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Are the women in 'The Withered Arm' 'The Son's Veto' and 'Tony Kytes, the Arch Deceiver' victims or villains

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Introduction

Are the women in 'The Withered Arm' 'The Son's Veto' and 'Tony Kytes, the Arch Deceiver' victims or villains. Thomas Hardy was born in 1840 and died at the age of 88, in a small village in Dorset. Hardy's early works were unsuccessful but it wasn't until he started his short stories that his works became known. Hardy wrote a number of short stories. Some of his most popular are 'The Withered Arm, 'The Son's Veto' and 'Tony Kytes the Arch Deceiver. Most of his stories have a supernatural element to them also. His novels and stories are set in a fictional county called 'Wessex', which is centred on Dorset. Most of his works are set in the early part of the nineteenth century. The manner in which Hardy writes his stories gives you the impression that there is more truth in them than in a story. Women in the nineteenth century were in an inferior position to men socially, legally and politically. They had no chance of getting a professional job as they were given to men. Women usually married young and they were expected to stay loyal to their husbands and obey them. ...read more.

Middle

This is because Farmer Lodge is of a higher social class than Rhoda and her son. Rhoda is again portrayed as the victim in her nightmare. This is because Gertrude is pictured in her dream kneeling on Rhoda's chest and flashing her new wedding ring at her. Rhoda then reaches out and grabs Gertrude and this where Gertrude supposedly gets her mark on her arm from. As Gertrude's arm becomes worse Rhoda feels genuine compassion for her as she feels it is her fault that Gertrude has her 'Withered Arm'. As her affliction becomes worse she is sympathetically portrayed as a victim. In the final part of the story there is again sympathy for Rhoda as we find out the man that was hung was her son. Now Rhoda has returned to her role as the victim. At the beginning of the story Gertrude is described as "a rosy-cheeked" with a "tisty-tosty little body." Gertrude is a vision of beauty and is always concerned with personal appearance. Gertrude is of a much higher class than Rhoda that is why she was able to marry Farmer Lodge. Gertrude's ingenious description of her ailment leads to a disastrous chain of events. ...read more.

Conclusion

Hardy directs the reader to sympathise with Sophy. Her social inadequacies put in to perspective her love for and loyalty to her son. It is clear that Hardy values compassion and love highly and more than social acceptability. He is critical of those who do not share his views. In all three of these shorts stories all of the women are either victims or villains. In The Withered Arm it is hard to decide which women is the victim and which is the villain as they both carry out actions that would make the a victim or a villain. In 'The Son's Veto' Sophy is clearly the victim and she is the only victim that is certain. She suffers for most of her life as she wants to please her son. She wants to marry Sam but her son stops her hence the name 'The Son's Veto' as a 'Veto' is a vote to cancel something and this case her son is cancelling her love for Sam. In 'Tony Kytes, the Arch Deceiver' I think Milly is the victim because Tony tries to marry Hannah Joliver and Unity Sallet but when he is unable to do this he turns to Milly because she is the only one left, yet she still says yes to him. ?? ?? ?? ?? Oliver Tatum 09/05/2007 ...read more.

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