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How does Hardy create an intense and concentrated short story in 'The Withered Arm?'

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How does Hardy create an intense and concentrated short story in 'The Withered Arm?' Hardy creates a strong, vivid story in the 'The Withered Arm.' He starts of writing about a farm. The story ends up on the farm again with everything back to normal. In between the story is a very carefully, dramatic story. It starts up with four main characters: Rhoda Brook, Rhoda Brook's son, Gertrude and Farmer Lodge. The setting is very intense. It doesn't let us move much from initial places such as the farm in the beginning and end. After the dream, the story of the book suddenly became more interesting when Gertrude tries to find how she got the withered arm. The setting changes to the village, and then changes again the goes back to village and so on. Thomas Hardy puts the story in one chapter, 6 years later. He wants everyone to know that everyone has moved on except Gertrude because her arm is irritating her and she has not chance on finding a cure. Rhoda and her son left the village because Rhoda has been found out and she is scared of having people interrogating her and asking her whether she bewitched Gertrude. This part of the story makes it intense when there are bad emotional feelings for Rhoda from her other friends. ...read more.


She looks up at other people and is unhappy she is alone. Thomas Hardy put a lot of things that make Rhoda mad and jealous about Farmer Lodge and Gertrude's marriage. This shows and creates a concentrated sense of the characters interaction. The kind of interaction between Rhoda to Gertrude is jealousy. The kind of interaction between the two women and Farmer Lodge is love. Rhoda still has feelings for her ex-lover. Rhoda's loneliness and emotional feelings only aid to her son. Hardy hasn't really given her son a name. He is described as 'Rhoda's son' or 'poor boy.' This could make readers feel even sadder for him. Thomas Hardy has made the readers feel very sorry for the son. He hasn't done anything wrong and he isn't mentioned much. He feels extremely lonely mainly because his mother treats him like a slave for example when she makes him spy at Gertrude. As soon as the boy came back, she would ask 'Is she ladylike?' 'Is she young?' Rhoda would ask her son about Gertrude and not about how her own son did well in school or anything. The boy was so depressed and just answered 'yes mother' or 'no mother.' He is also feeling lonely because his father has abandoned him and never talks to him. ...read more.


They need to imagine themselves as the characters. He uses adjectives and alliteration a lot. Good examples of adjectives are when he described Gertrude as 'Soft and evanescent, like the light under a heap of rose petals, etc.' A good example of alliteration is when he says fiend and friend. His language is very dense. The words 'fiend' and 'friend' are completely opposite. He uses 'fiend' because it is like friend but with nor 'r' which is pretty clever. Hardy uses contrast a lot. Rhoda and Gertrude seem to be very different characters. Rhoda is described as a witch and an old maid, poor unlike Gertrude is described as young, beautiful and this creates a sense of intense characterisation because the characters are totally opposite. Why does Gertrude have everything and Rhoda has nothing? Rhoda has a son to support but the father of the child is with a more beautiful woman. This causes jealousy for Rhoda. Farmer Lodge is a character who likes his work and is very rich and wants a beautiful wife and that's why he left Rhoda and went to Gertrude. Rhoda or her son doesn't speak to Farmer Lodge much, nor is he mentioned enough in the story. Rhoda's s son has not much connection with any of the characters. He is very lonely and dies half way through the story. We feel sorry for Gertrude and Rhoda's son. They did nothing wrong. Erwin Rodrigues English Coursework 16/03/03 Year 10F4 ...read more.

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