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Wessex Tales How the characters are effected

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Wessex Tales This essay is about the times and the society of the 19th Century and how Thomas Hardy's characters were affected. The five stories I will be writing about are: 1. The Withered Arm 2. The Son's Veto 3. Tony Kytes the Arch Deceiver 4. Absent Mindedness in a parish choir 5. The Melancholy Hussar of the German Legion In the 19th century there were a lot of divisions between people eg. Class. A girl from a high class could not marry a boy from the middle class. 'Not what you call a gentlemen' (The Son's Veto). Also it was like a sin if you married someone from a lower class than you. 'It was social suicide if a parson was to marry his maid' (The Son's Veto). They were also very superstitious in those days. A lot of people believe in witches and magic. 'Well-they say-they used to say he had powers other folks have not.' (The Withered Arm). They even believed in the devil 'it is as if some witch or the devil himself had taken hold of me there. (The Withered arm). Women did not have many rights. Also if they did not marry they would put shame on their family and were called names like spinsters and have no security in the future or any money, some women were seen as witches, so no one would want to marry them. Some women would do anything to get married like chase after their ex-boyfriend. 'I should have made 'ee a finer wife and a more loving one to' (Tony Kytes). In the 19th century women had a lot of pressure on them because men were more interested in pretty women, men didn't care about their personality as long as the wife to be was pretty. 'If I had no notion that it makes my husband-dislike me-no love me less. ...read more.


After their visit to conjurer Trendle Rhoda is forced to leave the town in case of any rumours but Gertrude's life doesn't get any better... In the first few chapters jealousy is shown towards Gertrude because she is the new young wife of farmer Lodge. 'They say she's a rosy cheeked, tisty-tosty little body enough.' This tells us she is young fair and very pretty. Gertrude really had a reputation to live up to because in those days men only married you if you were pretty so Gertrude knew she had to stay pretty so her husband would stay with her. She does not know about Farmer Lodge's past life so she does not know about his son. Her life all of a sudden gets twists upside down 3 weeks after her marriage When Rhoda has a vision of Gertrude and leaves her finger marks on her arm. Her husband now loves her less because of her arm 'If-if I had no notion that it makes my husband -dislike me-no love me less. Men think so much of personal appearance.' Rhoda's jealousy has lead to ruining Gertrude's life. In the story Gertrude's relationship builds up with Rhoda and she now sees Rhoda as a friend. When she goes to see Trndle she is horrified to find out that her arm being ruined was 'the work of an enemy' she is even more shocked to find out that someone she saw as a friend saw her as an enemy and did this to her. Rhoda's guilt drove her to confess in the end that she did it. Later on in the story after finding out that Rhoda could be a witch Rhoda leaves-but even with Rhoda gone the arm still got worse and worse. Farmer lodge's and Gertrude's relationship seems to get worse as well they hardly even speak to each other. 'Mr and Mrs Lodge's married experience sank into prosiness and worse.' ...read more.


Conclusion I think that the 19th century was very; very different from the way we live now. People can marry whom they like, they can choose who they want to marry-there are not many class distinctions. Personally I think that Sophy from The Son's Veto was mostly affected by the times and society in the 19th Century. She had to learn a whole new lifestyle and her son was dominant over her. Even though she was married with a son she felt like a child because the family/class she got married into were clever and bright whereas she didn't go to a proper school and she comes from a poor family. I think this was a good story especially to show the superstitions from that time. It shows the laws of the day with Rhoda's son being hanged for Arson. It shows witchcraft with Rhoda seeing the vision and it show the powers people has with helping Gertrude curing her arm and finding the cause with Dr.Trendle. It shows us about farm life with people having no transport but walking but the main owner had a horse and cart. Overall I think Sophy from the Sons Veto was affected by the times and society she lived in, because she gave up a lot just to make a lonely man happy feel sorry for Sophy because she had a lot of regrets in the story like marrying Sam instead of the parson. She is later in the story put down and made feel small by her son because she didn't grow up in the high class so didn't get the right education. This document was downloaded from Coursework.Info - The UK's Coursework Database - http://www.coursework.info/ Charlie Hatt 10S Candidate No. 5175 Centre No. 13327 Wessex tales This document was downloaded from Coursework.Info - The UK's Coursework Database - http://www.coursework.info/ This document was downloaded from Coursework.Info - The UK's Coursework Database - http://www.coursework.info/ This document was downloaded from Coursework.Info - The UK's Coursework Database - http://www.coursework.info/ ...read more.

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