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Thomas Hardy is infamous for presenting us with tales that expose some of the most deplorable conditions of man ever known. His fiction works well within the realm of realism and that is exactly what makes it so painful to read sometimes. We know that his characters could very well be our neighbors or friends and sometimes this is chilling, as most of Hardy's character analyses are painfully critical…
He is snobbish and concerned only about himself. He never stops to consider his mother, her feelings, or the simple fact that she is his mother. He is educated and that works against him because he has been taught by society that he is somehow better than simple, less-educated individuals - even if that individual happens to be family. In short, he has been educated to become a snob. Randolph ruins his mother's chances for happiness because of what might happen to his reputation. In "The Withered Arm," we witness several types of prejudice that do not necessarily belong to the typical, snobby upper class. Rhoda and Farmer Lodge display their prejudice toward Gertrude, who while may be slightly prejudice, comes out cleaner than her counterparts. Rhoda is prejudice because she is lower class and has lived a hard life. Her relationship with Farmer Lodge only increases her unconscious anger toward him. Gertrude becomes a victim in that Rhoda can take her anger out on her. While we never know the reason for her withered arm, we can certain that Rhoda's unconscious self did. These characters illustrate how class can work against individuals because of societal norms. Hardy exposes how prejudice can works both ways to destroy individuals.
In "The Son's Veto," social classification is reveale ...
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