• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Consider the effects of class divisions on the characters in "The Withered Arm" & "The Son's Veto".

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Consider the effects of class divisions on the characters in "The Withered Arm" & "The Son's Veto". When Thomas Hardy wrote "The Withered Arm" and "The Son's Veto" the times and the way people thought were very different from today. The economical and cultural differences between the higher and lower classes were much greater than today's, the rich had the power and were much more independent than the poor ones. These differences caused the upper class to treat without any respect at all the lower class, being hypocritical and snobbish towards the others. It is my impression that Thomas Hardy wrote these stories to expose and criticise the attitudes of the upper class. He probably suffered from being the son of a modest builder and was made to feel snubbed and maybe even mistreated. Focusing specifically on "The Son's Veto" and "The Withered Arm" we have clear examples of social prejudice; Randolph forbids his mother to marry Sam due to his low social class and Rhoda and Farmer Lodge do not marry due to their differences in within society even though they have a son. ...read more.

Middle

Neither Rhoda nor Sophy, can marry the one they love due to, as I wrote before, the prejudice of the community at large, and in particular the men who control their lives. Hardy tells the tales as objectively as possible, yet it is presumable that the author is sympathetic towards the victims of these short stories, as he as well was of modest origins. We can assume that Sophy (in "The Son's Veto") accepts Mr. Twycott's wedding proposal mainly for economical security , in fact marrying him would have, almost certainly, led Sophy to a wealthy life. The Son's Veto "Sophy did not exactly love him, but she had a respect for him that almost amounted to veneration. Even if she would have wished to get away from him she hardly dared refuse a personage so reverend and august in her eyes, and she assented forthwith to be his wife". It seems that she does not really love her husband but shows only respect towards him. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is another episode that demonstrates the prejudices between the social classes in The Withered Arm where Rhoda Brook and her son are extremely surprised by the friendly visit of Gertrude. Being Gertrude the wife of Farmer Lodge , a very honoured and important man, it was extremely unusual that rich people would even consider the working class. And yet, Gertrude, the wife of the most important and powerful man of the area paid a visit to a poor milkmaid and her son showing that not everyone was under that mentality, that some people used to also follow their heart. 'The Withered Arm' and 'The Son's Veto' show clearly the world that surrounded Thomas Hardy, a world he so despised based on social prejudice and hypocrisy. In writing these stories, I feel that he wanted to record for future generations the faults of the past and by doing so hoped that he could better his own present society. Marco Eman ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Thomas Hardy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Thomas Hardy essays

  1. The Son's Veto: Thomas Hardy - The mother in this story sacrifices everything for ...

    Hardy does give his opinion in the story by the way he describes the characters. Sophy is seen as a quiet frail woman and he sometimes labels her as a gentle creature and that she's being tortured. Randolph is written as a purely as a hated character and represents the typical male of that era.

  2. The Son's Veto Thomas Hardy

    Both the stories are about sacrifice, dilemmas from which the need for a sacrifice arises and the characters having to chose what meant most to them in life. Sacrifice is generally defined as 'giving up something valuable to you'. Today we see sacrifice as mainly the giving up as material

  1. Discuss the similarities and differences that exist between 'Growing up' by Joyce Cary and ...

    This is why they moved out of the picturesque little village and moved to London. This way, nobody found out about them. Randolph knows that his mother is not so upper class as her is always correcting her grammar. Throughout the story, he realises that he is clever and of higher class than his mother.

  2. Prose Study " The Withered Arm And Other Wessex Tales" By Thomas Hardy

    "The Son's Veto" bases its theme around the fact that Sophy is uneducated, but her son is and, because of this, there is a growing divide that separates them. Likewise in "The Withered Arm" there is a son that has been brought up in poverty by Rhoda Brook.

  1. Thomas Hardy writes about the divisions between the upper and lower classes within three ...

    "Tis hard for she" signifying the thin worn milkmaid aforesaid. "O, no.... He hadn't spoke to Rhoda Brook for years." Since the affair Rhoda had separated herself from the rest of the village and she was frequently gossiped about. Rhoda was also very poor as she had to bring up

  2. Discuss who suffers the most in Thomas Hardy's prose 'The Withered Arm.'

    Rhoda thinks intently about Gertrude, which in turn makes her have a dream, whereby she sees Gertrude upon her chest, hence throws her to the floor whilst gripping her left arm. Though she didn't mean to do so in reality, it did in fact end up affecting Gertrude's arm, resulting in it being withered.

  1. Compare 'A Stench of Kerosene' by Amrita Pritam and 'The Withered Arm' by Thomas ...

    Manak accepted the new wife but his heart were dead within him. When Guleri heard of Manak's second marriage, She soaked her clothes in kerosene and set fire on her. When Manak heard about Guleri's death from a friend called Bhavani, he felt his own life burned out.

  2. In this assignment we will be comparing the leading female characters in Thomas Hardy's ...

    It is usually mixed in with dialogue or as a train of thought on the writer's behalf. This makes them more part of the story and easier to digest. In The Withered Arm, we see Rhoda Brook as a very lonely woman.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work