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Compare and Contrast how Thomas Hardy and Charlotte Perkins Gilman present the situation, behaviour and attitude of the women in the stories 'The Withered Arm' and 'Turned'. Explain what motivates these characters to behave as they do.

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Introduction

Lucy Hampton 5th Form Thomas Cookes Compare and Contrast how Thomas Hardy and Charlotte Perkins Gilman present the situation, behaviour and attitude of the women in the stories 'The Withered Arm' and 'Turned'. Explain what motivates these characters to behave as they do. Hardy and Gilman both share a similarity of characters and theme in their short stories. Both focus particularly on the female characters and the ways in which the other characters react and behave towards them throughout the stories. Both stories have two strong main female characters and two weaker more na�ve but also lead female characters. The way these characters interact with each other is very similar in both stories, how Marion and Rhoda seem to almost mother Gerta and Mrs. Lodge as they appear to have a kind of power over the two younger women. Although it can be argued that in the case of Mrs. Lodge, she has Rhoda's ex lover as her husband and this could be looked upon that she has an advantage over Rhoda. She feels as though Gertrude is 'closing doors' between herself and Farmer Lodge that finally there is no chance of rekindling the old flames she once had with him or for Farmer Lodge to make 'any reparation' for what he did to her. Both the elder women also have greater knowledge of men and how the world works, even if Mrs. Lodge is what is called a 'lady complete' she is still unaware of how society works and is treated. ...read more.

Middle

It should also be brought to attention that in both of these stories it was the woman outside of the relationship who produced the baby when the woman inside of the relationship was the one trying to conceive. Gertrude Lodge "had brought him no child" when Rhoda Brook had already given birth to his son. Mrs. Marroner said, "How they do come where they are not wanted - and they don't come where they are wanted." Implying that Gerta had given birth to a baby, who really was not wanted, and how she and Mr. Marroner were desperately trying to conceive but were unable to due to the fact of her being infertile. In both of these stories we have tales of deceit and lies between the three members of the individual triangular relationships. In Turned the biggest lie comes from Mr. Marroner deceiving his wife by cheating on her and getting the young and impressionable Swedish home help Gerta pregnant. "He appreciated the full innocence, the ignorance, the grateful affection, the habitual docility, of which he took advantage." When he made the suicidal mistake of mixing the letters by sending Gerta's letter to his wife, and his wife's letter to Gerta. In his letter he had made more empty promises by lying to Gerta that he will look after and take care of her, but he was subtly trying to get Gerta to leave Mrs. ...read more.

Conclusion

It shows the bravery these women had to leave their rich home and move somewhere completely new where their fortune and well-being was hanging very much in the balance. Later Mr. Marroner went in search of his wife and when he found out where she lived, a woman appeared at the door with a younger attractive woman holding a baby, and the woman who used to be his wife said to him "What have you to say to us?" In the Withered Arm the story ended with Rhoda Brook returning to her old job that she had at the start of the story which was the milking of cows, Gertrude became too old and frail and died and Farmer Lodge became a kind, caring and thoughtful man! Gertrude died three days later in the town "Her blood had been turned indeed, too far." After this Rhoda had lost her friend and her son so she decided to resume where she had started where "Her monotonous milking at the dairy was resumed." Farmer Lodge on the third corner of this triangular relationship gave up his farms and became a member of the parish after he overcame his remorse and moodiness. "...He eventually changed for the better, and appeared as a chastened and thoughtful man" In conclusion, this essay contains triangular relationships and is evidence that they occur and always will happen for years to come and it doesn't make any difference about what century it happens in or if it is from a rich or poor background because affairs, unwanted babies and triangular relationships will still be present. ...read more.

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