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

Examine the ways in which Thomas Hardy writes about isolation in three sort stories of your choice.

Extracts from this document...


Examine the ways in which Thomas Hardy writes about isolation in three sort stories of your choice. You should consider: * Character * Setting * The use of language From what you know of Hardy's life how would you account for his fascination with tragic figures? In all three of the stories I read 'The Melancholy Hussars of the German Legion,' 'The Withered Arm' and 'The Distracted Preacher' the setting remained in the same sort of isolation. The first was a large farm house away from any village and any known house, the closest place to the house was the area in which the Hussars had set up camp. In the second story a large farmhouse where two main characters reside and the other house mentioned is that of the other main character. This house is very secluded. It is about 1 mile away from the farm house and miles away from any village. The final story a village exists with many people, a church, a mill but the thing is that no other village exists for miles and because it is so close to the coast it makes the village seem more isolated than it actually is. ...read more.


'Smoke drooped heavily' is also a very good description and all these paint a picture of a heavy feeling of sadness. In the Withered Arm although isolation and sadness remain, they appear in a much more subtle way. In this story all the characters tie in with each other in some way and in the end they all seem to become remote. Straight away it is told to us that Rhoda Brook lives with her son some distance away from her fellow workers in a 'lonely spot.' Hardy describes her surroundings as 'dark countenance.' This means that the appearance she saw was dark. As hardy explains when Rhoda observes Mr Lodge returning with his new wife he states 'few people travelled this way, for it was not a main road:' This again tells us how isolated the area was. When Rhoda's son goes to see what Gertrude Lodge looks like, his father pays no interest to him as if he weren't there 'having taken no outward notice of the boy whatever.' This is a good example of isolation because the father obviously knows the young boy, ignores him and creates a picture of sadness in the boy. ...read more.


Thomas Hardy uses a variety of styles of narrative which, combined with the dialogue and description, establish the tone of the stories. His use of regional dialect in the stories tends to identify the social class of the characters. Thomas Hardy uses first-person narrators who speak with a regional dialect for his more humorous stories. This style of narration immediately establishes an informal tone and the use of regional dialect creates a friendly atmosphere for the anecdote. The omniscient style such as The Distracted Preacher is used in the more serious stories in which Hardy is exploring issues of social division and morality. Through his descriptions Hardy develops our understanding of the characters. A character's physical appearance can indicate their nature, whilst their clothes can help to establish their social status. The character's homes often reflect their state of mind or their situation. In The Withered Arm Rhoda's home is remote from the village, a fact which suggests her status as an outcast. The dialogue in the stories allows us to identify the relationships between the characters. In The Distracted Preacher we can discern the evasiveness of Lizzy's responses to Stockdale's questions, which establishes her superiority. When Stockdale asks her about the barrels she replies 'I cannot inform, in fact, against anybody,' and the reader immediately suspects her personal involvement in the smuggling. ...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. Show how Hardy responds to the death of his wife, the thoughts and feelings ...

    The '--' at the start of the fourth stanza indicates to the reader that Hardy is going from the past into the present. Hardy tells us that 'old Beeny' is 'still in all its chasmal beauty'. The use of 'old' shows familiarity and Hardy is showing that he is in a familiar place to contrast his unfamiliar emotions.

  2. Thomas Hardy

    She thinks that everyone is envying her for being married, but yet doesn't know that she wasn't his first choice. Here is a quote that shows this " And the young wife looks in her husband's face, And then at her guest's, and shows in her own Her sense that she fills an envied place".

  1. two short stories by thomas hardy

    So Farmer Lodge loved her less so she needed to remain attractive for her husband to keep loving her. 'Rhoda shivered, 'that's fancy,' she said hurriedly' as Gertrude ironically explains that her 'husband says it's as if some witch or the devil himself had taken a hold of me there and blasted the flesh.'

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

    Communities of upper and lower classes were both united in condemnation in their religious beliefs. An example of this was in 'Absent-Mindedness in a Parish Choir' as both the classes were outraged by the band playing a blasphemous song in the church.

  1. 'Compare the way that Thomas hardy writes about the effects of marriage on his ...

    "Mr Twycott knew perfectly well that he had committed social suicide by this step, despite Sophy's spotless character." Twycott was fully aware of what would happen after the marriage but he was prepared to give up his superior position that was much looked upon for Sophy.

  2. Pre-1914 Prose Coursework

    of higher social status and money to marry Sophy, consequently preventing her death of loneliness. Hardy intensifies the tragedy in the last few lines when describing Sam watching the funeral parade: "He was the proprietor, but today, instead of his usual business attire, he wore a neat suit of black;

  1. How does Hardy elicit sympathy for the three main characters?

    She doesn't really receive any sympathy while Rhoda was in the story as everything in her life was happy and Rhoda had all our sympathy. Hardy describes Gertrude's painful six years in such a way that we can not help but to feel sorry for her: "beauty was contorted and

  2. Extended commentary of 'The Convergence of the Twain' by Thomas Hardy

    evokes ? and the way in which both are joint in the use of the same verb. The obvious mental image is one of a familial relationship; they grow simultaneously but are fatally unaware of each other. Indeed, the distance between them is made explicitly clear and further emphasized by the alliteration used with ?shadowy? and ?silent?.

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