The Son’s Veto-Themes.
Thomas Hardy is concerned with prejudice and inequality. The story begins telling us of a young woman called Sophy who was unfortunately in a wheelchair. Nobody really knows anything about her; she was a mystery to people. 'She was generally believed to be a woman with a story - an innocent one, but a story of some sort or another.' 'She was the second wife of the incumbent of a neighbouring parish'. She has one child, a son. Sadly for her, although he is young, he has a far better education than she does. He corrects her; "He have been so comfortable these last few hours that I am sure he cannot of missed us," she replied "Has, dear mother - not have!" exclaimed the public schoolboy, with an impatient fastidiousness that was almost harsh. "Surely you know that by this time!" His mother hastily adopted this correction and did not resent his making it, or retaliate'. Her own son corrected her. I certainly wouldn't have tolerated that! Her poor education shines through even brighter when she accepts what her son said,
Sophy's upbringing took place in North Wessex, near to her native village Gaymead. At the young age of nineteen Sophy was working as a parlour maid For Mr Twycott, in the Parson's house. The lady of the house had recently died. 'The Vicar just left a widower was at this time a man about forty years of age, of good family, and childless.' After the death of his wife, the vicar decided to reduce the size of his household staff. Fortunately for Sophy, she caught his eye: 'What a kitten-like, flexuous, tender creature she was.' This was the beginning of a new life for both of them.
The two of them married, but did they know what they were getting in to? 'Mr Twycott knew perfectly well that he had committed social suicide'. This statement suggests that because Sophy was a parlour maid and Mr Twycott is a vicar, the two of them marrying is a bad thing. Why? It's due to the order of class. Sophy is 'lower class,' where as Mr...
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