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In Thomas Hardy's short story, 'Old Mrs Chundle', the Curate is a well-respected, well-mannered and considerate man.

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Introduction

In Thomas Hardy's short story, 'Old Mrs Chundle', the Curate is a well-respected, well-mannered and considerate man. He is determined to spread the word of God to Mrs Chundle. Mrs Chundle is also a considerate woman. She does not regularly visit the church and lives alone in South Wales. At the beginning of the story, the Curate asks for some lunch from Mrs Chundle. At first Mrs Chundle did not hear the Curate, so he has to repeat what he asked earlier. The Curate is an open man; he is not ashamed of asking food from others and is willing to dine with an old woman. This shows that the Curate is a friendly man and he does not judge people. The Curate strikes up a friendly conversation, which eventually leads to Mrs Chundle lying about visiting the church once a week. Due to this, the Curate thinks he and Mrs Chundle have something in common as ho belongs in the same church, which Mrs Chundle lied about. He hopes to see Mrs Chundle again which shows that the curate has become quite friendly with her and also shows that he is a pleasant man. When the Curate is talking to his rector, he finds out about the lie Mrs Chundle told. ...read more.

Middle

The following Sunday, Mrs Chundle came to listen to the service taking place. The Curate was very glad to see her and he started the sermon. The reason why Marian got involved with the old ladies is to gain points Campfire Girls are supposed to do good in society in order to gain points on their score. Mrs Chundle was breathing through the long sound tube whose other end opened up at the pulpit. The sermon continued and after some while, Mrs Chundle's breath, containing the of odour of onions, cider, pickled cabbages and peppermint, reached the Curate. He had found the smell to be very disturbing and hoped it would stop. The Curate got impatient and blocked the pipe with his thumb, still continuing to preach the word of God. The disturbing breath of Mrs Chundle made the Curate change his outlook on the situation concerning Mrs Chundle's faith. Marian felt she did not belong in the room with the two old ladies. Both the ladies were fighting with each other and Marian said a lot of things without thinking. She was so scared when with the old ladies that she could not think straight. Marian did not want to stay any longer with the old ladies. ...read more.

Conclusion

He was asking for forgiveness from God whilst kneeling down on his knees. He had, as a minister's job, turned Mrs Chundle's faith more towards God, but in the end he had avoided her only because of her interfering breath. He prayed for a few minutes and walked on. He had learnt not to avoid anyone due to little problems and should encourage them more towards God. If he had not avoided her, Mrs Chundle would have had the joy of listening to God's words once more before she had died. Marian had not particularly learnt an important lesson. She is only a young adolescent. The only reason she had visited the old ladies was for a few points. When Marian came out of the Old Ladies Home, the first thing she did was take out her apple from under the bush and took a bite out of it. This shows that Marian was not affected in anyway from her experience with the old ladies. She had not gone to visit the old ladies out of her own choice but only for herself. The Curate had learnt the most from his experience as he showed the signs of confusion, guilt and had to ask for forgiveness from God. Marian had just taken a bite out of her apple as soon as she got out. She showed no signs of sympathy and compassion toward the old ladies. ...read more.

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