Extended commentary of Part II of 'The Pine Planters' by Thomas Hardy

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Unseen Analysis Part II of ‘The Pine Planters’ by Thomas Hardy

Hardy changes various elements of the poem to further explore either i) Marty’s predicament further or ii) to open an entirely new metaphoric realm!

First Stanza Notes:

Hardy open Part II with the same image with which he opened Part I; as a pine planter plants another tree. He sets “it to stand, here,/ Always to be.” Hardy is commenting upon the sudden fact that a tree can be rooted for eternity; the blasé manner by which a planter can root a living object in a fixed position – for better or worse – is accentuated by the understated contrast between the enormity of time (“Always to be”) which results. The aforementioned phrase itself is highly emphasized through its contraction.

[Note the departure from Marty (in lines one and two) to the abstract ideas about the tree – which does, in some respects, represent Marty – as the tree has become the subject]

Hardy then delivers another enormous chronological contrast;

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“When, in a second (2)

As if from fear

Of Life unreckoned

Beginning here,

It starts a sighing (3)”

The very second in which the tree is planted – fated to suffer – it appears to awake (“While there lying/ ‘Twas voiceless quite.”) and become aware of its tragic fate. Consequently, it begins to ‘sigh’ – just like Marty, as previously detailed. Indeed, Hardy draws a number of deep comparisons between the tree and Marty. Apart from the obvious remarks upon their equal desperation in being fixed, there exists an equal focus upon the sudden change in mood ...

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