The withered arm text. The Withered Arm’ by Thomas Hardy, And “The Call” by Robert Westall Essay Example 2022-10-08
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"The Withered Arm" is a short story by Thomas Hardy, first published in 1891 as part of his collection "Wessex Tales." The story is set in rural England in the 19th century and follows the lives of two women, Rhoda Brook and Gertrude Lodge, who are connected by a tragic event in their past.
Rhoda Brook is a poor, lonely milkmaid who lives on a farm in the countryside. She has a withered arm, a physical deformity that she acquired after giving birth to her son, Farmer Lodge's illegitimate child. Gertrude Lodge is Farmer Lodge's wife, a wealthy and fashionable woman who lives in the nearby town. She is jealous of Rhoda and the child she had with her husband, and she treats Rhoda with disdain and contempt.
One night, Rhoda has a vivid dream in which she sees Gertrude's arm wither and shrink just like her own. She interprets this as a warning that Gertrude will soon suffer some kind of physical or emotional injury. Rhoda confides in her neighbor, a superstitious old woman named Mrs. Yeobright, who suggests that Rhoda seek the help of a local "cunning man," a healer who uses magic and herbal remedies to cure ailments.
Rhoda decides to visit the cunning man, and he agrees to help her cure Gertrude's arm. He tells Rhoda to gather certain herbs and mix them into a potion, which she is to give to Gertrude to drink. Rhoda follows the cunning man's instructions, and Gertrude's arm is restored to its normal state. However, the cure comes at a price: Rhoda's own arm begins to wither again, and she dies soon after.
The withered arm in "The Withered Arm" is a symbol of the physical and emotional pain that Rhoda and Gertrude have both suffered. Rhoda's withered arm represents her social and economic status as a poor, unmarried mother, and the shame and stigma she has endured because of it. Gertrude's withered arm, on the other hand, symbolizes the emotional pain and jealousy she feels towards Rhoda and her son. In the end, Rhoda's selfless act of helping Gertrude cure her arm ultimately leads to her own demise, showing the complex and intertwined nature of the two women's lives.
Overall, "The Withered Arm" is a poignant and thought-provoking tale about love, jealousy, and the consequences of our actions. It is a powerful reminder that our actions can have unintended consequences, and that we should be careful about how we treat others, as our actions can have a ripple effect on those around us.
Analysis of Thomas Hardy’s The Withered Arm
Again the dread seized her that something to do with her fierce act in the dream might be revealed, and her character in the eyes of the most useful friend she had ever had be ruined irretrievably. This inflicts a shallow, insecure view of herself, in that she believes physical characteristics are more significant than personality. On what night did it come? I talked to her yesterday. She started just before the time of day mentioned between them, and half an hour's brisk walking brought her to the south-eastern extension of the Egdon tract of country, where the fir plantation was. There was at this time but one county paper, and that her husband only occasionally borrowed. . She murmured a reply, in tones so low as to be inaudible to Rhoda, and continued to gaze intently into the glass.
The Withered Arm’ by Thomas Hardy, And “The Call” by Robert Westall Essay Example
The last I sent was in '13 - near twelve years ago. Especially if on many occasions the prophecies they dictate come to fruition. Now this man had a fair opportunity of raising questions. Gertrude, therefore, rode along with no other obstacles than the prickly furze-bushes, the mats of heather, the white water-courses, and the natural steeps and declivities of the ground. She was kneeling down in the chimney-corner, before two pieces of turf laid together with the heather inwards, blowing at the red-hot ashes with her breath till the turves flamed.
There was a negative response from the first. And to-night, dear friends, it matters very little to the preacher or to the congregation that you are here, if you are some person of note or consequence; for we make no note of dignitaries here, and attach no special consequence to any one in this place, where the rich and the poor meet together. Passing thus the outskirts of the jail, she discerned on the level roof over the gateway three rectangular lines against the sky, where the specks had been moving in her distant view; she recognized what the erection was, and passed quickly on. They hardly spoke to each other, and immediately set out on their climb into the interior of this solemn, country, which stood high above the rich alluvial soil they had left half an hour before. The radiance lit her pale cheek, and made her dark eyes, that had once been handsome, seem handsome anew.
