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How does Thomas Hardy portray the life of women in

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Zainab Alidina COURSEWORK THE WITHERED ARM AND OTHER WESSEX TALES" How does Thomas Hardy portray the life of women in "The Withered Arm and Other Wessex Tales"? Thomas Hardy was a writer in the late 19th century. He lived in Dorset for most his life. Most of his stories were set in Dorset and other neighbouring counties. Hardy got most of his ideas from his parents and grandmother. They used to tell him stories and tales of things and events that had once taken place. He also got his ideas from things that he heard from the locals and things that happened in his village. The stories he wrote were aimed at magazine readers so he could not always write an ending that he wanted to, rather he had to put endings his readers were expecting like in "The Distracted Preacher" he wrote an ending the readers were expecting rather than the one he wanted to. In "The Withered Arm and Other Wessex Tales" all the short stories have sad endings apart from "The Distracted Preacher" which has a happy ending. All the short stories are written as if they were being spoken or narrated to someone like in "Tony Kytes the Arch Deceiver" Thomas Hardy writes "he reached the foot of the very hill we shall be going over in ten minutes" which tell us that the narrator is somewhere near the place where the story took place. ...read more.


Marrying someone above your social class was a social advancement and a great thing like Phyllis and Sophy. In those time people expected women to get married, have children and settle down and take care of the family and the house. Some women married for love and other for financial security. In my opinion Milly from "Tony Kytes The Arch Deceiver" is the perfect representation of women of that time because she married Tony for financial security. If women did not marry they were called names and were looked down on. In "Tony Kytes The Arch Deceiver" Hardy give the readers an impression that Hannah and Unity were chasing Tony and would do anything to get married to him. A man used to marry woman a for her beauty not for her personality and character like in "The Withered Arm" Farmer Lodge marries Gertrude because she is young and pretty and doesn't care for Rhoda because she isn't very pretty and because she is of a lower class. A woman in the 19th century could not do anything disloyal like commit adultery but a man could commit adultery and no one would say anything. Humphrey from "The Melancholy Hussar of The German Legion" told Phyliss that he has"privately married a young dear belle" and no one said anything but if Phyliss had done something like that the locals would look down on her, call her names and would not associate with her. ...read more.


because her son forbid her from marrying him and made her "swear that she would not wed Samuel Hobson without his consent". Phyliss from "The Melancholy Hussar of the German Legion" was dominated by her father who wanted her to marry Humphrey. He had forbad her from leaving the garden to meet the German soldier even though she was in love with him. She obeyed him and didn't leave the gate of her house but still continued to meet her lover. The late 19th century is very different to the 21st century and the lives of women are different as well. In this century women are considered as men's equals unlike the late 19th century. A woman doesn't have to marry for financial security in this century like like a woman had to in the 19th century. In this century women are not dominated by men like they were 2 centuries ago. Women in the 19th century didn't have as much freedom as women do right now. In this century there isnt much about social classes like there used to be in the late 19th century. I think I would find it extremely hard to live in the 19th century after being used to living in a century were women have freedom and are not dominated by men. In my opinion Thomas Hardy portrays women as gullible and inferior to men and their lives being dominated by men and the local people. ...read more.

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