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Thomas Hardy

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What does Thomas Hardy tell us about the society in which he lived through his short stories? Thomas Hardy tells us many different things about the society in which he lived in through his short stories. Through these short stories, he tells us of the society in which he lived. The topics that he writes about come up in many of his short stories. This shows us that he felt very strongly about these themes. The short stories also tell us that the society that Thomas Hardy lived in was unfair. In Thomas Hardy's short stories there are many themes that come up in his short stories. The main ones were, Men being selfish (usually the higher class Men), Women being subservient to Men, Class structure in society, Religion and the Hypocrisy of the Church, Parental relationships with children, Forbidden love, Death and tragedy, Integrity-Selfishness, Selflessness, and Economic security. ...read more.


Another example of this is when in 'The Melancholy Hussar of the German Legion' when Humphrey Gould asks Phyllis Grove to marry him. This was unusual in Hardy's time as people from the same class would usually marry each other, not people from a lower class. When Humphrey had gone back to his town, Phyllis fell for one of the soldiers just outside the village, a German Hussar called Matthaus Tina, who she saw walking past her perch on the garden wall one day. It is the "sad and abstracted" expression on Matthaus' face that captures her attention, and it is through this sad expression of Matthaus as homesick and missing his mum that Phyllis' love for Matthaus grows. ...read more.


Her father, suspects she is seeing a soldier, so he takes action and forbids her to leave the garden without his permission. The most contact she had with Matthaus was 'she reached down her hand from the top of the wall, hoping that Matthaus might press it.' Another theme which pops up in Hardy's stories is Parental relationships with children. An example of this is in 'The Son's Veto' when Sophie is taking Randolph to the bandstand in the park. Sophie says 'he have been so comfortable these last few hours that I am sure he can't have missed us!' Her son Randolph replies: 'Has, dear mother--not have, surely you know that by this time!' Exclaimed the public-school boy, with an impatient fastidiousness that was almost harsh. This shows that the two have a relationship but it may not be strong at times because of their different social classes but they still have one. ...read more.

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