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

From a reading of Hardy's short stories, discuss how Hardy brings out the aspects of Victorian society in 'The Withered Arm' and 'The Son's Veto'.

Extracts from this document...


Q6. From a reading of Hardy's short stories, discuss how Hardy brings out the aspects of Victorian society in 'The Withered Arm' and 'The Son's Veto'. A6. Thomas Hardy lived during the Victorian period and he loved from 1840-1928. He was a famous novelist and poet but his points were not liked by the people in the year of 1840. Thomas Hardy was known as a Novelist and his stories crossed the modern and Victorian age. Thomas Hardy also lived in the middle class family and was born in Dorset a tiny village in the south west of England. Also, he used the locality of Dorset in his stories. He was the person who felt men were bond servants of chance and that they played an important role on our lives. In both the short stories, 'The Withered Arm' and 'The Son's Veto', he used a lot of description which was one of the other reasons why he was so popular. This is because his innate gift of description expressed someone or something in the deepest form which could actually help the reader picture the person or something clearly. First of all in both the short stories, 'The Withered Arm' and 'The Son's Veto' we see clearly that marriages could only happen between two people of the same class and that it could only be between social equals and this is one of the aspects that society judged a person on. Also, in both the short stories written by Thomas Hardy the level of your class in society determined the respect one would get. In 'Withered Arm', the case was that Farmer Lodge was of a lower class, and when he came up in his class in society, he married Gertrude who too was of a high class and was a lady. Here, Farmer Lodge stepped out of his original class and wanted to be exactly look a person of a higher class which is why he left Rhoda Brook who was of ...read more.


This can be seen by two quotes, 'Has, dear mother - not have!' This quote is when Sophy uses improper English and when Randolph corrects her, he shouts at her, which is extremely rude, and Sophy does not say anything. Thus, we can see that Sophy was always aware that her main deficiency was in her use of language. The second quote is, 'his mother, a child of nature herself, had loved in him; he was reducing their compass to a population of a few thousand wealthy and titled people.' From this quote one can clearly understand that the love Sophy had for Randolph, her son, was pure, and she loved him with all her heart but he did not care or want to open his heart to her. Also it is evident that as Randolph grew up, he went farther away from his mother, and took the company of famous people as he wanted to establish himself as a real gentleman, and the cause of this was the nature of society that dictated that one would only be recognised for his appearance, class and his behaviour. The company of Randolph is so much in contrast to Sophy's, as she only had the company of 'two servants.' Thus, it is quite understandable that the sophistication society was looking for ended with Randolph becoming snobbish. This also brings to thought that if Farmer Lodge married Rhoda Brook, Rhoda would have been more or less in the same position as Sophy was, but the difference is that Rhoda is a much stronger character than Sophy is. This can be see through the way she handled Farmer Lodge's absence for Gertrude, and this is because she hid not cry or grieve over his departure, although she was quiet when milking the cows and she had a dream of Gertrude. Also, although she hated Gertrude for stealing Farmer Lodge she did not fail to accept Gertrude for her good qualities when she gave her son a pair of boots to wear and made adjustments with her feelings to be herself. ...read more.


Unfairness in society can be seen in the 'Withered Arm', when people are said to be hung for minor things like, 'horse stealing, arson, and burglary', and sometimes not for the genuine reason of committing a crime, but so that an example would be set for society so as to not to make the same mistake. This can be proven by the quote, 'they are obliged to make an example of him, there having been so much destruction of property that way lately.' The unjust nature of society is again seen in 'The Withered Arm', when Gertrude finds it hard to go to jail so that she could touch the back of the neck of a person hanged because women were not allowed in unless they had the company of a man and this shows the biased nature of society. This can be seen by the quote, 'but what means she should adopt for obtaining admission to the jail.' Thus, all I can finally say is that both stories were tragic in their own way, all because a few characters went a little higher in society. In 'The Withered Arm', Farmer Lodge went higher in society and left his original wife, Rhoda Brook whom he had a son with, and married Gertrude who died trying to get her arm healed as Farmer Lodge married her because of her appearance and so he was left with neither Gertrude or Rhoda Brook. In 'The Son's Veto' Sophy married Reverend Twycott because she had respect for him and not because she loved him, although she did really love 'Sam Hobson', and when the Reverend died, she was left alone and longed for Sam's love but it did not happen because she was indecisive, and as she could not tell her son that she had to move on with her life whether or not he liked it. ...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. What do you find interesting about R.K. Narayan's presentation of Indian society in the ...

    But throughout the narration we know, we are doing it out of no choice. It is out of love and concern of their family that they have to carry on with such jobs. Even though they are uneducated, they have strong values by which they live.

  2. An analysis of how The Withered Arm by Thomas Hardy Reflects what life was ...

    Members of the working class would often get "hand-me-downs" from older siblings or relatives, and the number of clothes a person owned would be small. A wealthy person would probably have a large selection of food to choose from that may have been cooked by kitchen staff.

  1. Analyse the relationship between the mother and her son in " The Son's Veto" ...

    When Sophy married the vicar in the friendly town of Gaymead because of the different class the vicar was said to have "committed social suicide" and as everyone in Gaymead what the vicar and Sophy had done they had to move away to a different town where no one would know who they were and what class Sophy was from.

  2. Characters and Genre in the Victorian Love Story Malachi's Cove

    This being a metaphor that reflects the good values of Malachi, and thusly reflecting the good values that must be bestowed upon Mally, as she is of the same stock. The first direct encounter the reader has with Mally paints a different picture, although the basic principle of a pure

  1. Maggie, an Anti-type of a Victorian woman - The Mill on the Floss

    their children to school it is Tom who is supposed to have the good schooling, though he has little interest in studying and is rather slow in learning. So Maggie seems to be an anti-type of a Victorian woman in her intelligence and also her wide range of studies.

  2. 'The Son's Veto': Is Sophy a victim of society?

    society, as she had been trained to see herself as subordinate to the vicar 'she hardly dared refuse a parsonage so august and reverend in her eyes'. Hardy's use of the word 'dared' implies that Sophy afraid of the vicar, and that to refuse him would have been being naughty.

  1. Assess the Impact of the Development of the Railways On Victorian Society and the ...

    1950 played a vital role in increasing the quantities of British products being exported. Speed also played an important role in the movement of livestock and perishable goods. Meat, milk and market produce could be transported cheaply over long distances for sale in towns and cities that farmers had previously

  2. Compare & contrast the differences between the middle and peasant classes, village life and ...

    In country life it does not matter the way you speak, but who you are inside. A big comparison has been made in this story between men and women. Even though Sophy was older and the one to inherit her husband's belongings, the son takes charge, "She was left no

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