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

Explain how the role of women is presented in two of Hardy's short stories.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

EXPLAIN HOW THE ROLE OF WOMEN IS PRESENTED IN TWO OF HARDY'S SHORT STORIES. After reading Thomas Hardy's 'The Withered Arm' and 'The Melancholy Hussar,' I really pity the women who had to take second place to others depending on their class and social status. Women then, had no privileges like education and had no financial power whatsoever. They had to obey the main men in their lives; Fathers and husbands dominated women and, no matter how wealthy their backgrounds was, the women had no say in decision-making or relationships. The role of women in society is vividly described in both of Hardy's stories through three characters; Rhoda Brook, a dairy maid, Gertrude Lodge, the wife of a wealthy farmer and Phyllis Grove, the daughter of a retired doctor. Rhoda Brook in 'The Withered Arm' was branded 'a fallen woman' and soiled goods because of her illegitimate son. ...read more.

Middle

Gertrude Lodge was from a higher class of society than Rhoda, she was married to Farmer Lodge and she had to constantly obey her husband, stealing her independence. Rules of social convention had to be followed, this meant that the ladylike Gertrude was considered as an appropriate partner for wealthy Farmer Lodge, whereas, Rhoda, being a common milkmaid, would never have an acceptable spouse. The relationship between Farmer Lodge and Rhoda should never have been, considering the fact that she was lower class, thus proving the double standards of society. Gertrude being 'a lady complete,' pretty and polite, was proudly paraded around the parish by her husband. He was not rejected in society even though he had fathered a son to a poor milkmaid and disowned both of them. Society's double standards had taken their toll on poor Rhoda instead of wealthy Lodge. ...read more.

Conclusion

She was powerless to marry the man she really loved because of her obedience and loyalty to her father. All this resulted in Phyllis having to follow the unwritten rules of society by forsaking her true love; marriage to a hussar would have been totally unacceptable and against social convention which was of great importance two hundred years ago. People had a manner of behaving which was regarded as customary. Phyllis and Rhoda had to conduct themselves appropriately in accordance with etiquette. Hardy's portrayal of those times relays the impression of how women were belittled and governed in society by men. Men had to display evidence of a high standing and what better way to do so, than by showing authority by domineering any women associated with their lives. Only a very courageous man or woman would have dared to break the social code. DIANNE COLHOUN ...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 Sociology 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 Sociology essays

  1. Alienation in Nathaniel Hawthorne's short stories.

    Lost from reality and without love, Hooper lives in solitude. Even his wife, Mrs. Hooper, refuses to be associated with him after he refuses to remove the black veil - even for her. When Mrs. Hooper asks for him to remove the veil, Minister Hooper replies "Know, then, this veil

  2. Free essay

    The changinf role of women in society

    Source I totally disagrees with the statement "Without the first world war British women would not have gained the right to vote in 1918" as it tells us how many people's views were left unchanged by the war. Source F is a more controversial statement as it says "Women do

  1. How do the writers Thomas Hardy and Alice Walker use their protagonist's Roselily and ...

    or to not marry and follow her personal desires is the decision she has to make. The reader is enclosed in her stream of thoughts towards the decision she has to make, which is broken up by the wedding vows of her marriage. "People have (with the help of conventions)

  2. Compare 'The Genius' by Frank O'Conor and 'The Son's veto' by Thomas Hardy considering ...

    People of the upper classes constantly surround him due to his private education. All his friends' mothers and fathers are upper class. "...while on the coaches sat the proud fathers and mothers; but never a poor mother like her..." Sophy wants Randolph to be loving and like her.

  1. Compare the lives of the two central characters in 'The Son's Veto' and 'The ...

    There is also a strong class difference where Randolph is a respectable upper class gentleman; Sophy is a lower class woman in an upper class world. Randolph treats Sophy as just a minor, although he respects her a lot as she is his mother.

  2. English Coursework: Thomas Hardy's Short Stories

    to marry Lord Uplandtowers even though she 'did not love him (but) ...admitted to herself that he was a more desirable husband, socially considered'. The marriage between Mr Twycott and Sophy is an act of 'social suicide' for Mr Twycott because Sophy is from a lower social class than himself.

  1. A Short Time in the Life of a Teacher

    The girls already know what not to wear and what is appropriate; I am tired of hearing it over and over! Me telling the students to take their nose piercing out is not going to make any difference whatsoever. That does not mean to say that I do not tell

  2. An analysis of three short stories written by Kate Chopin, 1914.

    eight, but was forced to move back to her husbands' smaller home as he lost some money. He eventually died in 1882 while she ran the business. Two years later she moved back to her mothers, but she died a year later.

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