Literary Device-The son'S veto

Topics: Thomas Hardy, Boy, Son Pages: 6 (1787 words) Published: July 23, 2014

The Author

Thomas Hardy was born in rural England where he spent his early life training as an architect. His family did not have much money and this made him acutely conscious of social inequalities in Victorian England. He moved to London when he was a young man and worked there for a time. He later returned to Dorset, becoming a fulltime writer. The decay of rural Britain, the status of women in society and social inequalities of his times and the Christian idea of God are some of the recurring themes we see in Thomas Hardy’s novels. Many of his stories are set in semi-fictional Wessex. Thomas Hardy’s characters struggle against adverse social circumstances, strong passions and an inexorable fate that decides the path of their life. Thomas Hardy’s works were much admired by later day writers and his position as a poet has seen enhancement in the later twentieth century.

Literary Device
Quote from the Text Read
Impact on Reader
“The next time we get a glimpse of her is when she appears in the mournful attire of a widow” …”. Here there is a sense of collusion that firmly places the reader into a position of responsibility with regards to the morals being explored. The narration is not impartial, however, and we should notice the techniques by which Hardy explores his sympathy for Sophy and distances himself from Randolph. The great poet makes precise use of descriptors to make his point 2


“That question of grammar bore upon her history, and she fell into reverie, of a somewhat sad kind to all appearance. It might have been assumed that she was wondering if she had done wisely in shaping her life as she had shaped it, to bring out such a result as this The narrator supposes Sophy might be wondering about the choices she had made because her beloved son, whose name marks him as her "protector," turns on her in public and upbraids her for her grammar, which is appropriate in her home country dialect but uneducated amid London's upper classes. The narrator supposes Sophy might be wondering this because it is highly unpleasant to be corrected by one's own son and because such actions show her son's disdain of her when, of course, Sophy wants him to love her and be proud of her just as she loves him and is proud of him. The narrator further supposes Sophy might be wondering this because, in such a reverie, one's thoughts turn to past lost opportunities 3

Somehow her boy, with his aristocratic. School-knowledge, his grammars, and his aversion; was losing those wide infantine sympathies, extending as far as the sun and moon themselves, with which he, like other children, had been born, and which his mother, a child of nature herself, had  loved in him". 

Hardy sets up a social detachment between Sophy and her son through the language they speak. Due to Sophy's educational background, she can't formulate sentences correctly. Randolph however grows up with a proper education and is blatantly annoyed by his mother's incorrect grammar. Sophy cannot identify herself with her own son because of the higher knowledge that he gains, and the aristocratic attitude that results from this. He gains a sort of power over her, eventually leading to her death that could have easily been avoided had he not been so full of pride for himself and shallowness

Literary Device
Quote from the Text Read
Impact on Reader


"You see, dear Sophy, ... you may want a home; and I shall be ready to offer one some day, though I may not be ready just yet."

Mr. Twycott knew perfectly well that he had committed social suicide  ... and he had taken his measures accordingly. An exchange of livings had been arranged with ... a church in the south of London. "'Has,' dear mother--not 'have'!" exclaimed the public-school boy, ... "Surely you know that by this time!" [...] "I am ashamed of you! It will ruin me! ... It will degrade me in the eyes of all the gentlemen of...
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