Questions tagged [thomas-hardy]

Questions about the works of Thomas Hardy (1840–1928), English novelist and poet, or his life as a writer. His novels include "Far From the Madding Crowd" (1874), "The Mayor of Casterbridge" (1886) and "Tess of the d'Urbervilles" (1891).

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Was Thomas Hardy's "Unkept Good Fridays" negatively received in its time?

Thomas Hardy's poem "Unkept Good Fridays" (1927) is about all the other people who did good deeds and were unjustly killed but don't have their names remembered or celebrated like Jesus ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Where or when did Thomas Hardy divide his novels and short stories into three classes?

The Wikipedia article about Thomas Hardy says that Hardy divided his novels and collected short stories into three classes:[citation needed] The statement has no source. Charlotte Barrett's article ...
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How does Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge represent the notion of self-conflict?

How does Thomas Hardy's novel The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886) represent the notion of self-conflict? I am looking for an analysis based on psychoanalytic literary criticism. Note: The question How ...
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How did Henchard change after the auction incident?

In the novel The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy, how was Henchard a changed person after the auction incident?
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What is the significance of the name Jude, in Jude the Obscure?

The meaning of "obscure" in the title of Thomas Hardy's Jude the Oscure has been discussed previously on this site, but what about the name Jude? Earlier versions of the manuscript had the ...
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Did Tess finally know that Alec was not a d'Urberville?

I have watched two film adaptations of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles, in both of which Tess was made aware that Alec was not a true d'Urberville, but his family simply adopted the name. I'...
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Is burning a theme in Jude the Obscure?

While researching to answer another Jude the Obscure question, I found a list of homework assignments related to this novel, in which the following one caught my eye: Three times objects are burned --...
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Why Thomas Hardy set up his novels in cities of imaginary names? [duplicate]

Jude Fawley was living in Marygreen and went to Chirstminster, Christminster was a place of wisdom for him and due to some other details we infer that Hardy’s Chrisminster was intact Oxford. Far From ...
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Why did Sue want to go back to Phillotson?

In the novel Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy, Sue was broken after the death of her children. She went to their graves and wept even on the insistence of Jude to go back to the lodge. Jude was broken ...
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1 vote
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Did Henchard sell his wife in "The Mayor of Casterbridge" only because he was drunk?

In the novel The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy, Michael Henchard auctioned his wife in a bar and sold her to a sailor named Newson for five guineas along with his infant daughter. As far as ...
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2 votes
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How was Jude obscure in Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure?

I have recently completed the novel Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy and as always the title left me baffled. In the whole novel it was Sue who seems (if one just uses one's own viewpoint and judges ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Who was Sue’s mother?

Jude was in his Aunt’s room, he was a little heavy with his head due to Arabella’s leaving, and on a table he found a photo of a beautiful little girl. Upon inquiring with his Aunt, he came to know ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Is either Rhoda Brook or Gertrude Lodge portrayed negatively in "The Withered Arm"?

Thomas Hardy's short story "The Withered Arm" (freely available to read online) revolves largely around two female characters, Rhoda Brook and Gertrude Lodge, the two "viewpoint" ...
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Why is the country conjuror referred to as a "white wizard"?

In Thomas Hardy's 1888 short story "The Withered Arm" (freely available to read online), Gertrude Lodge and Rhona Brook go together to see a man named Trendle, often called Conjuror Trendle, ...
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Historical King Ina and Shakespeare's King Lear in the writings of Thomas Hardy

In Thomas Hardy's short(ish) story "The Withered Arm", one of his descriptions of the Wessex countryside features the following cryptic allusion: It was a long walk; thick clouds made the ...
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3 votes
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"What the Turk do it matter to us"?

In the opening chapter of Thomas Hardy's "The Withered Arm", the following passage is found (emphasis mine): The discussion waxed so warm that the purr of the milk streams became jerky, ...
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How does the quote from Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona connect with Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles?

Thomas Hardy's novel Tess of the d'Urbervilles begins with the epigraph ... Poor wounded name! My bosom as a bed Shall lodge thee.—W. Shakespeare. The source of this quote is one of Shakespeare'...
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What figure of speech does "alive enough to have strength to die" by Hardy contain?

The poem "Neutral Tones" by Thomas Hardy was written in 1867 and published in the 1898 collection Wessex Poems and Other Verses. It contains the stanza: The smile on your mouth was the ...
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What is the Distracted Preacher never anxious to do in this long sentence?

