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"The Son's Veto" is a short story written by Thomas Hardy.

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Introduction

The Son's Veto "The Son's Veto" is a short story written by Thomas Hardy towards the end of the nineteenth century. In the story he shows how the position of women in society was very different during that time. "The Son's Veto" is a story about a mother who sacrifices everything for a son who doesn't seem to care about her. Originally she had been a servant who worked for Mr Twycott, the local vicar. During her work period she falls down the stairs and becomes disabled. Because of guilt Mr Twycott asks Sophy to be his wife, so she accepted. As time passes she has a son called Randolph, who is highly educated. Mr Twycott now lies in his grave. Sophy sits in her wheel chair alone while her son studies in Oxford and her son only visits her in the holidays. Later she meets Sam Hobson, a former friend who was in love with her and worked as a gardener in Gaymead. He made her feel wanted and energetic. She now falls in love with him and Sam proposes to her but she worries about what her son would say to this proposal. ...read more.

Middle

She left the room and tripped down the stairs and become disabled. Soon, when Mr Twycott got better, he announced how much he appreciated what she went through on his account. 'No, Sophy; lame or not lame, I cannot let you go. You must never leave me again!' As he felt attracted to her he kissed her on her check. When describing Sophy's reation Hardy writes, 'She could never tell exactly how it happened' This shows that their marriage was too quick and they didn't have time to think it over. Mr Twycott had then proposed and she said yes. 'Sophy did not exactly love him, but she respected him' Sophy respected him, although love wasn't there. He could take care of her and she didn't want to refuse such a gentleman. She therefore agreed to marry. When they were finally married Mr Twycott had made a mistake in marrying her. 'Mr Twycott knew perfectly well that he had committed social suicide by this step' He didn't think of all the consequences and soon they moved. Mr Twycott died fourteen years later. She had a son called Randolph. Sophy seem to be in her own world along with two servants as her son drifted further away. ...read more.

Conclusion

Then Randolph makes her swear on the cross. He thinks that she couldn't be trusted. 'And swear that she would not wed Samuel Hobson without his consent.' In his selfishness he uses religion against her so that she can't marry Sam. Four years later, Sophy had died. Sam Hobson stands in her funeral sad as Randolph stares at Sam showing hatred for him in his eyes. Randolph is a vicar who doesn't cry at his mother's funeral. That shows he doesn't love her. Instead he is thinking of the anger he has for Sam. Hardy is exposing Randolph's hypocrisy and selfishness. His role is to show a religious figure of himself to the community who cares for people and makes them understand that caring for others is the key, but instead he cannot provide the same understanding for his mother's need. Nowadays it is different. Women would behave differently. If this situation had happened they would still go ahead and marry the man. Even if a their son asks them to promise then it would be less likely to make a difference because religion is practised by fewer people. If anyone asked their mother not to marry the man whom they don't like, then the reason for their rejection would be less likely to be social class, however it could be because of racism, religion or jealousy. ...read more.

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