She knew, however, that there must be a hangman, and to the hangman she determined to apply. On Friday afternoon one of the men brought it round. But the figure which had occupied her so much during this and the previous days was not to be banished at night. She dared not tell him, for she had found by delicate experiment that these smouldering village beliefs made him furious if mentioned, partly because he half entertained them himself. I was slowly poisoning my body with these toxics.
Dear me—what was his name? Her horse was sure, if heavy footed and slow, and though a draught animal, was easy-paced; had it been otherwise, she was not a woman who could have ventured to ride over such a bit of country with a half-dead arm. I begin with this, because my talk to-night will be very simple, and it will only be meant for those of you who want my Lord and Master. Her monotonous milking at the dairy was resumed, and followed for many long years, till her form became bent, and her once abundant dark hair white and worn away at the forehead—perhaps by long pressure against the cows. She came home to breakfast as wearily as if it had been supper-time. She was now five-and-twenty; but she seemed older. You have never yet laid hold of the gospel for yourselves, never enjoyed its privileges and blessings as your own, but still you have a hankering after the best things. Burdened at first with moodiness and remorse, he eventually changed for the better, and appeared as a chastened and serious-minded man.
The introductory chapter is a survey of approaches to space and place produced in different disciplines, including philosophy, narratology, literary criticism, human geography and sociolinguistics, which proposes a tripartite model of literary place: physical encounters incorporating a personal dimension in an academic study of literary place , loco-reference and intra-textual landscapes. He was a grey-bearded man, with a reddish face, and he looked singularly at Rhoda the first moment he beheld her. The characters in The Canterbury Tales comment on society through the tales they tell. The once blithe-hearted and enlightened Gertrude was changing into an irritable, superstitious woman, whose whole time was given to experimenting upon her ailment with every quack remedy she came across. The director of the trading company, who 9.
The withered arm and other Wessex tales, Thomas Hardy : Mitchell, Carolyn, author : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
Let the man search the Scriptures; but, remember, that if these things are put in the place of simple faith in Christ, the soul will be ruined. One such victim of e-coli poisoning was Kevin Kowalcyk at the age of two. Having changed her dress, and before she had eaten or drunk—for she could not take her ease till she had ascertained some particulars—Gertrude pursued her way by a path along the water-side to the cottage indicated. But the surgeon had not seemed to understand the afflicted limb at all; he had told her to bathe it in hot water, and she had bathed it, but the treatment had done no good. How does she know us? However certain people may find it hard to sympathise with this style of writing as it may promote the curiosity of how other characters are feeling and as a consequence may cause the reader to reject the character telling the story. It is now obvious that the caller is the ghost, as she has the power to entrance Meg, and lead her to her death.
For the first time a sense of triumph possessed her, and she did not altogether deplore that the young thing at her side should learn that their lives had been antagonized by other influences than their own. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other. The impression remaining from the night's experience was still strong. The time at which the sentences were to be carried out had arrived, and to make the journey and obtain admission at such short notice required at least her husband's assistance. What time is the execution? There can be no difficulty in that; to trust and rest upon one whom you cannot doubt must follow as a matter of course upon your good opinion of him. The farmer, though he seemed annoyed at the boy's persistent presence, did not order him to get out of the way; and thus the lad preceded them, his hard gaze never leaving her, till they reached the top of the ascent, when the farmer trotted on with relief in his lineaments having taken no outward notice of the boy whatever. It stood close to the same stream, and was hard by a weir , the waters of which emitted a steady roar.
She was dressed, and before going down looked at her shrivelled arm. By the end of the chapter, we assume that Rhoda is a rejected girlfriend of Farmer Lodge. Little surprise was excited by her arrival; farmers' wives rode on horseback then more than they do now; though, for that matter, Mrs Lodge was not imagined to be a wife at all; the innkeeper supposed her some harum-skarum young woman who had come to attend 'hang-fair' next day. They accept the fact, that people were traded for ivory. Her cunning course at first was in precisely the opposite direction. At last, wearied by her day's work, she too retired.