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Thomas Hardy story...

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How does Hardy create fear and suspense in the withered arm? In the 'Withered Arm' by Thomas Hardy, the setting, characters and storyline all form suspense and fear, sometimes subtly, sometimes obviously. Although perhaps not as obviously scary, when analyzed, we can see ho Hardy creates fear and suspense in the 'withered arm'. Throughout this story, many questions are constantly raised, without many answers following on soon after. This constant state of mystery provokes an uneasy feeling in the story, and gives it an air of suspense. "... a thin, fading woman of thirty milked somewhat apart from the rest" This particular quote is a perfect example. There are many factors of the woman's description to ponder over. Firstly, Hardy's descriptions of her as a 'thin, fading woman' induce the question: why? We cannot be sure why she is faded, or thin; as a result, an uneasy atmosphere is provoked around her. ...read more.


As stated in the previous paragraph, these questions create a sense of mystery and suspense at not knowing the answers. From the two ladies' visit to Trendle, the fortune-teller, and as a result of the outcome of his fortune in the smoke, a strong sense of suspense is created, as Gertrude is reluctant to admit that she saw Rhoda in the smoke, and Rhoda that she is the culprit, as they are now friends: RHODA: " 'and what did you see?' GERTRUDE: "'Nothing I - care to speak of.' ... her face, was so rigid..." Gertrude's response to Rhoda's question, in many ways, tells her the truth. Deep down, Rhoda understands that Gertrude has found out. This quietness between the two, and the blank answer, all add to the suspense of the scene, as neither is willing to say too much about what happened. Gertrude's 'rigid' face betrays her emotions, telling Rhoda that she is sad, angry and committed to say as little as possible. ...read more.


His use of these descriptions gives an atmosphere of suspense, partly because as a reader we do not know why this is so, and because perhaps we WANT to know. As it continues, new elements to the story evoke a feeling of suspense and fear in the reader. At first, one can see it emitted through the lack of facts, forcing the reader to guess what is happening and has previously occurred. Then, the reader begins to learn how the characters are connected, and this gives rise to more questions and unknown answers, all of which add to the suspense and mystery. As the reader starts to settle into the story, an element of the supernatural pierces the realistic storyline, and fear is emitted through the experiences of Rhoda Brook. While these all contribute to the suspense and fear of the story, Hardy's use of gothic imagery to describe the setting play a vital role in the story, acting as the base to build up the feelings of suspense and fear that hardy has created through various means. Jan Baykara Jan Baykara ...read more.

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