How does Hardy create mystery and fear in ‘The Withered Arm’? How does the social/historical context ad to the fear and mystery created? In the Withered Arm, Hardy uses various literary techniques to create mystery and fear. Through crafting his characters’ personalities, forming events and setting a tone for his story, Hardy treats the reader as if they were one of the characters. Through the story, information is drip fed to us as well as the characters which creates mystery, because we experience the consequences of the characters actions along with them. With the additional background knowledge of historical and social context, the reader is already in the loop, so they can gain a deeper understanding of the story. The modern reader knows that this information could often cause much more fear and mystery back then, due to the superstitious personas of people living in the Victorian 1800’s. They would have been more easily influenced therefore, in a way, a better audience, as they would have interpreted Hardy’s writing exactly the way he wanted them to- with a feeling of fear and in an atmosphere of mystery. In the first pages of The Withered Arm Hardy sets the tone for his story. Hardy creates a dark tone in chapter one. The title ‘A Lorn Milkmaid’ means that the story will be sad about someone who lives an isolated life and seems to blend into the background. This is because in the 1800s it would be very common for women of a somewhat lower class to be milkmaids. The first sentence also creates mystery ‘It was an 80 cow dairy...troop of the milkers, regular...were all at work’, this seems like a very casual setting, very normal and plain. This is the factor, which creates mystery, as the reader thinks that it is almost too normal. The word ‘regular’ signifies no break from routine, as if these people have been working this way all their lives. Another quote is the title ‘The Withered Arm’ that coincides with pain, or a wound of some kind. This creates fear, as the person affected could be either dead or alive and it could be any of the characters. Hardy thus invites the reader to engage in his story. Although setting doesn’t play a strong part in the story, it is still important. Take the description of Rhoda’s house for example; ‘a rafter showed like a bone protruding through the skin’. The reference to the bone creates an ghostly feeling for the reader, as it is described in quite a graphic manner. It will also cause fear, as the connotations of ‘bone’ include other gory images, like blood. This description allows the reader to empathise with Rhoda’s situation. The description of her house then goes on to say the walls were made of mud, this shows the reader just how working class Rhoda is and how life must be a struggle for her. We now know that Farmer Lodge, whom she fell pregnant with, was of a higher class, and when he abandoned Rhoda, he clearly left her with very little possessions. In the 19th Century, no husband or an illegitimate child would immediately lower a woman’s social status, as would lack of expensive material objects. Hardy also uses various personalities in the Withered Arm, to add detail to the story. As each character arrives in the plot, some information is slowly revealed. He has designed them for the sole purpose of creating mystery and fear for the reader. Gertrude, as a female character would have been objectified in the Victorian times. She was young, pretty and the new ‘talk of the town’. Her relationship with other characters i.e. Farmer Lodge, causes us to consider what Gertrude’s purpose in Holmestoke is. What with the age difference between her and Lodge, they would have little to discuss and this leads us to think that Lodge only wants her for her looks. For example, ‘...married experience sank into prosiness and worse’, shows how through the decay of Gertrude’s...
...Does Hardy portray a typical view of ghost stories with “The WitheredArm”? In my opinion I don’t think so. Let’s have a look at the comparisons. A typical ghost/supernatural story has usually three ghost sightings but in “The WitheredArm” it’s a different story. The ghost of a living person appears once in the form of a vision. This is very unlike the stereotypical ghost stories of today. I feel Thomas Hardy has uncovered a whole new type of ghost story. One of the messages the story conveys is ‘don’t wish bad on others or it will come back to haunt you’
Our story is set in the fictional region of South West England known as ‘Wessex’. There we meet our three main characters, Rhoda Brook, Farmer Lodge and Gertrude Lodge.
Rhoda is a faded milkmaid and twelve years before the story is set Rhoda had an affair and fell pregnant with Farmer Lodge’s child. As he was of a higher class, Farmer Lodge soon abandoned Rhoda and his child. He is now newly wed to the more suited, Gertrude. Although Rhoda had never met the new bride, she carried a strong grudge against her. One night Rhoda had a supernatural vision of the young Mrs Lodge with “...features shockingly distorted...” and “...wrinkled as by age...” These are some of the phrases used to describe the vision. Also Gertrude flashes her new ring at Rhoda taunting her, “the figure thrust forward its left hand mockingly”. I feel this is the point in the story in which the...
