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What means does Thomas Hardy use to make the super natural events of "The withered arm" and "The three strangers" convincing?

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Wessex Tales Comparative essay Nazia. A. Gani Task What means does Thomas Hardy use to make the super natural events of "The withered arm" and "The three strangers" convincing? Introduction I have been set a task to analyse and understand how Thomas Hardy presents the super natural acts in two of his short stories. "The Withered Arm" and "The Three Strangers." I propose to tackle this task by comparing the two short stories in the way the super natural events are conveyed to the reader. I will also discuss the similarities and differences between the two stories and their characters I will note the language used and the way the same image is effectively conveyed in the two short stories. Thomas Hardy had a passion for poetry and was a great novelist he gained an acceptable education at various local schools until the age of sixteen, when his passion for poetry began. But being rejected Hardy went on to writing fiction for a serial magazine and slowly as he built up his passion he did of course become quite famous. Wessex tales, written in 1888 consists of seven short stories two of which I will be studying. ...read more.


The second stranger, older than the first one, appears to be on the way to Caster Bridge and asks for a few minutes rest and also sits down at a table quite close to the first stranger. After much drinking of beer and the revelation of the fact that the second stranger is a hangman, the third stranger finally enters the scene but as soon as he sees the second stranger he runs off. At this sudden outburst gunfire goes off telling the nearby county that a prisoner has escaped. The shepherd and the strangers decide at this moment that they must find the third stranger. The shepherd goes to look for the stranger whilst the second stranger doubles back to find that the first stranger hasn't joined in the search either. They set out on their separate ways whilst the shepherd finds the third stranger. After taking him to the constable they realise that the original prisoner who had escaped was the first stranger and that the third stranger was his brother. In the withered arm, Rhoda's decision never to see Gertrude again is taken away from her when Gertrude pays them a visit to bring her son a new pair of shoes, as she saw him in the market place and felt sorry for the boy with an old ruined pair of shoes on his feet. ...read more.


The Three Strangers also has such characters that contribute to the story drastically; the hangman is such a figure of course. In both the stories these Characters have an enlightened role this is because they are the people that have the power to heal or destruct, although in "The Withered Arm" Conjuror Trendle has a power which cannot be taken from him as it is a spiritual power rather in "The Three Strangers" the hangman has been given that status to hang criminals for there crimes yet it can be taken from him. Conclusively I think that Thomas Hardy has conveyed the Super natural effect more clearly in "The Withered Arm." although in the "The Three Strangers" I had the feeling that there would be a sudden twist in what we were made to believe. It seems that in "The Withered Arm" after all the events take place it is back at the beginning even though eventually Farmer Lodge dies. Yet in "The Three Strangers" it ends at a sort of contented feeling that the first stranger gets away without being executed and it also has a disappointing ending because the third stranger does not meet his brother again. By Nazia. A. Gani ...read more.

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