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Thomas Hardys' prose.

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Introduction

P rose is written, basically, to entertain, and provide relief to the reader, while presenting the harsh realities of life. In the early Victorian eras, prose, such as short stories, were written to present the different obstacles that men and women faced and had to tackle on their way of life. One of the main obstacles, was the men and women's struggle for happiness, which was very evident in the late eighteenth century, and the early nineteenth century. During these times, one of the most prosperous and famous writers was Thomas Hardy. He was one of the exceptional writers, who wrote quite a number of novels, but there were two exceptional novels, namely, 'The Withered Arm,' and 'Tony Kytes, The Arch-Deceiver.' Using these two stories, Thomas Hardy, in a very professional and effective manner, has showed us how there was a struggle between men and women, for happiness. It was a struggle that was between men and women, between them and their jobs, between them and the society they lived ...read more.

Middle

Here a supernatural element has been used. This very dream, somehow unimaginably, turns to reality. It turns out that Gertrude really has a withered arm. Therefore, the story goes on to say that Mr. Lodge, her husband, finds her less and less attractive, each and every passing day, and so does his love decrease for her. At this point, the struggle is very visible, among almost all the characters. Rhoda doesn't want her husband sad, and so tries to help Gertrude. Gertrude herself, tries to do everything possible, to regain her former beauty, so that her husband finds happiness in her again. Even the farmer, Mr. Lodge himself, is disturbed, trying to find out what went wrong, and where. The first real place we actually see that there is a struggle for happiness is in between the characters. Rhoda is trying to see if the Mr. Lodge's new wife is really better than she is. ...read more.

Conclusion

In 'The Withered Arm,' we see that Rhoda lived away from the crowded society, as she didn't feel like she belonged there, after she had been divorced. If you read the text carefully, you see that Thomas Hardy has taken great pains to show how, Rhoda's "course lay apart from that of the others," and "in a lonely spot" was their house, "not far from the border of the Egdon Heath." This shows how Rhoda has tried to forget all that has happened and start afresh again, in order to achieve a state of mental as well as physical happiness. This gives us the view of how there was a longing to receive peace and happiness those times. The next place where we see this struggle for happiness is in ranks that they lived in. In those Victorian eras, people were divided in to three classes, the upper class, the lower class and the middle class. Belonging to the upper class, meant that you would be the most appreciated noble people, but at the same time the most hated and distrusted, by the lower classes. ...read more.

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