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The Role Of Women in Thomas Hardy's 'Wessex Tales'.

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Introduction

The Role Of Women in Thomas Hardy's; 'Wessex Tales' In this piece I will be showing the role of women in the 18th century around the time the 'Wessex Tales' has been set. I will be showing the ways Thomas Hardy expresses his opinion in the way that some of the women act and showing the harsh reality that women had to face in the 18th century. 'The daughter's seclusion was great, but beyond the seclusion of the girl lay the seclusion of the father. If her social condition was twilight, his was darkness. Yet he enjoyed his darkness, while her twilight oppressed her.' This quote comes from 'The Melancholy Hussar Of The German Legions. The quote shows us that Phyllis has to live in seclusion with her father whether or not she likes it. In the Melancholy Hussar Phyllis is the daughter of a Doctor Grove who gave up his career to live in the countryside and contemplate how the world works. However Phyllis his daughter has to stay in the seclusion also she cannot go any where without her father knowing. In 'The Melancholy Hussar' there is a lot of talk about social hierarchy this is because in the time of when this book has been set it was a 'good move' for a women in Phyllis's position to marry a gentleman like Humphrey Gould. ...read more.

Middle

Due to the vicar marrying his parlour maid he therefore commits 'social suicide' and so he moves to the town to get away from everyone who knows him. This makes Sophy sad as she misses the countryside and Sam. Sam was a gardener who was going to marry Sophy. When Mr Twycott died Sophy's son was given everything and in the will Sophy was given a small house to live in. One day when Sophy was sitting near the window during the early morning and she saw her old friend Sam going down the road to the market. The very next day she spots him again but this time she shouts for him and they start talking about the old country and then Sam starts talking about Sophy's son and where he goes to school and then calls her a 'Lady' but she replies to him by saying 'No, I am not a lady,' she said sadly. 'I never shall be. But he's a gentleman, and that--makes it--O how difficult for me!' This shows that due to Sophy having been a parlour maid and marrying a vicar, gentleman, she has no I idea of how to act like a lady and so she believes she is bringing shame to her son. ...read more.

Conclusion

After Tony asks Hannah and Unity he is eventually left with Millie. Even though Millie may think she was the last resort she does not argue or moan about the incident but just carries on like normal. This shows you how much women in the 18th century could put up with. However in all of the above descriptions all of the women have been oppressed in 'The Distracted Preacher' it is the absolutely the opposite. This is because Lizzy is the ringleader of a smuggling ring of the village Nether-Moynton. Lizzy is absolutely different because she does not follow the rules of any man. Lizzy also dresses up as a man to perform the jobs. Mr Stockdale could not convert her to the side of 'good' while the jobs were going on but it was only when the village started to get into real trouble that she decided to marry Stockdale and become a proper vicar's wife. However Hardy wanted to have another ending for his story but and the time the book was published it would have been unheared of and people would have been offended. What Thomas Hardy wanted Lizzy to do was marry her cousin and live in America where they lived life how they wanted. Rohit Parmar Mistry 10T ...read more.

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