Literary analysis of 'The Going' by Thomas Hardy

Authors Avatar
Q: How does Hardy tell the story in ‘The Going’?‘The Going’ is a poem mourning the death and loss of Hardy’s wife Emma. The themes of anguish, love and regret are echoes throughout the poem however it is unusual and interesting to note that it seems that Hardy is blaming Emma for leaving him and over-romanticizing the time they spent together. The title ‘The Going’ gives the air that Emma’s death was a grand sort of departure. A reader with no knowledge of Hardy’s life would perhaps feel that Hardy loved and took much care of his wife throughout his life and her departure was ‘grand’ in that way, however this is not the case. The circumstances Emma died in illustrated a harsh husband who did not come to his wife's deathbed when the maid told him Emma was very ill - Hardy’s grievous poem makes the circumstances are very ironic. In the second stanza, Hardy also refers to Emma’s death as the ‘great going’, which is once again giving the idea that Emma’s death was
Join now!
grand; like a Queen leaving. It is possible that by glorifying and exalting Emma’s death, Hardy is trying to console himself about the circumstances she died in - by writing over the situation he may be trying to change the story of what happened for the reader in order to make it seem as though he is not the one to blame. Building on the idea that Hardy wants to shift the blame from himself, Hardy throughout the poem asks questions as statements rather than as real questions. For example, he says ‘ Why do you make me leave the ...

This is a preview of the whole essay