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Rhoda Brook's diary - 'The Withered Arm' by Thomas Hardy

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Introduction

English literature c/w Rhoda Brook's diary - 'The Withered Arm' by Thomas Hardy Dear Diary, I am quite alarmed today as when I was milking the cows this morning I overheard some other milkmaids gossiping about my former lover and father of my son and that he is getting married to a woman 'many years his junior'. This is just so typical of him. I know he is only doing this to spite me. He has really embarrassed me. As if I wasn't already the talk of the village even after twelve years since I had my beautiful but forbidden baby boy, they are still calling me a witch and a prostitute. And now that Lodge has started to see this new mistress of his, people round here have yet another thing to gossip about when they meet up in the pub or at each others houses having afternoon tea. It makes me so mad! It makes me so furious but then again I'm used to it by now, if you can get used to folk talking the minute your back's turned. I am quite surprised at Lodge marrying at his age! I mean he should be retired by now, not frolicking with a teenager! And as for the unfortunate girl! Sure she might be pretty but that's probably why he has agreed to taking her hand and also if she had any brains in that little head of hers she would think twice before marrying him and being shacked up in a farm for the rest of her life. ...read more.

Middle

Yet. She knows me for what I am now. Not the dirty witch everyone calls me. I could have started a clean slate with her but I had to feel jealous of her and dream that dream and hurt her. It was my only chance after twelve years of torment to actually have someone to call a friend. I guess I was just not meant to be happy. Like a dark cloud had permanently cast itself over my life. I don't know what I'd do if she found out it was me. I would lose my one and only friend. What if I really am a witch? Dear Diary, The inevitable has happened. Gertrude finally knows that I was the one that disabled her arm. It started when she bought up the subject of going to see a man that deals with these things. At once I knew what she was talking about and the dark cloud above my head let out a struck of lightening. It was Conjuror Trendle. I saw him once myself. I knew that someone from the village had directed her to me to find out more things about him. It was obvious as Gertrude was trying to hide this fact all the way through the conversation. As soon as I did find out that Gertrude was even thinking about going to see Trendle I felt myself shake like a leaf. ...read more.

Conclusion

She resembled the Gertrude in my dream on that day and I know for a fact that that Gertrude wasn't the gentle girl I used to know. As for the selfish, ignorant pig who I still love for some strange reason, he tried to bribe me with a house and luxury as some sort of last minute repentance. I of course did not accept it. I just wanted to be by myself to think things through. I knew that if I took up his offer I would be forever in his dept and I didn't want that. My life was difficult enough. No. I left him and Holmestoke altogether and I know that it is for the best. I miss my son so much. He was the only thing I had. My shame and my pride. Now he is gone. I have no one. But one thing I have learnt in this life is that I cannot go on feeling sorry for myself. Whatever it takes and however long, I will get over Lodge and Gertrude and maybe even my son but I doubt it. No matter how much people talk about me and my sanity, no matter how many times life strikes me, nothing can be as worse as this and I will face it and never give up. I must remember that I still have my pride and memories and nothing and no one can take that away from me. I will pray to God that I come out of this a stronger person and thank him for what he has given me. ...read more.

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