• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Show how the cultural and historical background affects the lives of the women in the stories you have read. What is your reaction to their experiences?

Extracts from this document...


NEAB GCSE WIDE READING ASSIGNMENT Show how the cultural and historical background affects the lives of the women in the stories you have read. What is your reaction to their experiences? I have chosen to write about 'The Withered Arm', written by Thomas Hardy, and 'Stench of Kerosene', written by Amrita Pritam. Thomas Hardy, born in 1840 in Higher Bockhampton, (a village near Dorchester) had written a series of text. At first, he has started with writing full-length novels between 1871 and 1896. Later, his poems, a collection of 'Wessex Poems' had appeared in 1898, after having written them throughout his life. Then Thomas Hardy had progressed to 'Wessex Tales'; a collection of short stories, including 'The Withered Arm'. The Withered Arm was set in 1812, but written in 1888. The story was set in the rural area of England, in Wessex. The story is about 3 main characters, which include Rhoda Brooks, Farmer Lodge and Gertrude Lodge. Other characters of importance are also used through the story. Rhoda Brooks is a milkmaid on Farmer Lodge's farm. Together, they had previously had an affair in earlier years, which had resulted in them having a son. However, the two had not stayed together because of the class differentiation between them. I think that Rhoda strikes people as a very bitter woman. ...read more.


The main characters of the story were Guleri and Manak. They were both married to each other for 7 years, and lived in Lakarmandi. Guleri's parents lived in Chamba, a village not too far from theirs. Each year, there would be a festival held in Chamba, which Guleri would attend. One year, Manak insisted that Guleri did not go, but he did not tell her why. However, he did not get his way, and Guleri made her trip to Chamba. She offered for him to come on the day of the fair, the day on which they first met, 7 years ago. Manak had accompanied Guleri on half of the trip to Chamba, but then returned to his mother. When he got home, we learnt of how Guleri has never produced a child for him, which had annoyed his mother. She had made a resolution to herself that she would not let this continue for the 8th year of their marriage and had arranged for a new bride for Manak. This is why Manak had not wanted Guleri to leave, because he knew what his mother had prepared for him. The mother had paid 500 hundred rupees for this bride. One morning, Manak met his friend Bhavani and he had informed him that it was the day of the fair. ...read more.


If you are unable to fulfill your duties as a woman, you are outcaste from the society. I still think that a lot of men today look towards women's beauty, because without that, they cannot have a trophy figure to have by their sides. Although, it is also true that men today must also have a woman with personality too. It is quite normal for a man who is of an upper-class, would marry someone of the same class. But, today, we do not have such a major class differentiation; so therefore, partners are able to mix with each other easily. A problem that men may experience though is if the woman has a correct personality or not. In the Stench of Kerosene, Manak seemed to have been attracted to Guleri because of her beauty, style and personality. This also occurs today, because men must not be able to live their entire life with a trophy figure. They must want intellect too. However, with women becoming more independent, men may find the women a threat to themselves in the sense of intellect and work. Manak's mother seemed more interested in the traditional idea of beauty and children. I think that the times are changing, and although women still have to be beautiful, it is not always the case, because it could work in the same way as Guleri and Manak's relationship, on pure romance. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Thomas Hardy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Thomas Hardy essays

  1. Presentation of Marriage in"Tony Kytes the Arch-Deceiver" and "The Half Brothers".

    When William Preston asked Helen to marry him, she was distraught at the fact that she had agreed to become his wife. "never smiled after the day when she promised William Preston to be his wife." Helen knew full well that by agreeing to marry William and become twice married,

  2. Compare 'A Stench of Kerosene' by Amrita Pritam and 'The Withered Arm' by Thomas ...

    Just before Guleri is about to leave for Chamba, Manak asked her not to go, without elaborating any reason why he does not want her to go. Guleri stubbornly (childishly) asked Manak ?if your mother is not stopping me then why are you?.

  1. Wider reading Course Work - “The Woman in Black” and “The Withered arm.”

    I think Jennet is more justified for revenge than Rhoda because Jennet was punished more severely than Rhoda was it would have been a lot harder for her to cope. The step from being completely looked after to being rejected must have been really hard to overcome.

  2. Compare and contrast the two stories, "The Outsiders and "The Withered arm", and show ...

    not to be believed - that the young wife, in the pale silk dress and white bonnet, but with features shockingly distorted, and wrinkled as by age, was sitting upon her chest as she lay. The pressure of Mrs Lodge's person grew heavier; the blue eyes peered cruelly into her

  1. Explain about the role of women in Victorian society.

    Tony's dad replied, "If you mean to marry Milly Richard, do it, and theres an end o't". Tony's dad didn't really seem to care about Tony's dilemma and Tony was in a rush so he had to leave abruptly. While Tony and Hannah were on the wagon she scratched her

  2. Explore Hardy's representation of women in his collection of short stories 'The Wessex Tales'

    For example the women he portrays are not ''normal'', they are more in control and dominant of the men. I think Hardy has the male characters at the females' fingertips. In the story 'The Sons Veto' the author introduces the female character in the first sentence.

  1. 'How did authors show that women were treated differently in the Nineteenth Century?'

    Women also wanted to be looked after by men - "Don't expect me to walk to town do you?" - showing that they felt like they needed a man to look after them - that was the only thing they wanted and expected from a man.

  2. How Far Would You Consider Rhoda and Gertrude a Villain or a Victim?

    Again he returns with nothing but praises, 'very pretty' 'in fact she's lovely' he reports. Rhoda had one advantage over Gertrude though, this was that Gertrude was shorter than she was, this made Rhoda feel good about herself. All these enable us to build up a picture of Gertrude and

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work