The Role Of Women In Thomas Hardy's Wessex Tales

1546 words - 6 pages

The Role Of Women in Thomas Hardy's Wessex Tales

In this piece I will be showing the role of women in the 18th century
around the time the 'Wessex Tales' has been set. I will be showing the
ways Thomas Hardy expresses his opinion in the way that some of the
women act and showing the harsh reality that women had to face in the
18th century.

'The daughter's seclusion was great, but beyond the seclusion of the
girl lay the seclusion of the father. If her social condition was
twilight, his was darkness. Yet he enjoyed his darkness, while her
twilight oppressed her.' This quote comes from 'The Melancholy Hussar
Of The German Legions. The quote shows us that Phyllis has to live in
seclusion with her father whether or not she likes it.

In the Melancholy Hussar Phyllis is the daughter of a Doctor Grove who
gave up his career to live in the countryside and contemplate how the
world works. However Phyllis his daughter has to stay in the seclusion
also she cannot go any where without her father knowing. In 'The
Melancholy Hussar' there is a lot of talk about social hierarchy this
is because in the time of when this book has been set it was a 'good
move' for a women in Phyllis's position to marry a gentleman like
Humphrey Gould.

Although Humphrey Gould was ridiculously poor if Phyllis married him
she would become a 'lady'. In the Melancholy Hussar it also shows you
the patience of the women this is because when Humphrey goes away
Phyllis waits a very long time until she gets a letter from Humphrey,
which she believes to be Humphrey calling off the wedding. However at
this time her father sees that Phyllis is ready to make a new life
with a soldier from the York Hussar's and so he tells her that he has
received a letter from Humphrey saying that the wedding is still on
and that he will be there.

However Phyllis still wants to run away with Mathias, a soldier from
the York Hussar's. At this point Dr Grove puts another obstacle in
Phyllis's way by saying that she is going to stay with her aunt who is
supposed to be even worse than her father. This shows that Phyllis has
no rights for as long as she lives with her father she cannot do as
she pleases.

However on the night of Phyllis's and Mathias's Departure Phyllis sees
Humphrey Gould in a coach driving towards her house. Phyllis thinks
that Humphrey has come back to marry her however she still wants to go
with Mathias. 'Her promise must be kept, and esteem must take the
place of love. She would preserve her self-respect. She would stay at
home, and marry him, and suffer.' This quotation shows that although
Humphrey Gould has left her for so long she will marry to keep her
self respect by keeping her promise to Humphrey and not disrespect
herself or her family.

This sort of Social Hierarchy is also shown in 'The Son's Veto'....

Find Another Essay On The Role Of Women in Thomas Hardy's Wessex Tales

Discuss the role of tragedy in Thomas Hardy's 'Tess of the D'Urbervilles'

2203 words - 9 pages society, with its cruel discriminations and prudishness. However Tess was also at the mercy of a more dominant inexorable force, the immortals, who had marked her out as a victim from the very beginning.References:Hardy, Thomas (1891) Tess of the D'Urbervilles. London: Penguin Books Ltd (2003).Higonnet, Margaret (1998) Introduction in Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1891). London: Penguin Books Ltd (2003).Sayer, Karen (1998) York Notes: Tess of the D'Urbervilles. London: York Press.The Victorian Web (2002). Thomas Hardy. Victorianweb.org/authors/hardy/html.

Canterbury Tales - Role of Women

2936 words - 12 pages Chaucer's motley crew of pilgrims offered a vast deal of insight into life during the 14th century. Many aspects of society were revealed throughout the tales of the many characters. One such aspect prevalent in many of the tales was the role that women played in society during this time. The tales give the clearest images of women are the Knight's, the Miller's. the Nun's Priest, and the Wife of Bath's Tale. In the Knight's Tale, women

Thomas Hardy's The Convergence Of The Twain

550 words - 2 pages Thomas Hardy's The Convergence Of The Twain The poem The Convergence of the Twain, by Thomas Hardy, is about the sinking of the Titanic. The title alone describes the ship and the iceberg meeting as one. By choosing this title, the author automatically conveys a seriousness of the poem. The author uses various literary techniques to convey his mockery and careless attitude towards the sinking of the ship. In the first five stanzas, the

The Downfall of Tess in Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles

717 words - 3 pages The Downfall of Tess in Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles Tess of the D'Urbervilles is considered to be a tragedy due to the catastrophic downfall of the protaganist Tess. From the early days in her life, her father John had begun to destroy her, which then led to Alex D'Urbervill and eventually finished with Angel Clare. Each dominant male figure in her life cocntributed to her tragic downfall which the reader encounters at the

Human Destiny and Chance in Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge

