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

Comparison of Hardy's "Withered Arm Collection of Short Stories"

Extracts from this document...


English Hardy Coursework Thomas Hardy was a British novelist and a poet who was born in 1840 during Queen Victoria's reign and died at the age of 88 in 1928. Most of Hardy's works are set in the countryside of Wessex. The three stories I will be looking, 'The Withered Arm', 'The Son's Veto' and 'The Melancholy Hussar of the German Legion'; are all taken from the collection of stories called 'The Withered Arm and other Wessex Tales'. Hardy's characters were often portrayed as victims of a predestined fate and his stories usually end in awful tragedy. "The Withered Arm" is a tragedy of fate and is a story of two women linked to one man. The Man being Farmer Lodge in this story and the two women being Rhoda Brook, the lower in social class working as a milkmaid and Gertrude the higher in social class who is the clear choice for Farmer Lodge to marry. ...read more.


This is where Hardy introduces his cruel because just as Gertrude thinks she is going to rid herself of this ailment Farmer Lodge and Rhoda burst in and the corpse being the illegitimate son of Rhoda and the Farmer this shock kills Gertrude. This is similar in all the stories as Hardy introduces a solution to the problem but then takes it away again by introducing a cruel unexpected twist to the plot that changes things such as Humphrey Gould in 'The Melancholy Hussar', coming home at the precise moment Phyllis was planning to escape with Matheus. In all these three stories there are problems with social status and especially marriage between those social ranks with Rhoda and the Farmer not being able to get married in 'The Withered Arm', Sophy and Sam in 'The Son's Veto' and Matheus and Phyllis in 'The Melancholy Hussar'. In 'The Melancholy Hussar' Hardy enhances the verisimilitude by showing detailed historical knowledge into the Hussar's uniform and also the way he states that Phyllis has passed this story on by word of mouth, 'Phyllis told me the story with her own lips.' ...read more.


After her husband's death she meets Sam, an old friend from her working class days. He proposes to her and describes a happy life they could lead together. Sophy explains the importance of her son, Randolph, in her life and suggests that she get his permission before marrying Sam. When she approaches her son he refuses to let her marry him. The 'Son's Veto' ends with Sophys death, never feeling worthy enough to have been her son's mother and never being courageous enough to marry her love. This is again another example of Hardy's cruel twists of fate and tragedy with Sophy dieing unhappy because her son objects to her marrying someone of that social rank. Lastly Hardy introduces his grim pessimistic view on life into each of these three stories and this plays the most significant part in making these stories such a work of art. This causes the reader to be thrown all over the place on the clever twists and them all ending in such fatal consequences of thwarted love. ...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 Other Titles 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 Other Titles essays

  1. How does Hardy present Rhoda and Gertrude in The Withered Arm?

    Rhoda had a pale face from milking the cows all day long, she had dark eyes because she was old and she worked from the early hours of the day to late in the evening, she was not 'handsome' and she was tall but Gertrude is short.

  2. Surprise and Tension In A Short Story - The Withered Arm

    She is an outcast because people think she is a witch. Then eight years have passed and Farmer Lodge brings back his new wife Gertrude Lodge. Rhoda is jealous of her and sends her son, who is now eight, to go and look at her.

  1. Thomas Hardy Essay

    She visits their graves regularly until her own death, and is buried nearby. 'The Winters and the Palmleys begins with two women who are "to a certain extent rivals in good looks". One takes the other woman's man, who is called Winter, and they marry and have a son called Jack.

  2. Consider how Thomas Hardy explores and presents his views on relationships between men and ...

    Gertrude shares her luxurious lifestyle with Farmer Lodge, a rich land owner, but Rhoda shares her struggling lifestyle with her son, but also shares a secret relationship with Framer Lodge. Farmer Lodge loves Rhoda and decides to make his relationship legitimate, but Farmer Lodge realises that he can not make

  1. Explore how women are presented by Thomas Hardy in The Sons Veto, The Withered ...

    This all occurred after the marriage and 'all on her account.' This implies that it was not a move to make things easier for Sophy, but as a result of her uneducated background. Regardless of the move, Sophy was still unable to gain respect from within the community as 'she was less intuitive' within a cultural environment.

  2. Thomas Hardy Essay

    is kind and offers them gifts which at first took Rhoda by surprise as she had an opposite opinion of her. A major amount of tension is created when Gertrude reveals an injury on her left arm. "She uncovered her left arm, and their outlined Rhoda's gaze as the exact

  1. What does The Sons Veto tell us about attitudes towards social class in the ...

    He shows himself to be unfeeling towards Sophy, caring nothing for her happiness and thinking only of how her marrying Sam would affect his social reputation. Had Sophy?s suitor been from a higher social class, Randolph would not have been opposed to his mother?s re marrying.

  2. The dream sequence in Chapter 3 of "The Withered Arm".

    If she is not picturing Gertrude in the future, then she is picturing Gertrude as just an ugly woman.

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