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Compare and contrast some of the short stories by Thomas Hardy paying particular attention to his depiction of & the role of women in the stories.

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Introduction

Compare and contrast some of the short stories by Thomas Hardy paying particular attention to his depiction of & the role of women in the stories. The roles of Women in Hardy's short stories are contrasting and interesting at the same time. In Hardy's lifetime many strong women surrounded him. His mother came from a poverty stricken background and was a servant until she married Hardy's father. She influenced his life heavily, as a mother figure and also she guided him into literature and arts. To his mother education was very important, therefore she proceeded to push him in that direction and make sure he got the schooling she didn't. Some may see the women in Hardy's short stories to be dependent and they may seem to rely on men, but times were hard for women and they may have had to rely on men to survive. In the stories we looked at as a class ("The Withered Arm", "Old Mrs Chundle", "Tony Kites") we can see a developing life unfold... Teens=Tony Kites 20's=the withered arm (Gertude) ...read more.

Middle

She's constantly thinking about Framer Lodge and when he gains a new wife she becomes obsessed with someone she's never seen, because she is a social outcast. The reason she is a social outcast is because she had a child out of wedlock and in this time period this was deemed to be wrong, because she is outcast she gets stereotyped as a witch and when anyone asks about sorcery in the town they get directed to her. The Farmer's new wife, young Gertrude Lodge, is described as a vision of beauty and she is very concerned with her personal appearance. This is how most women were seen by men e.g. Tony Kites the women a very partial to there looks, Hannah feels hard done by when she gets a scratch on her face because it might hinder her chances of getting another man, "I have spirit and I do refuse him! Says Hannah partly because her father was there, and partly, too, in tantrum because of the discovery, and the scar that might be left on her face.". ...read more.

Conclusion

the woman lead role and has preconceived ideas of her, whereas the women both look up to the male figures see themselves as being of a lower class to that of the male. Mrs Chundle has come to realise that men are the more dominant species and I get the feeling that she thinks that whatever a man suggests might be right for her, the same goes for the women in Tony Kites, they believe that whatever Tony says is the best for them, but I get the impression that the women in Tony Kites are using Tony to get at his vast wealth, Tony may not be the best looking man in the world but he is in the trading/farming business which means that he does have substantial wealth, which means that they should have a comfortable lifestyle. Overall the women of Hardy's time were dependent on men but I fell that they did still looking out for number one, they were strong but were not yet accepted into the workforce yet so a man with wealth was nearly vital but as Rhoda proved they could survive without men. Henry Deazley 11n Mr Hollywood. ...read more.

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