Female Characters In The Withered Arm

2627 words - 11 pages

Compare and contrast at least two of the female characters in two or
more of the female characters in two or more of the tales you have

Gertrude Lodge, Rhoda Brook and Phyllis Grove are all very different
women in different situations; however they all suffer an undeserved
fate. Gertrude, from The Withered Arm, loses her looks, the love of
her husband and her friendship with Rhoda, who in turn loses her only
friend, her son and must suffer the shame of an illegitimate child.
This was highly unacceptable at the time, especially as the father of
the child was of a higher class and people of different classes were
not expected to mix. Phyllis lived a reclusive life with her father
up until she met Matthäus Tina, the love of her life, whom she later
watched die after having to abandon him. All three protagonists are
united in the hardship they must each endure. Their suffering was
similar in the way that it was partly due to social principles of the
time, as women had no independence and were expected to be totally
subservient to their fathers and husbands, and this comes through in
Hardy’s short stories.

Gertrude Lodge is “years younger” than her new husband, Farmer Lodge,
and there are constant references to her beauty. She is described as
a “lady complete” which suggests her high class in society and her
respectable upbringing, now married to a suitable man. Her skin is
described as “soft and evanescent, like the light under a heap of rose
petals.” This beautiful image gives the reader an idea of purity and
naivety which also comes across in Gertrude’s personality. The focus
and detail on her beauty at the beginning of the tale also make the
loss of her looks more pointed later on during the story.

As well as being blessed with lovely looks, Gertrude is very charming,
with a “glance so winning, smile so tender”. She is compassionate and
selfless, even to those of a lower class than herself. This was
unusual for the time, as different social classes did not generally
mix. She was an exception to this tradition, showing kindness to
Rhoda Brook’s young son, delivering new boots personally after
noticing that his were old and worn. Rhoda’s son explained to his
mother that she “gives things away to other folks”, and this
immediately makes the reader warm to her. The fact that she does not
care for social classes becomes clear as she becomes intimate friends
with Rhoda. Gertrude appears to be quite dissimilar to her husband in
the way that she does not enjoy being the centre of attention, and has
“the shyness natural to a modest woman”. By telling the reader that
Gertrude seemed ashamed of her extravagant gown in church, Hardy lets
us know that she is aware of being better off than others around her
and so does not want to flaunt her wealth and social status, whereas
Farmer Lodge “seemed pleased” with the attention. This gives the
reader a negative impression of Farmer Lodge, while the reader...

Find Another Essay On Female Characters in The Withered Arm

The Withered Arm by Thomas Hardy

2374 words - 9 pages described the consequences of Gertrude's obsession in attempting to heal her arm in a mere paragraph, and furthermore follows and describes the lives of the main characters in a period of perhaps half a decade to conclude the story. Thomas Hardy has reflected the moral values of that era by incorporating it with the consequences of the story. I believe that what Hardy is trying to say in The Withered Arm is in essence

Development of Setting and Suspense in The Withered Arm by Thomas Hardy

1355 words - 5 pages Development of Setting and Suspense in The Withered Arm by Thomas Hardy The author of this story is Thomas Hardy. The storyis set in the 19th century in a very close society. It is a rural setting in Wessex. The story follows a couple that have been divoreced but had a child along time before. The man of this couple gets married, the old girlfriend attacks the new wife, Gertrude Lodge, and she received a mark or

Feeling Sympathy for Gertrude and Rhoda in The Withered Arm, by Thomas Hardy

1405 words - 6 pages Feeling Sympathy for Gertrude and Rhoda in The Withered Arm, by Thomas Hardy The Withered arm is typical of Hardy's novellas, as it is a tragedy. It involves two main characters, Rhoda and Gertrude. Rhoda and Gertrude both have their own different problems that the must face. Rhoda and Gertrude become friends after they first meet. Rhoda had an illegitimate child to farmer lodge who marries Gertrude. Before Rhoda and Gertrude meet Rhoda

Comparing the Ways in Which Susan Hill and Thomas Hardy Present the Woman in Black and the Withered Arm

2027 words - 8 pages Comparing the Ways in Which Susan Hill and Thomas Hardy Present the Woman in Black and the Withered Arm Both the Woman in Black and the Withered Arm are well known pieces of modern literature, and utilize both different and similar methods to present a narrative of the supernatural. In this assessment of the two books I will be considering the pace, tension, description, structure, style, literature devices and the

An Essay on The Withered Arm, by Thomas Hardy

2041 words - 8 pages . Although we do have wise, old people in our society that we go seek advice to, our modern society shares little belief in witchcraft and supernatural activity. Hardy has made the setting of ‘The Withered Arm’ very significant to the reader as we can learn important pieces of the plot from it. He makes us comprehend the characters and the moods that they are in through pathetic fallacy; the description of the weather. For example, when

