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How and why does Hardy present Sophy and Sam as victims of circumstances in ‘The Son’s Veto’

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How and why does Hardy present Sophy and Sam as victims of circumstances in 'The Son's Veto' The pre-twentieth century story, 'The Son's Veto' is set hundred years ago in the city of London and countryside of North Wessex. Thomas Hardy presents a story to its readers where in which the most sympathetic characters suffer from their environment. He indicates a conflict between what they feel is right and what they would like to do. The cause for this may be that they are victims of circumstances by reason of cruelty of others and also the pressure of social conventions that ruin their chance of happiness. Hardy is an omniscient narrator in this story. This is one of his techniques that show Sophy and Sam as victims of circumstances. He is out of the plot, but is knowledgeable about the characters and their thoughts and feelings, as he has the control of the story; the method he uses in one of the sections is to speak directly to the reader. Here is the example: "The next time we get a glimpse of her... " He speaks directly to the reader by using the word 'we'. The main reason why Hardy presents Sophy and Sam as victims of their circumstances in 'The Son's Veto' is, as he intends to stress his opinion about not having two different class systems but to live as a one whole society where wealth supports poverty. He explores the circumstances and the environment of the characters, which they live have upon their lives. The mood of the story indicates a melancholic atmosphere. This expresses Hardy's attitude towards the subject, which is the unfair class system. He is negative and critical regarding rigid rules and social conventions. Hardy presents Sophy and Sam as victims of their circumstances because of the relationship they have between the two classes, upper and working class. ...read more.


She spends all her time braiding her hair and looking out of the window. Still she is invalid and chooses to evade walking. Hence, her leg does not regain its natural strength. After Mr Twycotts death, Sophy gradually looses her education taught by her husband. Now that there is no one to assist and sustain her, she has no encourage and prop to behave like a lady. "Throughout these changes Sophy had been treated like the child she was in nature though not in years..." This quotation shows that Mr Twycott treats Sophy like a child who needs to be educated. He teaches her how to act as a lady. Hardy again, uses sympathetic vocabulary to give the reader a pity mood regarding Sophy. Here, Hardy compares Sophy to a child's character. Knowing that Mr Twycott has died, Sophy is the heir of the money and house. Despite the change in lifestyle; big spacious house and comfortable financial status, her social class does not change. She still braids her hair and gazes out of the window; her only concern is her son. Hardy describes in the text that Sophy and Randolph have difficult relationship. Here is one of the examples from the text: "He drifted further and further away from her. " Now that Randolph grows and matures quickly, he realises his mother's social state and begins to drift away from her. Hardy indicates that Randolph is becoming snobbish. Therefore, Sophy feels very lonely in the house. Hardy at this part of the story mentions that Sophy relates to her working class servants because not long a go, she was one of them. She shows the ability to communicate and understand them well. "...her almost only companions the two servants of her own house..." Hardy displays Sophy as so lonely that she only has the servants to talk with. She stops living her social life. ...read more.


The last paragraph of the story is a skip to the future. Hardy decides to bring the story to an end similar to the way he introduces it. He uses descriptive vocabulary to identify the characters at this stage of the story: "...a middle-aged man was standing at the door of the largest fruiterer's shop...wore neat suit of black..." With this description, Hardy portrays Sam as the owner of a fruit shop and in mourn. Subsequently, he begins to describe a mournful funeral, where Randolph as a vicar is there. "...young smooth-shaven priest in high waistcoat looked black as a cloud at the shopkeeper..." Hardy describes Randolph's physical appearance enthusiastically and in contrast, he uses simile to bring out the contempt that he has towards Sam. At this interval Hardy specifies Sam as a tragic figure. This is because that he is a sense of tragic figure, as he does not get what he wants. Sophy's life gets affected in a tragic way too. Sam still shows loyalty towards Sophy even after her death by holding his hat in his hand. The look he gets from Randolph indicates his anger. Specifically, Sam is an inferior person in Randolph's eyes. Overall, this story is based on two victims of circumstances because of an unfair class system. It is full of prejudiced and snobbery. This situation makes them victims throughout the story. At the end, the oppressor succeeds. The oppressor is Randolph in this story, objectively destroying their happiness. My own conclusion is that Hardy has used affective ways to show Sophy and Sam suffering from their environment and has made me feel upset about what goes on around the world. It has opened up my eyes and made me see that no one should be treated ill. I enjoyed reading this novel, because I see a situation that makes people suffer and I have never looked at their situation in this way before. Miyase Dogan ...read more.

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