• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What does The Sons Veto tell us about attitudes towards social class in the Nineteenth century?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Sakina OxleyStudent No. 100273931 English Assignment 3 Short Stories Sakina Oxley 100273931 ________________ What does The Son?s Veto tell us about attitudes towards social class in the Nineteenth century? Hardy uses the theme of social class in many of his novels and short stories and often details a character?s movement; either up or down the social ladder and the problems which may ensue. ?The Son?s Veto? was written in 1891 and tells the story of Sophy, a parlour maid who marries her respectable employer, the Reverend Twycott, and is faced with a life very different from her previous existence in the rural Wessex village of Gaymead. The story gives us a keen indication of the differences between members of the richer and poorer classes of nineteenth century society and also their attitudes towards each other. Hardy addresses attitudes towards social class through the marriage of Sophy to Reverend Twycott, through Randolph?s character and treatment of his mother and through Sophy?s relationship with her former sweetheart, Sam. The reader is first introduced to Sophy via a detailed description of her hair. ...read more.

Middle

from ?everyone who had known her former position; and also under less observation from without than they would have to put up with in any country parish.?(3) Through the marriage of Sophy and Twycott, Hardy is showing that while it is possible to climb the social ladder, it is impossible to truly mask a person?s origins. Twycott tried to educate Sophy in the refined ways of Society but ?Sophy the lady had her deficiencies.?(3) This is particularly evident through the relationship that Sophy has with her son, Randolph. Randolph is shown to be a privately educated young man with all the airs and graces of an aristocratic gentleman. From the outset, he is seen to treat his mother with disdain and disrespect when he corrects her grammar as if he were the parent and she were the child; ?Has, dear mother ? not have!? exclaimed the public-school boy, with an impatient fastidiousness that was almost harsh.?(2) Randolph is ashamed of his mother?s background and after his father?s death he begins to distance himself from her, should his affectation as a gentleman be marred by association with ?a mother whose mistakes and origin it was his painful lot as a gentleman to blush for.?(4) ...read more.

Conclusion

to do so himself by becoming a master greengrocer so that he can provide a respectable home for Sophy: ?I?d keep you as genteel as ever I could, dear Sophy.?(6) The great irony of Randolph?s refusal to allow his mother to marry is Sam is that by the end of the story, Sam has attained the respectable position in society that would have negated Randolph?s objections. Sadly it is too late for him to marry Sophy as she has pined away and died in loneliness. Through the characters and narrative in ?The Son?s Veto?, the reader is shown that the upper classes were often disdainful towards the working classes, tolerating them only as employees such as maids and servants. Hardy shows that while members of the working classes may have social aspirations, it is often impossible for them to break down class boundaries as, like Sophy, they will never truly be accepted by those around them and they cannot escape their backgrounds. The tragedy of Sophy?s life shows very clearly that, in the nineteenth century, social class had a significant impact on a person?s opportunities and the attitudes of others towards them. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Other Titles section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Other Titles essays

  1. English coursework. Analysing 4 short stories

    However, when relating to Mr Lismore we are told "Mrs Callender had produced her effect on him already". This phrase suggests that Mrs Callender is a very charismatic woman who uses this quality with intelligence, as she has only met this man once and already she has "produced her effect on him".

  2. Thomas Hardy has been praised for the strength of his narrative in The Wessex ...

    He uses pathetic fallacy at the start of the three strangers giving the reader an indication that something bad may happen, therefore effectively but subtly building tension. Hardy's use of chiaroscuro is very much a useful tool in giving us, the reader an image of both how the character looks and feels.

  1. Explore how women are presented by Thomas Hardy in The Sons Veto, The Withered ...

    They are in an unequal relationship and he has no affection for his mother - just shame at her origin. 'a mother whose mistakes and origin it was his painful lot as a gentlemen to blush for.' Shortly after her husband's death, a former lover in Sophy's life re-emerges.

  2. thomas hardy comparing women character

    When her son told her that 'She is not tall. She is rather short', Rhoda is immediately filled 'with satisfaction', again highlighting her concern for this Gertrude Lodge, comparing her to herself, as she gets the things that Rhoda is supposed to get, married to the man whom Rhoda is supposed to marry.

  1. Consider how Thomas Hardy explores and presents his views on relationships between men and ...

    Farmer lodge has realised that he only married Gertrude for her looks and appearance. Farmer lodge dislikes Gertrude because she still has not given him a child, farmer lodged realises Rhoda Brook and her son and fears that it might be a judgment from heaven.

  2. Thomas Hardy Essay

    woman living in isolation with her father, who excludes her from society. Humphrey Gould, a fine bachelor, who is "an approximately fashionable man of a mild type", proposes to a very flattered Phyllis, who decides to take this opportunity to escape her seclusion.

  1. What is Hardy saying about the treatment of women by society through the medium ...

    Due to this Twycott felt indebted to her and when she became disabled he didn't feel he could let her go. When she fell down the stairs, he felt obligated to keep her under his roof. Rhoda Brook in "The Withered Arm" worked for a living, to support her son and herself.

  2. The Son's Veto. How do you respond to Hardys depiction of the boy? Who ...

    We find him devoid of affection for her and he is ever so shameful about her lack of lady-ship, her incorrect way of grammar and speech and even the little mistakes she makes now and then., out-casting her because of her past or when he tells her that he is

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work