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Comparative essay of 'The Withered Arm' & 'Turned'

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Comparative essay of 'The Withered Arm' & 'Turned' Introduction The 'Withered Arm' was written Thomas Hardy and 'Turned' was written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. In this essay I'm going to compare the two stories by comparing the main characters in both stories. In 'Turned' I will compare Mrs Marroner and Gerta. In 'The Withered arm' I will compare Gertrude Lodge and Rhoda Brook. I will compare the characters by their appearance, personality and their status for example marital and financial. After I've compared the characters in their particular story I'll cross compare the two stories, comparing all the characters to each other. Author introduction of 'The Withered Arm' Thomas Hardy was born, and lived most of his life, near Dorchester. He links a lot of his stories to his own life because a lot of them were set in neighbouring counties such as Devon, Somerset, Cornwall, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Berkshire and Oxford. To this section southwest England Hardy gave the fictional name Wessex and called his first book of poetry 'Wessex Poems' and his first collection of short stories 'Wessex Tales'. Through Hardy's use of the name Wessex for the area, it has become known as Wessex. Hardy applies his own life to a lot of his stories, especially in his short stories. This is evident throughout 'The Withered Arm' in one point of his life he knew an old woman who, in her youth, was taken to have her 'blood turned' by a convict's corpse, in the way he describes it happening in 'The Withered Arm'. ...read more.


Gertrude is a lot richer than Rhoda Brook. She lives in a big house with her husband, Farmer Lodge. She rides about in a horse and cart, which were used in the 19th century by people who were affluent; they were one of the most modern forms of transport at that time. Author introduction to "Turned" Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a women's activist who protested for women's rights because she believed that women were getting treated worse than men. Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses this point of view in this short story, because the two women, Gerta and Mrs Marroner are used by a man, Mr Marroner. She also gets her point of view across that women don't need a man to get by, because at the end of the story Mrs Marroner and Gerta move into their own house and get by alone, without a man. I will now compare the two women in 'Turned'. These are Mrs Marroner and Gerta. I will first compare their personalities. Mrs Marroner is a strong and independent woman because when Mr Marroner is away on business, he writes Mrs Marroner a letter saying if he died he didn't think that she would be broken. He says in the letter, "I do not feel you'd be an utter wreck" This shows she has a very strong character. In contrast, Gerta isn't very strong and she is described as childish and docile and that looking after her was like baby tending. ...read more.


All of the women in the stories are emotional and caring; Gertrude delivers Rhoda Brook's son some new shoes, when she sees that his are worn and tattered. This proves that she cares because she wants to help the boy because she sees his shoes are uncomfortable. Rhoda is concerned about Gertrude's arm when it goes bad. She asks her about it all the time to see if it is getting better, but this may just be guilt about the dream she had. Gerta and Mrs Marroner are lying sobbing on their beds because their lives have been torn apart by Mr Marroner, Mrs, Marroner is sobbing because her husband has betrayed her, and Gerta because he has left her with child. This shows they are all emotional and caring. In both stories the two women had made friends with each other and the man, to some extent was made the enemy. Gerta and Rhoda were both left with a child after a man had promised that he would look after them; we assume this with Farmer Lodge, and then left them for another woman. In Mrs Marroner's case he would have gone back to his wife. In conclusion in my comparison both authors have used adjectives well so that they might portray a mental picture of what the characters look like. The authors have also used regional dialect to try and give some sense of time and place an example of this is be; "You give her a look..." Examples of the author's use of adjectives are: "A lady complete". "Grace and beauty". "...Her personal beauty". By Benjamin Baker ...read more.

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