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Compare and contrast how the two authors Thomas Hardy and Charlotte Perkins Gilman present the women in the stories, The Withered Arm and Turned.

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Wider reading essay Compare and contrast how the two authors Thomas Hardy and Charlotte Perkins Gilman present the women in the stories, The Withered Arm and Turned. The difference between a novel and a short story is that a novel is a long story usually consisting of 30,000 to 100,000 words. A long story by contrast is a work of prose fiction. In a long story there are more characters and the details are featured. A long story usually has interconnecting story lines and many reactions, along with emotions, violence and conflicts. A short story consists of between 500 and 20,000 words and it is a short work of prose fiction. A short story has a few characters. The characters are usually involved in one particular focus, as there is one single action. The Withered Arm and Turned are a typical example of short stories. In both stories there are two women and a man with one main single action. In this essay I am going to compare the two short stories which I have read. I am going to compare the different ways in which the two authors present the women and the techniques they use to do this. The short Story 'Turned' is written by Charlotte Perkins Gilmans who is a female author, so presents the women in the story from her own point of view. The story (Turned) is about two women who are different from each other in their characteristics and the backgrounds they come from. The story is set in the 20th century. ...read more.


In the second story, The Withered Arm, Thomas Hardy presents Rhoda as independent and strong because she works as a milkmaid and has brought up a child on her own. She doesn't accept money from the farmer (who is the child's father and her boss) that he has offered to her at the ending of the story. Rhoda puts a spell a spell on the farmer's new wife, and her arm is withered. When Gertrude finds out who has done this, Rhoda leaves the town. Rhoda is confident no matter what people are saying she still puts up with it. Whereas Gertrude is weak as in ladylike. Gertrude thinks looking beautiful for her husband is important. When the farmer loses interest in Gertrude because of the arm, she tries everything to win his interest back. In the pre-twentieth century for women to have status their main aim was to marry and have children who they were treated poorly. Gertrude thought keeping her husband happy was important which is why she wanted to stay beautiful. "The place on my arm seems worse, troubles me". As you can see Gertrude tells Rhoda about her arm finds out who did it to her arm. "Well, ma'am". Thomas Hardy presents Rhoda to speak to Gertrude with respect because compared to Rhoda, Gertrude ha a higher status than her. When the farmer marries Gertrude Rhoda wants to find out about Gertrude, so sends her son to find out about her. When Rhoda hears that Gertrude is beautiful she becomes quite jealous, which leads to her having the bad dream about Gertrude. ...read more.


Handsome is usually a word used to describe men because it is a manish way to describe a woman. Thomas Hardy never uses abbreviations epically when Gertrude speaks " I tell my dear husband that it looks as if he had flown into a rage and struck me there". "But her woman's nature, craving for renewed love". The author is trying to say it is important for a woman to be loved by a man, which shows that he thinks it is everything in the world for them. Having been through both stories, both authors have written the stories in their own ways. Charlotte Perkins Gilman's story relates to the modern world and she brings out the feelings of the women. As Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a female herself, she brings out the positive side of the women and their strengths. Charlotte Perkins writes from a political perspective for feminism. Where as Thomas Hardy present the women differently and relates to how the women were treated. He shows that it is important for a woman to have man. This is because of the time his story has been set in because in these days if women weren't married they were treated poorly. So Hardy has used this story to write about women's' struggles against the society they live in and the circumstances of their lives because they usually lose or die. Though in both stories the author uses the poor women to be the ones who have the child and aren't married. Also, both men are fathers of a child but cannot marry the mother because of their social class. Rohema Bibi English Coursework Wider reading essay ...read more.

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