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Explore Hardy's representation of women in his collection of short stories 'The Wessex Tales'

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Explore Hardy's representation of women in his collection of short stories 'The Wessex Tales' Most of Hardy's short stories, in his book 'The Wessex Tales', contain references to females or contain female characters. This essay will explore the author's representation of females in, two of his short stories, 'The Distracted Preacher' and 'The Sons Veto'. These stories were chosen because they contain two contrasting but similar female characters. Hardy presents two women who show great loyalty and no loyalty to their families, women of different social classes and women of adventure and passion. The author presents these women differently from the way women were perceived in that day of age. In Hardy's time, 1840 - 1928, women were treated differently from those today. In the Victorian year's women were the sex who suffered. Women were stripped of opportunities. Women's opportunities depended on their social status. Women who were of the working class or the lower class would be looked down upon by the upper class societies. Women did not have the opportunity to make choices of their own, instead it was the males choice. ...read more.


This quote shows that Lizzy is attractive to the opposite sex, like Sophy. Hardy has again represented an alluring woman. As the story progresses the reader learns that Lizzy is also contemplated against because of her social status. This can be read on page 117, " A fascinating young woman, but as a ministers wife she was hardly to be contemplated." The use of this quote suggests that even though Lizzy has a great character, like Sophy, she is not the ideal priests wife because of her social status. It also shows that in both stories the priests have broken the rules because they love the females for their characters and personalities and not because of the social status the women hold. Finally, Lizzy also posses an intriguing past similar to Sophy's. As Stockdale suggests a way of removing some tubs from a tower, Lizzy replies, " 'No I'll show you' said his interesting companion." In this quote Hardy has represented Lizzy as being more knowledgeable about something, which a man should already know. Therefore this hints that she knows something that this male character does not and has something hidden from him and has most probably learnt it in the past. ...read more.


I was shot in the hand." This quote shows that Lizzy does not just wait for things to happen but she is brave and helps her friends and family, unlike Sophy who needs help from her friends or family. It also supports the previous statement that Lizzy is very loyal to her family if she will take a bullet for one of her cousins. Thomas Hardy's collection of short stories 'The Wessex Tales' represents women in different ways. He represents an incapacitated lady as a worse person than a woman who smuggles tubs of liquor. Hardy surprises the reader by the way he represents his females because the stereotype of a disabled woman does not fit what we read about Sophy. Hardy also surprises the reader by making them grow close to a criminal which is not expected either. Hardy represents females as the oppressed sexes, who are constantly picked on whether it is about their social class or the decisions they have made in life. Finally, I think the author represented women who were different from other females, females who have stories, but he did not represent them unrealistically. ?? ?? ?? ?? Oliver Miocic 10 NW 1 ...read more.

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