The Life And Works Of Thomas Hardy

3323 words - 13 pages

“Beauty lay not in the thing, but in what the thing symbolized.” Thomas Hardy believed beyond the physical element of object, their lies a more important symbolic meaning. Thomas Hardy was a renowned transitional poet with a style between classicism and romanticism. He was born in the mid-1800s in Higher Bockhampton, an English village. Hardy’s upbringing contributed greatly to his views on the world around him, in a symbolic manner. His father was a stonemason and a violinist, and his mother encouraged him to follow his passions. Hardy was first married for 38 years to Emma Gifford, who inspired many of his poetic ideas. He later married his secretary Florence Dugdale two years after Emma died. (http://www.universalteacher.org .uk/poetry/hardy.htm#13)
Hardy first trained to be an architect and moved to London to pursue his career choice. After five years, he moved back to his home country in Dorset. ("Thomas Hardy: The Man He Killed.") Thomas Hardy began as a controversial novelist, presenting ideas and beliefs that were counter-cultural. His first two books were not well received. However, Hardy ultimately published numerous novels that became popular literary works: Far from the Madding Crowd, The Return of the Native, The Mayor of Casterbridge. He received enough royalties from these works to discontinue writing books, and he began to write poetry. From 1898 until his death, Hardy published over a thousand poems that were based his experiences. (http://www.universalteacher.org.uk/poetry/hardy.htm#13)
Thesis: Thomas Hardy’s experiences impacted his writing and now impacts our modern world…. By analyzing three different poems blah blah blah
The Man He Killed
The poem “The Man He Killed” was written in 1902 after the Boer Wars, a war between the British and the locals in South Africa. In this poem, a soldier expresses that in war he was forced to kill an enemy infantry in defense. Similar to many liberal beliefs, He believed the Boers were defending their homes. He tries to justify his actions, however, he concludes that if they had met in a different setting, such as a bar, they could have been friends. (The Man He Killed)
“Superficially a simple, uncomplicated piece, this is, in fact, a very skilful poem heavily laden with irony and making interesting use of colloquialism. The title is slightly odd, as Hardy uses the third-person pronoun “He”, though the poem is narrated in the first person. The “He” of the title (the “I” of the poem) is evidently a soldier attempting to explain and perhaps justify his killing of another man in battle.”
The Imagery is an important element of the poem. He establishes a setting of a traditional British bar, which directly contrasts the reality and violence of shooting and war. His use of the words "perhaps" and “just so”, show his hesitation in justifying himself for the death of an opposing soldier. “Hardy explicitly tried to relate specific historical conflicts to a wider historical scheme.” Hardy...

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