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The Withered Arm By Thomas Hardy And Odour Of Chrysanthemums By Dh Lawrence

3149 words - 13 pages

A Comparison between the Withered Arm by Thomas Hardy and Odour of
Chrysanthemums by DH Lawrence

Thomas Hardy was born in 1840 in Higher Bockhampton in Rural Wessex;
he died in 1928. David Herbert Lawrence was born in 1885 in Eastwood
near Industrial Nottingham, he died in 1930. Both Hardy and Lawrence
wrote Novels, Short Stories and Poems frequently about lonely
individuals, especially women. Lawrence’s work illustrates what he
was like as a person, deep-minded and genuine with extraordinary views
to life. Hardy’s work is often about troubled relationships between
men and women which is also what a lot of Lawrence’s work is based
around.

Both writers fell in love during their lives, Hardy married Emma
Lovinia Gifford who unfortunately died suddenly in 1912, although
Hardy married again in 1914 to Florence Dugdale, Gifford was the love
of his life and he had his heart buried in her grave when he died.
Lawrence fell in love with a woman named Jessie Chambers, he did not
marry her though probably because of the dominating influence that his
mother had over him. He eventually did marry, his wife was a German
lady named Frieda von Richthofen.

Another similarity is that both Hardy and Lawrence’s work was heavily
criticised. Critics said that Hardy’s work was “pessimistic” with an
“earthy realism” and “abstract philophizing”. This resulted in Hardy
to concentrate on writing poems instead of novels. In Lawrence’s
case, he was criticised for including a lot of graphic sex in his work
and 1000 copies of one piece called “The Rainbow” was burnt in front
of the magistrate. Soon after this he left England and became a
wanderer for the rest of his life. Hardy came from a more stable
background than Lawrence with his father being a stone mason and his
parents caring for him, where as Lawrence’s Father had the stressful
and dangerous job of working down the mines and he also drank heavily.

Thomas Hardy wrote “The Withered Arm” which is about a lonely woman
named Rhoda Brook who has a disturbing dream about her intense
jealously of her friend Gertrude Lodge, “the figure thrust forward its
left hand mockingly, so as to make the wedding ring it wore glitter in
Rhoda’s eyes”. In Rhoda’s dream, she “seized the confronting spectre
by its obtrusive left arm, and whirled it backwards to the floor…”
this results in Gertrude having a withered arm, which she refuses to
tell her husband about. She tries all sorts of treatment to cure it
and nothing works, so she goes to Conjuror Trendle who tells her to
put the arms on the neck of a freshly hung person. When Gertrude
enters the room to do this, Rhoda is in there with her husband Farmer
Lodge, it was her unwanted son that was hung. Gertrude and Farmer
Lodge both die also.

D.H. Lawrence wrote “Odour of Chrysanthemums” which is about a lonely
woman named Elizabeth Bates. In this story Elisabeth feels trapped in
her marriage as her husband, Walter Bates is always out...

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