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

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The dream sequence is chapter 3 is caused by the relationship between Rhoda and Gertrude and Mr. Lodge.  The relationship is complex, even though Rhoda has never met Gertrude. They love the same the man.  However, Rhoda’s experience with Mr. Lodge is deeper since she had already with him. Rhoda could know him better then Mrs. Lodge.   Mr. Lodge’s courtship of Gertrude could have been very short.  Gertrude may barely know Mr. Lodge. However, Rhoda may know him better. Rhoda had a child out of wedlock with him.  Maybe Rhoda has also dreamed about having a happy life with Mr. Lodge.   The appearance of Gertrude put an end to this dream. Now it has been replaced with a nightmare. The nightmare is a life alone, with no one to support The dream sequence

her, and no hope of a husband.

        In the dream, Gertrude is sitting on Rhoda’s chest. This is a metaphor about their different social classes. Gertrude is part of the well off rich class, while Rhoda is a poor milkmaid who has had a child out of wedlock and has no support from the father. The upper class is always on top of the lower class, pressuring them, torturing them and not pitying them.  

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Rhoda pictures Gertrude in the dream with a wrinkled face. This could mean that she is picturing Gertrude as an old woman in the future.  This would mean that in Rhoda’s lifetime, it will always be the case that she has nothing and Gertrude has Mr. Lodge. She will always have to work hard and be tortured by the vision of Gertrude being married to the man she loves. If she is not picturing Gertrude in the future, then she is picturing Gertrude as just an ugly woman.  This would mean that her life is even more unfair. Not only ...

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