...the yard. It gradually dawns on Kayerts
21. and Carlier that they have become involved in a terrible
22. crime, but after discarding their initial pangs of guilt are
23. comforted by the thought of lucrative commissions on the
24. ivory. The steamer is late, their provisions are running low
25. and the physical and mental state of the two white men
26. deteriorates rapidly. Demoralized by a quarrel over the last
27. lumps of sugar, they begin to fight, and Kayerts shoots the
28. unarmed Carlier in what he believes to be self-defence.
29. When the steamer finally arrives, the director discovers
30. Kayerts’s body hanging from the cross with his tongue
31. disrespectfully stuck out at him.
| In a novel structured around contrasts, the main opposition is between Swithin St Cleeve and Lady Viviette Constantine, who are presented as binary figures in a series of ways: aristocratic and lower class, youthful and mature, single and married, fair and dark, religious and agnostic…she [Lady Viviette Constantine] is also deeply conventional, absurdly wishing to conceal their marriage until Swithin has achieved social status through his scientific work, which gives rise to uncontrolled ironies and tragic-comic misunderstandings (Harvey 108). | ” |
Hardy’s stories take into consideration the events of life and their effects. Fate plays a significant role as the thematic basis for many of his...
...Thomas Hardy- The witheredarm and other Wessex tales
“How does Thomas hardy portray the role of female characters in at least two of his stories?”
As a child, Thomas Hardy was told tales and traditions by –not only his father- but his mother and grandmother. He has a lot of female family members around him. Many of hardy’s stories are loosely based on his own life and experiences.
‘The witheredarm’ is ‘full of memories of Hardy’s youth’ and includes some of his experiences. Thomas Hardy once told an ‘admirer’ that ‘The son’s veto’ was his ‘best short story’. This is most probable because it is a story which shows strong feeling against class distinction, prejudice and snobbery. This is why I’ll be choosing these two stories out of Hardy’s vast collection to analyze the way Hardy portrays his female characters.
‘The witheredarm’ contains witchcraft (superstition and such things were common in Hardy’s time) and shows women are being prejudiced against. It also gives readers a glimpse of how strict the class system was.
Hardy was brought up in a very strict social class system. You could not improve your status unless people of different social statuses got married…which was highly unlikely. Hardy’s hatred towards this class system however, is shown far more in ‘The sons veto’. In that story, the class system is criticized because it causes people to do things according to...
...Who are the victims in the WitheredArm?
Throughout the story Mr Lodge seems to be punished by a divine power but also by Rhoda Brooks who’s seeking her revenge. Mr Lodge is indirectly punished by Mrs Lodge’s witheredarm. This seems very painful for him and the fact that he thinks that it “might be a judgement from heaven upon him”, suggests that he feels very guilty and helpless in the face of a mysterious divine power. This mysterious power seems to punish him for his own superficial and selfish behaviour. This makes him victim of his own actions. Mr Lodge is also punished by not having a son with Gertrude, he fears that it might also be a judgement from heaven upon him. Therefore it is most likely that he will be the last of a family who has occupied the valley for some two hundred years. At that time securing the line was a big deal. Unfortunately, the fact that the boy who’s supposed to be hanged is his only son that he had with Rhoda, suggests that he will not have anyone to inherit his land and therefore, Farmer Lodge sells all his land and dies miserable soon later.
The son of Farmer Lodge and Rhoda is a victim of his father’s selfishness. The fact that Mr Lodge fails to recognise his son from the carriage makes us pity the boy. He takes “no outward notice of the boy whatever”, suggests that the farmer has disowned his son.
In conclusion, everyone has suffered one way or another as they...
...instead, the tone is one of self-awareness and personal satisfaction. He believed his autobiography did not serve so much to enlighten himself but to provide an object lesson for the readers. He confesses that he has made many mistakes during his life that he craved he could correct, but he often shows how he succeeded and reached his present state in society. He believed that working hard, education and pinching pennies will earn its own desired end. Work hard and you will have a better life.
