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The Ruined Maid By Thomas Hardy

1654 words - 7 pages

Today’s society has changed monumentally within these last centuries. The differences in the way people dress, what people do for work and how nonchalant people are about their way of life. “The Ruined Maid” by Thomas Hardy is a great example of how things used to be in the eighteenth century; it shows how quickly things can change through two friends that happen to bump into each other. They start talking about their lives from when they were together and how things have changed. It is interesting because this woman mentions all the things that have changed with her friend. She is now more beautiful, but she is still considered “ruined.” WN Herbert calls it “a very jagged irony” (Ruined).
“The Ruined Maid” starts off with a fellow greeting between two friends. ““O 'Melia, my dear, this does everything crown! / Who could have supposed I should meet you in Town? / And whence such fair garments, such prosperi-ty?” — / “O didn't you know I'd been ruined?” said she” (Hardy). It was such a surprise and quite the coincidence that they had ran into each other. The friend starts to observe her “fair garments” (Hardy). I possess the tone as she does not like what she sees, as if she is giving off a disgusted vibe. Clare Pollard from BBC Arrows of Desire says, “To be called ruined at that time would be to suggest that morally you were sort of beyond the pale, that you were an outcast of society…she can only see the positives of her situation” (Hardy). To some extent I think we agree with each other. Pollard mentions that she, as in Amelia, can only see the positives of her situation. Amelia’s situation is that she is “ruined” (Hardy) and she can only see the positives while her friend gives off an un-pleasurable attitude. Pollard does not imply that the friend gives off a certain attitude as her analysis, but it makes my consideration more acceptable. My father, Thomas Brooks, does not agree with me. He says, “I see it as they just bumped into each other and had a friendly chat, a chat amongst two people who used to know each other from back in the day…” (Brooks).
The second stanza of the poem is the friend’s observations of Amelia and how much she has changed from when they knew each other from back on the farm. ““You left us in tatters, without shoes or socks, / Tired of digging potatoes, and spudding up docks; / And now you've gay bracelets and bright feathers three!”” (Hardy). The friend is so surprised on the transformation and all Amelia says is, ““Yes: that's how we dress when we're ruined”” (Hardy). I portray these lines as Amelia was once poor and had to work hard because she once was “…in tatters” (Hardy). Now she has some money and is more proper with herself. Michelle11692 from The Word Press says, “She was raised on a farm and lived a poor lifestyle before she was “ruined.”” WN Herbert from BBC Arrows of Desire describes her changes as, “…the woman entitled has been entirely brought up in the world, she is made grander, more beautiful, more...

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