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Explain how the themes of loss and isolation are explored in The Withered Arm, The Signalman, The Black Veil

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In this essay, the following question will be answered, "Explain how the themes of loss and isolation are explored in; The Withered Arm by Thomas Hardy, The Signalman and The Black Veil by Charles Dickens". To an extent, the main loss for Rhoda in "the Withered Arm" is the fact that Gertrude is now with the father of Rhoda's son, Farmer Lodge. It is almost as though Rhoda is jealous of Gertrude after Rhoda's son comes back to tell his mother that Gertrude is a young, attractive woman. "Tell me what she's like if you do see her". The fact that she's enquiring about her about her appearance may suggest that she's jealous. The reason as to why this was her main loss rather then losing her own son was due to the fact that although she loves her son, she loves the father of the son even more. After she has asked about her appearance, she immediately asks if his father had taken any notice of him "what did he say or do". ...read more.


In "The Withered Arm", Rhoda's colleagues believe she is a witch as she is different. In the eighteenth to the nineteenth century, women were seen as the weaker more inferior sex. Women would be either good or bad. If you were regarded as different, then you would immediately be considered as a witch or sorcerer. Most witches and sorcerers were usually outcast. Another character who is considered different is Conjuror Trendle. Although he is respected by Gertrude, this is because he can give her some vital information that may help her understand who has injured her. Other than Gertrude, he is not respected by anybody and has to live in the forests. A historical message shown in these short stories are that men were generally better then women in that time. This is shown in The Withered Arm by Rhoda's job as a milk maid. Men would get the best and highest paid jobs leaving the worst and lowest paid jobs to the women. In the story of "The Black Veil", it is about this mysterious woman who confronts a young surgeon about a problem. ...read more.


This quote emphasises how poor the houses were and how badly the neighbourhood was, in general. As Dickens describes her as being "who had once been handsome" suggests that she had been once pretty until her sons behaviour distressed her, which could suggest that she is mentally un well. However, in "The Black Veil", the main moral is if you are caring for others less fortunate than yourself you will be rewarded. This is shown towards the end where the doctor was rewarded for his service achieving fame and glory. In conclusion, all three stories face some form of loss or isolation. These new emotions all three stories discover then somehow affect the protagonist. In "The Black Veil", the protagonist goes on to achieve fame. In "The Signalman", the protagonist goes on to find that the Signalman has died. In "The Withered Arm", the protagonist kills her enemy and goes on to bury her son. The three endings shown in all three stories makes the reader then feel some sort of sympathy for the protagonist. ?? ?? ?? ?? Explain how the themes of loss and isolation are explored in "The Withered Arm", "The Signalman", "The Black Veil" Twahid Rahman ...read more.

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