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

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

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'The Son's Veto': Is Sophy a victim of society? By most interpretations of the short story 'The Son's Veto' by the poet and novelist Thomas Hardy, Sophy was a victim. She suffered an injury that left her unable to 'walk and bustle about'; married a man that she 'did not exactly love'; moved to an environment with which she had no connexion; living on a road with 'sooty trees' and 'hazy air'; with 'her almost only companions the two servants of her own house'; raised a son for whom she had unlimited unreturned love but with whom she was not at all similar; and was denied by this very son for whom she had such love, the chance of an 'idyllic life' with Sam Hobson. Sophy was a victim of these events, but by what was she victimised? This is the question that I am attempting to address in this essay. There are several possible answers to this question. She may have been a victim of her own character and choices, of the character and choices of those around her or of pure bad luck. On the other hand, she may have been the victim of the society in which she lived, although these things are not always clearly distinct from each other. Sophy suffered from significant bad luck in the story. ...read more.

Middle

Randolph's education was not the only example of the way in which society contributed to Sophy's victimisation. Like the story, Hardy's life was set in the nineteenth century, where sexist views and classist opinions were not only commonplace but were considered right and proper. Most Victorians were deeply religious, and argument with the church was unacceptable and intolerable. Women were the possessions of firstly their fathers and then their husbands. The classes were considered to have been placed in their rightful social positions, and marriages between the classes were heavily frowned upon, and all of these view points were part of Victorian society. As a result of these social attitudes, remaining in their own village would have been 'social suicide' for the vicar and his wife. They therefore had to move to London, but Sophy felt out of place in the 'long, straight' road with 'sooty trees' and 'hazy air'. This shows us that Sophy had been victimised by her marriage, but this was not the fault of her husband but the fault of society's expectations. When referring to 'sooty trees' and 'hazy air', Hardy shows his own contempt for the cramped, industrial cities of the Victorian era, but by expressing these whilst referring to Sophy's home from a narrative view point that is sympathetic with Sophy, he implies that she found it ...read more.

Conclusion

This is why Hardy, as well as using the narrator to create a disadvantaged image of Sophy, makes certain comments as the narrator that appear ridiculous even as they are read, such as the description of Sophy's personal income as 'modest'. In conclusion, a combination of bad luck, her own weak character, her husband's well intentioned kindness and her son's cold hearted character all contributed to Sophy's miserable ending. But despite this long list of reasons, it was the society in which she lived that made her so inferior and dependent. It is the education that society provided to its elite at 'one of the most distinguished' public schools in the country that makes a monster of her son, causing him to lose 'those wide infantine sympathies, extending as far as to the sun and moon themselves, with which he, like other children, had been born' and teaching him to care only about a population of a few thousand wealthy and titled people', of which his mother was not one. This same society also provided Randolph with a right to forbid his mother to marry: 'The Son's Veto'. It also gave him the assumption of his own superiority that gave him the confidence and callousness to use it. It is this, the title, subject and crux of the story that is caused by society, and therefore in my opinion Sophy is entirely the victim of the society in which she lived. ...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. Analyse the relationship between the mother and her son in " The Son's Veto" ...

    Sophy had been with the vicar 14 years and her education had improved much with the vicar's help.

  2. To What Extent Does Hardy Portray Sophy Twycott In The 'Son's Veto' As A ...

    Hardy portrays Sophy as naïve and immature a number of times throughout the story. He shows her naivety when he says, " The poor girl swore, thinking he would soften". Here despite the fact he was never going to change his mind over his marriage to Sam Hobson, she naively

  1. The Son's Veto.

    kneel before a cross and swear that she would never see Sam again. He denied her the chance to have a happy life even though he was grown up and leading his own life. In Victorian times, society was judgemental and gossipy.

  2. From a reading of Hardy's short stories, discuss how Hardy brings out the aspects ...

    Sam, who is a gardener, and is of the lower class just like Sophy is. Sadly, Sophy, plays the hard to get behaviour which, is so common to Victorian behaviour, and when Sam proposes she stalls, and soon has a fight with him.

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

    They are worried that they will let them down. "...I had never been convinced by mother's explanation..." Larry's mother told him a story about where babies came from and he told Una this. It made Larry look a fool, and he was upset with his mother for leading him astray.

  2. The Sons veto and survival are set in very different times. How far are ...

    Sophy never stands up for herself. She demonstrates this right at the beginning when her son Randolph corrects her grammar. "His mother hastily adopted the correction and did not resent his making it, or retaliate." She had good reason to retaliate because her son had crumbs round his mouth from a cake he had tried to conceal in his pocket.

  1. By considering the extent to which individuals and their actions are determined and limited ...

    also acts as a Martyr in order to be a representation 'of the woman who was coming into notice in her thousands every year', the woman who was forced to undergo the same treatment, but who decide not to speak out about it.

  2. Sociology synopsis - To what degree is torture considered cruel and unnatural?

    Furthermore, different sets of preferences come from systems of dispositions and the social conditions of production, which create relationships between them. He tells us that cultural goods and the way we understand culture depends on other factors not just the actual form of culture whether it be art, drama, or literature.

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