Friday, June 7, 2019
The author of the Withered Arm Essay Example for Free
The author of the Withered Arm EssayIn this assignment, I am going to discuss how doubting Thomas portly reaps the flimsy events appear credible. To do this I will be examining the historical contents of the boloney, with the language used, together with the elan the story was structured and by the way that the characters relate to each opposite. I will also be examining the moral attitudes of when the story was written. Which will enable me to show how it was possible for Hardy to make the advents appear credible. The Withered Arm is an example of prose.Prose is speech or physical composition without rhyme or metre (Collins Dictionary), as opposed to verse, which is stanza or short outgrowth of poem or the Bible, (Collins Dictionary). The story was written in 1888, and set around the 1820s indoors a rural community. Hardy refers to this period in time by writing the Enclosure Acts had not taken effect (p19), which occurred in 1836 and when he refers to a boy due to be hung, he writes only just off eighteen, and only present by chance when the rick was fired (p21).This again indicates the date was around this period as the gradual reforms of the Penal Codes came into effect by 1861, which meant that only serious crimes such as treason and murder carried the death penalty (mastering econ social history). Hardy adds realism to the story in several ways. He uses his vast knowledge of the mass changes within the rural beas during this period, for example Egdon was much less fragmentary in character than now and farmers wives rode on horseback hence more than they do now (p19).With what appears to be direct speech from a third party narrator, he also adds factual event such as tis sold by the inch afterwards (p19) as this is where the expression of money for old rope stems from and dates back to when the hangman would sells inch long souvenirs after the execution (www. rootsweb). This not only adds to the authenticity of the story, only if also le ads the contributor into believing it is a factual account rather than a fictional story. Hardy also adds to the misadventure of the story being credible by establishing the history and prec at a timeived ideas of the characters through the milkmaids.This is done by the milkmaids talking not only in slang but also utilise local dialect such as pinking and milchers (p2) which would only be relevant within the countryside, they also refer to the farmer as he (p1), which would indicate that the farmer has social standing. This is then confirmed when we are introduced to Rhoda and learn that her isolation from the rest of the milkmaids was due to her having a child out of wedlock with the farmer. This is illustrated within the text by milked somewhat apart from the rest and their course lay apart from that of the others, to a lonely spot high above the water-meads (p2).Although the milkmaids seem to shed some compassion for Rhodas plight, the following conversation Tis hard for she and He hant spoke to Rhoda Brook for years (p2) seems to have been contrived to show that due to the differences in class, Rhoda has been labored to solely take the burden of the affair which was a typical Victorian attitude towards the morals of unmarried mothers. In addition to this, by the use of prominent irony as well as the complex relationship between Farmer Lodge and Rhoda, Hardy is able to strengthen any sympathies the contributor whitethorn feel for Gertrude.This is established when, the Farmer refuses to acknowledge the boy in town and we can see by the conversation that he has with his new wife, that he has no intension of divulging his secret one of the neighbourhood. I think he lives with his mother a mile or two off (p4). Again giving trust to Gertrudes vulnerable nature at being the only person who does not know about the affair. Hardy also uses the descriptions of the two women to support the incredible elements of the story.Rhoda and Gertrude are not only give n contrasting personalities but psychical appearances as well, whereas Gertrude is described as Her face too was fresh in colour, but it was of a totally different quality soft and evanescent, standardised the light under a heap of rose-petals (p4). The contrast of Rhodas description is pale cheek, and made her dark eyes, that had once been handsome (p3). Gertrude is seen to be quintessential, which is reinforced with in the text by not only using adjectives such as youthful, but also by being referred to colour and light (p2).However, the adjectives that are used to descript Rhoda are dull, fading and she is always referred to in declining light (pg 4-5). As Rhoda, is depicted as having many undesirable qualities, this makes it easier for the reader to assume the side of Gertrude. Believing that due to Rhodas jealousy, she would be able and indeed want too afflict some harm to the new bride This innocent small thing should have her blessing and not her curse (p8). Again by using the prejudices of this era Hardy, is able to add further credibility to the story.He does this by showing Rhodas own sense of guilty at the deterioration of Gertrude arm the sense of having been guilty of an act of malignity growth, affect as she might to laugh at the superstition (p10). However, it appears that Rhodas guilty stems from the time that she fell pregnant with her son and the change in attitudes towards her from the villagers she knew that she had been slyly called a witch since her fall (p9) and that there must live on a sarcastic feeling among the work-folk that a sorceress would know the whereabouts of the exorcist.They suspected her, then. (p11). Through the structure of the story, Hardy is able to continue to infuse the incredible ideas of Witchcraft and curses with realty. With references such as the surgeon had not seemed to understand the afflicted limb at all (p10). This