Secondly, The Second Continental Congress was the official resources by which the American colonial governments coordinated their conflict to the British Empire during the first two years of the revolutionary war. Their justification for taking up arms against the British was simply the colonies seeking their independence. The congress tried to come to a peaceful resolution by sending King George a message which he refused to receive, and then the British parliament passed a series of laws intended to suppress discontent in Colonial Boston by closing ports and placing it under Marshall Law. The Continental Congress could not stand idly by while these intolerable acts were continuing.
Thirdly, Patrick Henry s political philosophy was a resilient favoring of the patriots. During a speech he made he said,” I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death” He had a profound desire to escape the British. He believed that even with...
...George but his simple childlike mind always finds him trouble wherever he goes. where as in The WitheredArm by Thomas Hardy the two main characters hate each other. Rhoda is old and has a child to farmer Lodge. On the other hand Gertrude is young, beautiful and is Farmer lodges new wife.
<br>In terms of emotional stability, there is only one thing in life that is really needed and that is friends. Without friends, people would suffer from loneliness and solitude. Loneliness leads to low self-esteem and deprivation. In the novel Of Mice and Men' the characters, Crooks, Candy and Curley's Wife all exhibit some form of loneliness. They are driven towards the curiosity of George and Lennie's friendship because they do not have that support in their life. Through his novel, Of Mice and Men, Steinbeck demonstrates that often times, a victim of isolation will have a never-ending search to fulfil a friendship.
<br>"A guy goes nuts if he ain't got nobody. Don't matter no difference who the guy is, longs he with you. I tell ya a guy gets too lonely an he gets sick."
<br>Steinbeck writes the novel Of Mice and Men' using a 3rd person narrative to show how emotionally remote the characters are and to show that they don't get to know people intimately. This for me is enhances the success of the book as it gives an equal account of all the characters feelings. Although in The WitheredArm it does use a 3rd...
...Dictation by Fear
As the Twin Towers fell to the ground, mass chaos spread throughout the United States. Among many other overwhelming feelings, many Americans were left in question and accusations. The motives of the terrorists were unknown and many Americans’ fear overtook a sense of logic. With fear fueling the minds of many Americans, many began to take illogical and unjustified actions. A stereotype developed amongst the Muslim society, which has still shrugged them from American society to this day. 9/11 instilled a fear in Americans that strung a chord in each person that disregarded a sense of logic or morals. Arthur Miller sets a scene of mass chaos and paranoia in the 1600’s in an area much like Salem, Mass.. A fear of witchcraft, that could quite possibly overtake the holy lifestyle in the Puritan society, created a spiraling downfall. In Arthur Millers multithematic play “The Crucible”, fear directs the decisions and course of life.
The deep rooted fear Reverend Parris feels stems from the reputation he must uphold as reverend of the holy community. In desperation, Parris allows his fear to contradict himself as he defends his niece, Abigail. Although Parris knows that Abigail is lying when she says she is not involved in witchcraft, Parris defends her in hopes it will secure his reputation and position in the community. As reverend, it is not...
...Thomas Hardy concentrated on human relationships in his short stories, as this was his main area of interest. Hardy also had a keen interest on the supernatural such as aliens. In 1874,
Thomas Hardy got married to the love of his life, Emma Gifford, but after 38 years of marriage in 1912, Emma passed away sending Hardy into deep depression.
This is when Hardy’s short stories hit its prime. He went on a pilgrimage in 1914 to find out about life after Emma. Although, in the same year, he re-married to Florence Dugdale at the age of 74 and in 1928, he passed away.
All his poems are firmly grounded in Dorset life and folklore, particularly the short stories The WitheredArm and Tony Kytes: Arch deciever
tony kytes:arch deciever
The story is about a man who is unsure about how he feels towards his
The attitude shown towards love by Tony shows that he is uncommitted.
Tony is unsure about his feelings for Milly; he is united with his
former girlfriends Unity and Hannah. He then confuses himself about
who he wants to marry.
He does not love the girls for their inner beauty but only for their
physical appearance which is not counted as love this is shown by him
saying "I never knowed you was so pretty before" .
Whereas milly's attitude shown towards love is strong and committed
she feels that Tony is the perfect match and assumes that he feels the...