1268 words - 5 pages Human Destiny and Chance in Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge Present readers might perceive that Thomas Hardy's viewpoint in the novel The Mayor of Casterbridge is severe and depressing. However, most people adored Hardy during his living years. In an era when the Industrial Revolution was bringing dramatic and sometimes disturbing changes to England, he celebrated the nation's roots in its rustic past. In an era when new ideas

Oppression in Thomas Hardy's 'Jude the Obscure': Discussion of Class and Gender

1787 words - 7 pages In Jude the Obscure, Thomas Hardy presents two characters whose dreams and ambitions ultimately end in failure and tragedy. It can be argued that this is due to oppressive social forces; Jude is unable to fulfil his dreams due to his class, and Sue due to her gender. However, there are many other factors, both personal and social, that contribute to their downfall.Throughout the course of his life, Jude's great aspiration is to be a scholar. He

An Analysis of Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge

968 words - 4 pages An Analysis of The Mayor of Casterbridge      The plot of The Mayor of Casterbridge, by Thomas Hardy, can often be confusing and difficult to follow. The pages of this novel are filled with sex, scandal, and alcohol, but it provides for a very interesting and unique story. It all begins one day in the large Wessex village of Weydon-Priors. Michael Henchard, a young hay-trusser looking for work, enters the village with

Women in the Canterbury Tales

2201 words - 9 pages scripture and believed that the Bible’s word was law. For that reason, the popular belief of the time was that women were inferior to their male counterparts. However, a couple of characters in the tales challenge this viewpoint and show that women were also capable of making their own choices. As the pilgrims struggle with the issue of where women belong, their view of Eve in the story of original sin is altered as well. From mild indifference to

Hardy's Portrayal of Women in His Short Stories

1992 words - 8 pages Hardy's Portrayal of Women in His Short Stories Thomas Hardy was a major novelist and poet of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 'The Wessex tales' are a set of short stories, which are based in the 1830's - 1840's although Hardy wrote them many years later. They are very much based around where he grew up and the society he lived in

The Significance of Women in Chaucer's The Cantebury Tales

3416 words - 14 pages The Significance of Women in Chaucer's The Cantebury Tales        In Geoffrey Chaucer's The Cantebury Tales, many stories are told leading to a wide range of topics.  One particular and significant topic Chaucer touches on many times is the role of women.  In stories such as The Millers Tale, The Knight's Tale, and the Wife of Bath's Tale the women of each story are portrayed extremely different.  Alisoun, Emelye, and the wife of Bath

“The Portrait Of Women in Chaucer’s work, Canterbury Tales”

1611 words - 7 pages Introduction Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales” is a collection of stories written between 1387 and 1400. In his literary work, a group of thirty people travel as pilgrims to Canterbury in England and on their way, they tell stories to each other about their lives and experiences. To be more concise, these stories constitute a critique of English society at the time, and particularly of the Church, while women seem to be presented

Similar Essays

The Sexual Expression Of Women In Thomas Hardy's Writing

554 words - 2 pages The Sexual Expression of Women in Thomas Hardy's Writing The nineteenth-century woman was defined by her adherence to submission and resistance to sexuality. She was portrayed by most writers as a naive, accepting figure with strong concerns about living up to the prescribed societal ideals for a respectable woman. The women in Jane Austen's novels offer a clear representation of the nineteenth-century woman. Austen refuses these women any

The Role Of Religion In Thomas Hardy's Poem Channel Firing

546 words - 2 pages The Role of Religion in Thomas Hardy's Poem Channel Firing "Channel Firing" by Thomas Hardy is a poem about the atrocities of war. Published shortly before the beginning of World War I, the poem seems almost prophetic. It not only decries the barbaric nature of war--an institution so vile and obnoxious that in this poem it awakens the dead--but also questions our inability to break our addiction to that institution. Less clear, however, is

Thomas Hardy's Use Of Fallen Women In His Writings

540 words - 2 pages Thomas Hardy's Use of Fallen Women in His Writings Thomas Hardy sheds new light on the idea of the fallen woman. Throughout several of his works, he portrays the fallen woman through her own eyes, and, in doing so, presents a different perspective. Three of his works which establish this new perspective are the poem, "The Ruined Maid," and the novels Far from the Madding Crowd and Tess of the d'Urbervilles. In "The Ruined Maid," which

The Role Of Chance In Thomas Hardy's "Tess Of The D'urbervilles"

572 words - 2 pages Written as an exhortation on the sexual hypocrisy of English society in the 1800s, Thomas Hardy's "Tess of the d'Urbervilles" chronicles the events that lead eventually to the death of the virginal Tess. Random chance initiates more of the conflicts in "Tess of the d'Urbervilles" than any of the more subtle and realistic happenings. Coincidence also plays a serious role in complicating the events in the plot. The resolutions in Hardy's plot more