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How does ‘Old Mrs. Chundle’ by Thomas Hardy, And ‘A visit of Charity’, by Eudora Welty reflect Changing attitudes towards old people?

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Introduction

How does 'Old Mrs. Chundle' by Thomas Hardy, And 'A visit of Charity', by Eudora Welty reflect Changing attitudes towards old people. In this essay I will be discussing as best as I can the changing attitudes towards old people. This will involve two short stories, which are 'Old Mrs. Chundle', and 'A Visit Of Charity.' I will then describe the old women. I will also describe the conditions that the old women were living in. Finally I will also describe how other characters in the stories treated the old women. The story, 'Old Mrs. Chundle' by Thomas Hardy is about an old lady who has kept herself well away from society because of her disability in hearing. A young priest that just came to the area was out side her house painting a picture and decided to visit her house for dinner. When he met the lady, he noticed she was partially deaf. This woman had not been to mass for a long time as she couldn't hear the priest saying mass. He felt sorry for the woman so decided that he would try and help her. He thought he had thought of a good solution when he got the lady an ear trumpet. However the idea failed, as the lady still was unable to hear the priest. ...read more.

Middle

This is stereotypically connected to old women as many of them are deaf. "She hurried overmuch, and ran up the hill, which at her time of life she ought not to have done. It upset her heart..." This also gives us a very stereotypical view of an old woman, we usually refer to old woman as people who cannot run and have medical problems. In a 'Visit of Charity' there are two elderly ladies on call Addie and another old woman whose name is not said. We get a very stereotypical view of an old grumpy woman in Addie. She is thin and is very old. Her hands are filled with freckles and she has false teeth, she's bitter, takes medicine and is bed bound. "The old woman in bed cleared her throat and spoke" The phrase 'woman in bed' continuously tells us that Addie is bed bound. The other old woman is briefly described throughout the story. We never find out much about her. We believe that she is quite friendly when she welcomes Marian. "Did you come to be our little girl for a while." We find out as soon as we meet the other old woman that she has claw like fingers and a bony face, "Square smile stamped on her bony face" We find out that the old woman likes flowers and she has no reminders of the outside world. ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows that the nurses or the members of staff running the old peoples home do not care of the treatment of the ladies. 'Old Mrs. Chundle' is the most positive and realistic story about old people. The message the author is trying to tell us in the story is that we should respect the elderly as we will one day be old. We should give them all the respect the need and deserve. We should always treat them kindly, as we know their lives are soon going to come to an end so let them live in style or the best that the careers can. In 'Old Mrs. Chundle', the curate tried to discourage the old woman from going to mass on the last day of her life. The curate obviously must of felt guilty, as he should have let the old woman go to mass if it is what she wanted to do. However he thought differently, he wanted to get rid of her instantly. Mrs. Chundle loved the fact that she could go to mass so did the best she could to get there. The curate felt guilty as he was just going to discourage her from doing that. The author presented Mrs. Chundle the way he did to display an average old country woman living by herself. This made the story more original and believable as it was a common place for elderly ladies. Matthew Brooke ...read more.

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