We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

The Withered Arm, The Son’s Veto and The Melancholy Hussar of the German Legion Essay Sample

essay
The whole doc is available only for registered users OPEN DOC

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues.

Get Access

The Withered Arm, The Son’s Veto and The Melancholy Hussar of the German Legion Essay Sample

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. It is clear from the story that Farmer Lodge has had previous relations with Rhoda Brook and they have even had a child together but society has denied them to have public relationships because of there social status.

Therefore only one is liable to be able to marry the Farmer in the eyes of society and that is Gertrude. This causes a subconscious jealousy from Rhoda towards Gertrude that is presented as a form of witchcraft that Rhoda unknowingly possesses. This witchcraft causes Gertrude to visit Rhoda in a dream and Rhoda to grasp Gertrude, ‘Rhoda, in a last desperate effort, swung out her right hand, seized the confronting spectre by its obtrusive left arm, and whirled it backward to the floor,’. This meeting in the dream caused an affliction on Gertrude’s arm making her less appealing to the Farmer.

The narrative focus of the story switches from Rhoda to Gertrude at this point in the story giving us an insight into what Gertrude is thinking. This ailment leads Gertrude to seek concoction after concoction to treat the injury finally leading her to use a method that involves a corpse that has been hung. 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. ‘ He also states at the end of the story the location where the two dead German soldiers were buried again giving it a sense of realism, ‘There graves were dug at the back of the little church, near the wall. The ‘Son’s Veto’ is the story of Sophy, a middle class, widowed, handicapped woman who lived alone, with a son who went away to boarding school.

She was originally from the working class but her marriage to Mr Twycott led her into the middle class world and out of her home village into London. This move again illustrates the part social status plays in the lives of those people in that time as the reason they moved was because they could not be seen to be getting married as they were of such differing social status and therefore had to move away to somewhere where people didn’t know them and there social background.

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.

We can write a custom essay

According to Your Specific Requirements

Order an essay

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

Peculiarities of various assignment types

The educational process is diverse and full of interesting writing tasks which help students develop their academic abilities. Different assignments types are created by professionals in order to enhance students’ level of analytical, critical and writing skills and to vary the learning process. As a student, you will encounter numerous tasks of diverse complexities throughout your student life. Sometimes, maybe, too complicated! They have different peculiarities, structural...

Making decisions in health and social care

Critically analyses the concepts, features, and importance of costs and accounting in making decisions in health and social care Cost accounting is a method used in accounting to capture a company’s or organisation’s production costs. It assesses the input costs of every step in production, fixed costs like depreciation of capital equipment. Cost accounting measures and records costs individually then compare the input results via...

Сhildren development

Physical development 7-12 years By the age of 7 a child enjoys things such as bike riding and rollerblading they are now able to tie and untie shoelaces without adult help, they are now starting to understand what rules are and are able to follow simple rules. At 8-12 years a child improves the physical skills that they have already developed and start to see...

Forex international trading market

Introduction Forex exchange is on the rise in Namibia; resulting in more people wanting to learn how to trade to try to increase their income so that they can enhance their standard of living. Forex Foreign exchange identifies the process of converting domestic currency into international banknotes at particular exchange rates (Bofah, 2017, para.1). As the number of foreigners in Namibia is increasing, more Namibians...

Aristotelian idea of God

This image produced in 1544 shows emerging's of the Judeo-Christians and Aristotelian's traditions. Aristotle was very interested in the idea of motion and said “The world is in a constant state of motion and change”. An example of how the world is changing is the growth of trees and plants. Aristotle believed in a prime mover, which is the being which creates change in the...

Get Access To The Full Essay
icon
300+
Materials Daily
icon
100,000+ Subjects
2000+ Topics
icon
Free Plagiarism
Checker
icon
All Materials
are Cataloged Well

Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email.

By clicking "SEND", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails.
Sorry, but only registered users have full access

How about getting this access
immediately?

Become a member

Your Answer Is Very Helpful For Us
Thank You A Lot!

logo

Emma Taylor

online

Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?

Couldn't Find What You Looking For?

Get access to our huge knowledge base which is continuously updated

Next Update Will Be About:
14 : 59 : 59
Become a Member