Compare and contrast two stories by Thomas Hardy which deal with the
theme of fate?
The two stories that I have chosen that deal with the them of 'fate'
are Old Mrs Chundle and The Withered Arm. Both of these stories are
written by Thomas Hardy, and in both of these stories he is dealing
with the theme of 'fate'.
Both of theses stories are about little accidental happenings which
govern and determine peoples lives. This is just like real life
situations. It is the accidental happenings that determine which road
our lives should take, and this judges what will happen to us in the
Our lives are shaped by the character that we have adopted, and how we
get on in life. Everyone is different in many ways, and it is this
individual character that each of us have that will show the way for
are future life.
'Character is fate' is what Thomas Hardy stated, and this is true in
both the stories I read.
The first story that I read was Old Mrs Chundle. Old Mrs Chundle is a
lonely woman, who isolates herself from the outside world. She lives
in a small stone-built cottage, which has a vegetable patch out the
back were she grows her own greens. She doesn't go to the local Church
as she feels there is no need for her attending.
There was a Curate who had accidentally bumped into Mrs Chundle. After
chatting to Mrs Chundle he soon becomes to discover that Mrs Chundle
belongs to his parish. She tells him that she attends Church every
Sunday, but in fact she never goes to Church at all.
Later on the Curate mentions to the rector of his encounter with Old
Mrs Chundle. The Curate explains to the rector that Mrs Chundle is
part of their parish and attends regularly. The rector is shocked to
hear this, as Mrs Chundle has been lying, and she doesn't attend
Church at all.
The Curate believes it his duty to get Mrs Chundle to attend Church,
so goes to visit her and try and persuade her. From his visit he
realises that Mrs Chundle is death and wouldn't be able to hear much
at Church. The Curate soon comes up with the idea of an ear trumpet
and believes this will solve all her problems. She agreed with him and
decided to give it a go. Unfortunately it was a complete disaster and
she couldn't hear a thing. The Curate who is determined to get Mrs
Chundle to attend Church comes with another idea. He believes a sound
pipe would do the job of a hearing device for her. Fortunately for Mrs
Chundle this all went to plan and she could hear clearly. But
unfortunately for the Curate, he had the smell of Mrs Chundles breath
trickling up his nose.
So Mrs Chundle a woman who never attended Church is now a full time
member of the Church. After weeks of this bad breath the Curate
decides to take it out as he cannot concentrate in his sermons.
After deciding to remove it, he went to break the news to Mrs Curate
at her cottage, but as he went to tell her this bad news he was
greeted with worst. He had come to find that...