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Comparing The Two Stories “The Withered Arm” And “An Imaginative Woman”, Both By Thomas Hardy

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Introduction

David Pearce Comparing The Two Stories "The Withered Arm" And "An Imaginative Woman", Both By Thomas Hardy I will be examining two novelettes by a single author, Thomas Hardy. "The Withered Arm" and "An Imaginative Woman". I will be highlighting the similarities and differences between them. Additionally I will be analyzing the content of each. The first thing we notice about the two stories is that they are both written in third person narrative. Another thing we notice about the style of writing in both is that it is very old fashioned, which tells us these novelettes must have been written some time in the 19th century. The main characters in both stories are women. In "The Withered Arm" Gertrude is the main character, and in "An Imaginative Woman" Ella is the main character. The main themes in both stories are fate and irony. This makes both stories very tragic, which intrigues the reader. This is why Thomas Hardy has chosen to write in this style. Although the two stories are set around the same time, they are set in different regions. "An Imaginative Woman" is set in an urban environment and "The Withered Arm" is set in a more rural area. This shows us that Thomas Hardy does make variations in his writing. Capital punishment plays a major part in "The Withered Arm", as Gertrude must place her damaged arm on the neck of a hung criminal, to cure it. ...read more.

Middle

Thomas Hardy describes the scene when Ella first lays eyes on Robert very passionately: As she gazed long at the portrait she fell into thought, till her eyes filled with tears, and she touched the cardboard with her lips. Page 13. Although Ella seems happy here, her mood changes considerable after she discovers he committed suicide, and she begins to think she may dies of depression. Thoams Hardy explains: Her grief and distraction shook her to pieces, and she lay in this frenzy of sorrow for more than an hour. Page 21. Betrayal plays an important part in both stories. In "The Withered Arm", Farmer Lodge has betrayed his son. He has chosen to ignore him because he was the result of an affair with Rhoda Brook. He also ignores him because he is illegitimate, and an outcast. this is what he tells Gertrude when she asks him if they could give him a lift: O no, these country lads will carry a hundredweight once they get It on their backs; besides his pack had more size then weight in it. Page 5. From what he says, it is clear that he wants nothing to do with him. Not only does Ella lie to her husband in "An Imaginative Woman", but she betrays him as well. Not only it is clear she does not love her husband, but she is also in love with another man. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is also known as neglect. In "An Imaginative Woman" Ella has neglected her husband, as she has been more interested in Robert Trewe. Finally, both stories contain the theme of death. In "An Imaginative Woman" two people die, both quite tragically. Robert Trewe dies by suicide, this is what a newspaper says about his death: Mr. Robert Trewe, who has been favorable known for some years as one of our rising lyrists, committed suicide at his lodgings at the SolentSea On Saturday by shooting himself in the right temple. Page 20. Ella dies as well, during childbirth. This is what Thomas Hardy says: She could get no further then for exhaustion: and she went off in a sudden collapse a few hours later. Page 25. In "The Withered Arm" two people dies as well. Rhoda's son dies by being hanged for a crime. Gertrude dies as well, this is how Thomas Hardy explains it: She was taken out of jail into the town, but she never reached home alive her delicate vitality, sapped perhaps by the paralyzed arm, collapsed under the double shock that followed the severe strain, physical and mental, to which she had subjected herself during the previous twenty four hours. Her blood had been "tuned" indeed - to far her death took place in the town three days after. Page 32. Again, these two deaths are very tragic, like in "An Imaginative Woman". ?? ?? ?? ?? 7 1 ...read more.

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