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GCSE: Other Titles
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Stricter codes and laws meant that people could be hanged or shot for such minor offences such as burglary and desertion. Thomas Hardy wrote many stories, including 'The History of the Hardcomes' and 'Tony Kytes the Arch-deceiver', the only story we have covered that has a slightly comical ending. The three main stories we will be concentrating on are 'The Withered Arm', 'The Melancholy Hussar of the German Legion' and 'The Winters and the Palmleys'. In 'The Withered Arm', Farmer Lodge and Rhoda had a relationship in the beginning but he left her when she fell pregnant with their son.
- Word count: 1729
Hardy also deliberately withholds information from the reader of Rhoda's son such as his name and introduction which creates suspense throughout his behaviour whilst he is spying on Gertrude. Another impression of Rhoda which Hardy describes is the image of the cottage that reflects her physically. "It was built of mud-walls, the surface of which had been washed by many rains into channels and depressions that left none of the original flat face visible; while here and there in the thatch above a rafter showed like a bone protruding through the skin."
- Word count: 1878
Rhoda has her moments in the story where she is seen as the fragile, innocent character but she is not all she appears to be, she has a very evil bitter streak in her which we see later in the story. In the story there are four main characters: Rhoda who is a milkmaid, Farmer Lodge who owns the farmhouse, Gertrude who is Farmer Lodge's new wife and the Son whose parents are Rhoda and Farmer Lodge. At the beginning of the story Rhoda becomes pregnant and soon after splits up with farmer Lodge.
- Word count: 1471
She is described as "A thin, fading women of thirty that milked somewhat apart from the rest." The use of the work "fading" Implies that she is an outcast. She is constantly ignored and is not considered a part of society, as she is fading into the surroundings. The chapter then goes onto explain the relationship between Rhoda and Farmer Lodge. The audience discover that Farmer Lodge is the father to Rhoda's son and that he abandoned Rhoda to fend for herself.
- Word count: 1690
Servants weren't generally treated very well, as they were uneducated because there wasn't the money in the family to send them to school. An example of a typical household at the time is the Twycott household, the servants there were treated modestly. Sophie from "The Sons Veto" worked as one of the servants in Twycott's household. Unlike many of the servants at the time, she was taken care of and was seen a great deal by the householders, which was unusual at this the time.
- Word count: 1870
In the beginning, Gertrude Lodge is portrayed as the opposite of Rhoda. She is beautiful, graceful and full of "youthful freshness". In contrast to Rhoda's worn-down features, Gertrude's "face was fresh in colour - soft and evanescent like the light under a heap of rose petals". But after Rhoda's 'vision' Gertrude's arm becomes more and more ugly and shrivelled, and her arm seems to be literally 'withering'. When the idea of Rhoda going to see Gertrude herself is raised by Rhoda's son, instead of getting her son to spy on her, she replies with "I go see her!
- Word count: 1206
Hardy's handling of physical setting is unparallel in English fiction, although in the verse of the Lake Poets and Robert Burns one has a similar sense of a specific topography and landscape. But, when Hardy is at his best, as in The Return of the Native, the natural backdrop becomes another person in the picture, so to speak. Egdon Heath is not described sop frequently and in such detail merely for the sake of "local colour." Indeed, such rural settings were outside the range of experience of the primarily urban readership To a certain extent, the world of Hardy's peasantry
- Word count: 1175
The reader is first introduced to Sophy via a detailed description of her hair. Hardy makes a lengthy comment about the intricacy of the style and through this is describing the elaborate fashions among society ladies of the time. He then reveals that despite the complicated nature of the style, she has to do her hair herself as ?poor thing. She had no maid.? At this early stage in the story, the idea that the reader should feel sorry for Sophy because of her social background and lack of education is introduced as the ability to style her hair ?was almost the only accomplishment she could boast of.?(1)
- Word count: 1147