Thomas Hardy and the Voice

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Write about Hardy’s narrative methods in “The Voice”
The voice is one of Hardy’s bleakest poems reflecting on how Emma is just a memory; Hardy uses the method of questioning to create enigma and a voice in his head highlighting the title. Hardy uses first person to convey his loneliness “how you call to me, call to me” The repetition suggests his longing pain and grief, Hardy the narrator seems to be very self-conscious and the story of pain is the most important emotion at this point. The direct address shows Hardy’s struggle and how he believes he is hearing Emma’s voice. The use of this female character that is nameless and voiceless shows his desperation. The method of long sentences convey his ongoing pain and self pity “changed from the one who was all to me”. The contrast from past to present tense emphasises his reflection and memories of the early stages of their relationship. The first three stanzas form a retrospective narration. Hardy plays around with time and memory in this poem. This is important to the story because in stanza 4 he jumps to the present and the dramatic moment when he realises she’s gone, he can’t revisit the past.”Was all” highlights Emma was once his everything, the meaningful language suggests their happy times, now only the memories remain. The use of rhetorical questions in the second stanza suggests Hardy state and tells an emotional story. He is questioning sanity “can it be you that I hear?” He believes he has heard something almost as if he is in disbelief that it’s Emma. He knows he will not get an answer but still has hope. Hardy uses questions to tell the reader his emotional story and he uses the first person narrator to create a mood of desperation. This is important because he’s constructing his character to seem emotional so that in the last verse, the reader understands why the ending becomes disjointed. Hardy uses the past tense as a narrative method to indicate how the relationship deteriorated...
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