceiver" conveyed in the mannerisms of the characters. Towards the end of the story the curate puts off visiting Mrs Chundle and takes down the special equipment in the church for her to hear with. This suggests that the curate is mainly thinking of himself and trying to discourage Mrs Chundle from attending his church. Because Hardy was writing in a more tragic light this mannerism of the curate brings out the more tragic side to the story. After looking at both stories, and after looking at the comical and tragic situations and at the language used to convey the comical and tragic elements to the stories. I have come to the conclusion that I agree partly with the statement: "Although he could write hilarious comedy, Hardy was more inclined to see things in a tragic light". As I do not think that Hardy could write hilarious comedy, because, as a reader in the twenty first century, I do not find these stories "hilarious" however I do agree that he was "more inclined to see things in a tragic light". As although both stories are comical they both, especially "Old Mrs Chundle", have tragic elements to them. Jenni Duffy ...read more.

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