This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

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 and bore
him a son.

Farmer Lodge left Rhoda to bring up their son on her own and later
married a new wife, who was 'years younger than him', called Gertrude.

In this essay I am going to discuss the relationship between Rhoda and
Gertrude in The Withered Arm.

The relationship between Rhoda and Gertrude is a triangular one. It is
between Rhoda, her ex-partner Farmer Lodge and his wife Gertrude.

Rhoda heard about the coming of Farmer Lodge's new wife Gertrude
through her fellow 'milkers' who were gossiping while at work. She
then sent her son several times to go and 'give her a look'; she was
mainly interested in the appearance of the new wife. She specifically
asked her son to see "if she's dark or fair show marks of the lady'
and to 'notice if her hand be white or are like a milkers hands like'
hers.

It was obvious that Rhoda wanted to compare herself with Gertrude but
was disappointed when her son came back with news of the new wife
being 'A lady complete', 'and her face as comely as a doll's' as she
kept on asking her son questions like 'Her eyes not dark like mine?'
and 'Is she tall?' 'as tall as I'. All the answers Rhoda got about
Gertrude were so positive that when she heard that Gertrude was
'rather short' she said to her son 'with satisfaction', 'that's all I
wanted to hear'.

Even though the relationship between Rhoda and Lodge had been over for
a long time before Gertrude's arrival, Rhoda saw Gertrude as a rival
who 'supplanted' her in the eyes of Farmer Lodge and ruined the
chances of her dreamed marriage and respectability coming to past.
This was revealed to us by the importance of the 'wedding ring' with
which the 'spectre' in her 'vision' tormented her. The 'spectre' in
Rhoda's 'vision' was Gertrude, 'with features shockingly distorted
and wrinkled by age', now as ugly and old as Rhoda wished her to be.
In the dream Rhoda threw Mrs Lodge to the ground by her arm and
permanently left finger marks on her arm.

Rhoda's vision did not only gave us an insight to her mind but also
showed us that she was ready to do anything in defence of something
she considered as hers even if she had to do it through violence.

As soon as Gertrude arrived to the village she started giving out
gifts to the poorer people around the village. Rhoda who had decided
that she ' wouldn't even look up at' Gertrude 'if she were to pass'
her 'window' in other words she never wanted to see Gertrude was
forced to respond readily to charitable Gertrude's 'sweet voice and
...

Find Another Essay On The relationship between Rhoda and Gertrude in The Withered Arm

Women's Roles in The Yellow Wallpaper and The Withered Arm

1116 words - 4 pages suffering from postnatal depression that is given the 'rest cure'. She feels trapped and eventually goes mad. The Withered Arm is about a milkmaid called Rhoda who had a child out of wedlock and has been excluded from society. The man with whom she had the child with gets married to a young girl who Rhoda resents and in a dream disfigures her arm. The young bride tries to cure her arm by touching a recently executed man who turns out to be

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 studied. 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

Old Mrs. Chundle and The Withered Arm by Thomas Hardy

1590 words - 6 pages . The second story that I read of Thomas Hardy's is 'The Withered Arm'. There are four main characters to this story, and they are Rhoda, Gertrude, the young boy and Farmer lodge. Farmer Lodge owns a dairy farm on part of his land. Farmer Lodge had just recently got married, and this is the latest gossip between the bickering ladies on the diary farm. After his honeymoon with his wife, he is due to be bringing his bride home to his farm

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

The Withered Arm by Thomas Hardy

2374 words - 9 pages rural life which is widely perceived in 'The Withered Arm': we get the first glimpse of superstition when Rhoda curses Gertrude Lodge in her sleep and this is elucidated in such intensity that we get an impression that Hardy has not interpreted superstition as a folly as we do in modern-day society. He has reflected superstition through the eyes of typical working class country folk, where he incorporates a superstitious

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

2027 words - 8 pages marriage. Hill employs an original structure to her story where a framing narrative precedes the main bulk of the story. This Love plays a major part in the two books; it serves as a reason for some of the events and gives motives for some people's actions. In the withered arm, love could be considered the driving force behind Rhoda's initial hate for Gertrude. It is Gertrude's deep desire to be loved again that forces

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

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

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

2464 words - 10 pages small crimes. Both stories have themes of magick and superstition as a withered arm shows us that Gertrude has to go to a magic man who tells her of a cure for her arm which was touching the neck of a recently hanged man. This shows that superstition was around in these times and was taken quite seriously. Rhoda brooks had even been called a witch by some of the villagers and this is why they assumed she must know conjurer Trendle. It also

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

3149 words - 13 pages marriage “I think it is soon enough”. This causes an uneasy situation. There is no evidence of the history between the father and daughter, but we get the impression that they do not have a very close relationship because of the way that Elizabeth rejected her father for his behaviour. In “The Withered Arm” we assume that Rhoda Brook is the rejected lover of Farmer Lodge. We conclude this from the clues in the language used by Hardy as

An Essay on The Withered Arm, by Thomas Hardy

2041 words - 8 pages , uses his characters and circumstances to express his feelings and opinions. The principle theme in ‘The Withered Arm’ is that you past can never be buried, as it will always rise to haunt you. He demonstrated this philosophy when the death of his wife, was the result of his affair with Rhoda and the knowledge that he had a son. When Gertrude finds out that her whole marriage has been a lie, she collapses and dies shortly after. Hardy

Similar Essays

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

The Troubled Relationship Between Gertrude And Hamlet

1960 words - 8 pages The Troubled Relationship Between Gertrude and Hamlet In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Claudius murders his brother, the King of Denmark, and subsequently usurps the Danish throne. Shattering the purity of the royal family, he allures Queen Gertrude into an incestuous wedding so hastily that “The funeral baked meats / Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables” (I.ii.180-1). Lost in this sullied household is Prince Hamlet, shrouded in the black of

The Oedipal Relationship Between Hamlet And Gertrude

1160 words - 5 pages Throughout William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Shakespeare portrays Hamlet with the same types of behaviors and frustrations in humans that Sigmund Freud saw at a much later date. When the relationship between Hamlet and his mother is analyzed Freud's oedipal complex theory comes to mind. The oedipal complex is a theory created by Freud that states that "The child takes both of its parents, and more particularly one of them, as the object of its

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