could have been an indication of the lack of medical knowledge at the time. However, th e reader is mislead into believing it is due to it being cursed. This is also reinforced by Farmer Lodges reaction as if some witch, or the d sinfulness himself, had taken wear of me there, and blasted the flesh (p10).By the clever use of literate devices, such as last horrific effort at deliverance and turn the pedigree (p16) along with the limited information given to the reader in each of the chapters and suggestive headings such as A Vision (6), Hardy is able to increase not only the tension within the story but also ensure that the reader only focuses on the supernatural aspects. Additionally, the use of linear writing allows Hardy to create real life validity, for the characters.When the reader rejoins the Lodges it is evident that they have both under gone huge personal and psychical changes married love sank into prosiness, and worse (p14). Farmer Lodge has become gloomy and silent (p14). He attributes the decline in his married as judgement from heaven upon him (p15), for the affair he had with Rhoda. This again would be another indication of the morals of the era. Gertrude is now described as the once blithe-hearted and enlightened Gertrude was changing into an irritable, superstitious woman (p15).With many references to her desperate attempts to cure her affliction She named to him some of the hundred medicaments and counterspells which she had adopted from time to time (p16). Once again Hardy gives the reader the sense of unjustness that has be felled Gertrude, by allowing them to know that it was Rhoda Brooks who had blighted the Lodges married life by inflicting this curse on her for the indistinct form he had raised in the glass had doubtlessly resembled the only woman in the world who as she now knew, though not then could have a reason for hearing her ill-will (p15).By using the deterioration of their relationship, Hardy again adds to the credibility of the story, so when Conjuror Trendle tells Gertrude that you must touch with the limb the neck of a man whos been hanged and It will turn the strain (p16). Although this appears incredible to the reader, we can see that Gertrude is now a desperate superstitious women, who is willing to try anything to rid herself of her affliction and win back her husbands affections And then she panorama of the apparent cause If I could only again be as I was when he first saw me (p15).Credibility is also added by way of the climax of the story. Hardy begins to limit the readers focus, as the tension is built. By Hardy now only writing of Gertrude, he is able to concentrate on her actions and behaviours kink her head she would not and her knees trembling so that she could scarcely walk (p23). Thus ensuring that the reader has no or indeed very little thought of the other main characters. Hardy again is able to add credibility to the story in the way he describes the execution the execution was over but the cluster still waited to see the body taken down (p23).This suspends the reader with the thoughts will she, wont she? and not a thought for the young boy. However, by concluding the story the way he does Immediately Brook had loosened her hold the fragile young Gertrude slid down against the feet of her husband (p23) she never reach home alive (p24), Hardy leaves the reader with the sense of pity at Gertrudes troubled life and not that she had in fact become the epitome of Rhodas dream This is the meaning of what Satan showed me in the visionYou are like her at last (p23). Hardy centres the story on the incredible events of the dream he is able to add credibility to this by using powerful imagery such as eyes peered cruelly into her face and the incubus, still regarding her, withdrew to the foot of the bed (p7). Also by choosing words like phantom, ghastly, spectre and vision, this adds to the connotations that it involves the supernatural.This is validated by the fact that Rhoda can still feel the affects of the dream the next day her hand had not cal med even yet, and still carry the feel of the arm (p7). In addition to this, Hardy adds the coincidences of the boy hearing the disturbance and Gertrudes sudden affliction which all occurred simultaneously. This reference by she had named the night and the hr of Rhodas spectral encounter, and Brook felt like a guilty thing.The artless disclosure startled her she did not reason on the freaks of coincidence and all the panorama of that ghastly night returned with double vividness to her mind (p9). Which leads the reader into believing that this was more than a dream. To conclude, I debate that Hardy was able to make the incredible appear credible, by setting the story sixty years before it was written. This was a time of great social and economic changes and until Darwins theory of Evolution, which was published in 1859.(The Origin of Species). It was commonly thought that God had the divine right of birth. The church played an important part in the lives of both the rich and the poor, sermons would preach evil and Satan, giving people superstitions and the belief in witches and the supernatural. Hardy was also able to play the ignorances of peoples knowledge of the countryside to add authenticity. Even today the reader can believe in its credibility, as there is still a fascination with the supernatural and the unknown.BibliographyCollins, Shorter Dictionary and Thesaurus, Published 1999, St Helens Darwin, Charles, The Origin of Species in 1859, 11/09/03 http//www. nettlesworth. durham. sch. uk/time/victorian/vpeople. html, somewhat Important People of Victorian Times. Hardy, Thomas, A Withered Arm. 25/02/02, http//www. adrianfox. demon. co. uk/lit/wither/wither. htm Taylor, David, Mastering social and economic History, Macmillan Master Series, Published 1988 Whats the Meaning of this? , 10/18/02, http//www. rootsweb. com/genepool/meanings. htm.