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English Literature Coursework - Thomas Hardy - Setting

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The three stories I will be comparing in my coursework are "The Withered Arm", "The Winters & the Palmleys" and "The thieves who couldn't help sneezing". Hardy's has expertise of a writer and poet of Victorian literature. Victorian literature is the literature produced during 1837-1901 and corresponds to the Victorian era. It forms a link and transition between the writers of the romantic period and the very different literature of the 20th century. Thomas Hardy was an English novelist, short story writer, and poet of the naturalist movement. The bulk of his work, set mainly in the semi-imaginary county of Wessex, delineates characters struggling against their passions and circumstances. Hardy's poetry, first published in his fifties, has come to be as well regarded as his novels, especially after the 1960s Movement! Life in rural Dorset and the surrounding counties that make up Thomas Hardy's "Wessex of the novels and poems" moved more slowly than in metropolis of London or the industrial north, so that a novel may seem to be set much earlier than it actually is. ...read more.


important in "The Withered Arm" as many colloquial words in the story such as "lorn" and "wellnigh" are not commonly used in the writing today so help set a date to the story. Because Hardy was brought up in Dorset and the people in the villages there spoke their own dialect some of the words used in the story also help set a place to the time and setting. Personification is used to startle the reader, "the voice seemed to proceed from the belly of a cow called Cherry". This technique is used once again, "so warm that the purr of the milk streams become jerky" this indicates the rural traditions and themes. Hardy also uses detailed description and pathetic fallacy to make the weather, scene and the mood or atmosphere interlink. E.g. Rhoda and Gertrude are traveling to see Conjurer Trendle Rhoda is apprehensive and thinks something bad is going to happen. The weather echoes this," Thick clouds made the atmosphere dark, the wind howled dismally". This reveals that the mood in this place is very depressing and dull. Hardy's choice of words also makes a crucial impact on the atmosphere the story creates. ...read more.


Setting plays an important role in the success of Hardy's stories. In the thieves who couldn't stop sneezing, Hardy's style of writing gives this an eye catching effect forcing the reader to read on. The Winters & the Palmleys, In Victorian times women only truly married for money and wealth so obviously class was imperative for a satisfied life. Women seemed to be treated unfairly as men had more rights back then. Nathalie had chosen the right person. "And she liked and required the entourage which wealth could give her". The setting in this story is confusing and maybe related to mental health? "It was still quite light outdoors but inside the curtains were drawn". This reveals a fear of outside or maybe schizophrenia. To conclude my essay I would like to point out the fact that Hardy's advantage really give him an edge for his novels as his background revolved around it, his personal anecdotes helped him through. This shows great expertise as a writer and poet. ?? ?? ?? ?? English Literature Coursework Caolan Byrne 11A1 ...read more.

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