Old Mrs. Chundle and The Withered Arm by Thomas Hardy

1590 words - 6 pages sold all his land and Rhoda ran away from Holmstoke. She decides to return to the dairy farm after a while but refuses to accept Farmer Lodges will. As we can see 'The Withered Arm' is a completely different story to 'Old Mrs Chundle'. Although both of them end in death 'The Withered Arm' is a lot more effective. Once again in this story, we are shown that are characters determine what will happen to our lives and the lives of others. If

Unrealism in Female Characters

724 words - 3 pages When it comes to female characters, authors depict women with a sense of realism, that being that they are a common folk with a usually large but simple impact in the story. On the contrary, John Steinbeck’s female characters in his novel East of Eden do not have the sense of being normal women, and he goes to extremes when it comes to the women being good or bad. Faye, Olive, and Cathy are all women that have taken to extremes in their acts of

Tension and Atmosphere in The Red Room by H.G.Wells, The Signalman by Charles Dickens and A Withered Arm by Thomas Hardy

2531 words - 10 pages Withered Arm', 'veiled mist in front of her eyes'. In the Red Room the chambers are unwelcoming, large, desolate and lavish but have an unreal air distorted and past their prime, as though they have been less well up kept since some mysterious happening. This helps induce a feeling of unsettle, of silent apprehence and tension. 'queer old mirror long, draughty subterranean passage chilly and dusty' The characters are unnamed strangers odd

Compare and Contrast A Withered Arm by Thomas Hardy and The Monkey's Paw by W.W. Jacobs

2464 words - 10 pages each of them is built around some superstition or magick. A withered arm is more based around witchcraft than superstition as it is thought that Rhoda is a witch by the other villagers and so her belief of that is reinforced when she realises she had managed to mark Gertrude in her sleep. The monkeys paw is mainly based around the magic of the paw not of that which one of the characters can use. The magic of the paw cannot be changed as it

Comparing The Withered Arm by Thomas Hardy and Turned by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

2520 words - 10 pages the story ‘Turned’ there is a couple named Mr. and Mrs. Marroner, and their employee who is a young and beautiful Swedish maid who goes by the name of Gerta. In ‘The Withered Arm’ the relationship is between a lady called Rhoda Brook and a farmer called Farmer Lodge and his wife who is called Gertrude. This essay will discuss the similarities and differences between the two stories and their characters, I will also discuss the language

The Withered Arm by Thomas Hardy and Odour of Chrysanthemums by DH Lawrence

3149 words - 13 pages “The Withered Arm”, he chooses to constantly switch your attention by not concentrating on one characters lonely portrayal, but on four, they are the four main characters, Rhoda Brook, Gertrude Lodge, the boy and Farmer Lodge. Rhoda Brook is the main character in the first three chapters, the reader instantly recognises how emotionally isolated she is. The others chat to one another but she does not join in, you see how she is different and

Similar Essays

Characters In The Withered Arm Essay

849 words - 3 pages What was Thomas Hardy trying to show through his characters in The Withered Arm? In this essay I will write about what Thomas Hardy was trying to show through his characters in 'The Withered Arm'. The characters I will write about are Rhoda Brook, Gertrude Lodge, the boy and Farmer Lodge. I will write about these characters because they were the main characters in the story. The short story 'The Withered Arm' is written by Thomas

Compare How Characters In T.Hardy's "The Withered Arm" And J. Steinbeck's "Of Mice & Men" Are Isolated And Alienated

5524 words - 22 pages A south-east England setting, in the 1800's, is the short story, 'The Withered Arm' by T.Hardy. This story involves four lives, where they all end up alienated and isolated, leaving them feeling alone. They are also isolated as they live in a small village far apart from the town or other villages called Holmstoke. It also involves the role of jealousy and at times guilt, played by one of the main characters, Rhoda Brook. The theme is involved

Women's Roles In The Yellow Wallpaper And The Withered Arm

1116 words - 4 pages John refers to her as "a blessed little goose". The speaker also says, '…and dear John gathered me up in his arms, and just carried me upstairs and laid me on the bed, and sat by me and read to me till it tired my head." In both stories, the main female characters conform to societies expectations of them in some way. In The Withered Arm, Rhoda accepts being excluded from society and in The Yellow Wallpaper; the speaker accepts her

The Relationship Between Rhoda And Gertrude In The Withered Arm

1388 words - 6 pages Discuss the relationship between Rhoda and Gertrude in The Withered Arm. The Withered Arm is a pre-20th century book by Thomas Hardy; the plot of the story is in and around the writers' imaginary village of Holmstoke and town of Casterbridge. One of the main themes of The Withered Arm was Jealousy it was portrayed through Rhoda Brook, 'a thin fading woman of thirty' 'that had once been handsome', who had an affair with Farmer Lodge