In Hardy's The Distracted Preacher, the first page has this really long sentence: But when those of the inhabitants who styled themselves of his connection became acquainted with him, they were ...
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Meaning of "and a good halfpenny where 'twas a bad one" in Thomas Hardy's "Far from the Madding Crowd"

From Far from the Madding Crowd, from the scene in which Bathsheba is paying her workers their wages: "What do you do on the farm?" "I do do carting things all the year, and in seed time I shoots ...
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Thomas Hardy’s “The Man He Killed”

Thomas Hardy’s ‘The Man He Killed’ (1902) was published in Time’s Laughingstocks (1909):     “Had he and I but met     By some old ancient inn, We should have sat us down to wet     Right ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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"Remembrance Day" in "Jude the Obscure"

In Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure (1894-95) some of the characters meet in Christminster (Oxford) on "Remembrance Day". For example: "The place seems gay," said Sue. "Why—it is Remembrance Day!—...
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Why was Far from the Madding Crowd first published anonymously?

I recently learned that Thomas Hardy's novel Far from the Madding Crowd was first published anonymously in Cornhill Magazine. As far as I know, publishing novels as monthly serials was reasonably ...
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Why the title Far From the Madding Crowd for the Thomas Hardy novel?

The title of Thomas Hardy's novel Far From the Madding Crowd presumably comes from this famous phrase in Thomas Gray's poem "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard", but I can't really see the ...
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9 votes
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What does this passage about the atmosphere blowing from Cyprus and the Galilee mean in "Jude the Obscure"?

When Jude is in the church, when he was following Sue, we see this line: ...was like the dew of the Hermon, and he remained throughout the service in a sustaining atmosphere of ecstasy. Though he was ...
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3 votes
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How does Jude's work with masonry relate to his ambition of becoming a scholar?

In Jude the Obscure, work that Jude does is masonry - stones and menial labor. His ambition is to become a scholar - books and mental labor. I'm struggling to see how these relate to each other - how ...
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7 votes
2 answers
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What was the connection between Hardy and Keats?

Thomas Hardy's short poem "At Lulworth Cove a Century Back" is a sort of ode to Keats, who apparently left England from near Lulworth Cove on his way to Rome: "Good. That man goes to Rome — to ...
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5 votes
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Was Hardy's "A Few Crusted Characters" based directly on the Canterbury Tales?

I've just been reading Thomas Hardy's A Few Crusted Characters (full text available online), which is essentially a collection of short stories or vignettes loosely bound together by a framing story. ...
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4 votes
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What does "I'll be D.D. before I have done!" mean?

I was reading Jude the Obscure, and I came across this line in Part First, VI: "...I must save money, and I will; and one of those colleges shall open its doors to me—shall welcome whom now ...
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9 votes
3 answers
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Was Thomas Hardy expressing his own religious intolerance or commenting on the general anti-Semitic sentiment of the time?

While reading Jude the Obscure, I came across this bit in Part First, chapter 3: People said that, if you prayed, things sometimes came to you, even though they sometimes did not. He had read in a ...
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4 votes
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What does 'you med ask' mean, from "Jude the Obscure"?

In part first, II, I see this line: "And who's he?" asked one, comparatively a stranger, when the boy entered. "Well, ye med ask it, Mrs. Williams. He's my great-nephew—come since you was ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Why does my copy of "Jude the Obscure" use 'part first' instead of 'first part' or something like that?

I recently procured a copy of Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy. Upon opening it, something struck me as odd: It says 'part first' instead of 'first part' or 'part one'. I've never seen this before, ...
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4 votes
1 answer
539 views

What does the fate of the old church tell us in "Jude the Obscure"?

In the first chapter of Jude the Obscure, we see this line about the old church being taken down and replaced, and the old church being broken up and used for different things: Above all, the ...
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7 votes
2 answers
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Who's this 'certain obliterator of historic records' in "Jude the Obscure"?

In the first chapter of Jude the Obscure, we see this line: Above all, the original church, hump-backed, wood-turreted, and quaintly hipped, had been taken down, and either cracked up into heaps of ...
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5 votes
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What makes the writing style of The Dynasts so distinctive?

Reading Poetry Foundation's page on Thomas Hardy, I came across this description of his epic drama The Dynasts, set during the Napoleonic Wars and published in 1904-1908: Hardy also pioneered a new ...
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Comparison of the portrayal of the female role in society between Jane Eyre and Tess?

I really can't get the differences of the female role in society and how they are seen by their families and by the society in general. How can we compare the portrayal of the female role in society ...
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6 votes
2 answers
588 views

Scanning the line "And every spirit upon earth" in Thomas Hardy's "The Darkling Thrush"

In the Thomas Hardy poem "The Darkling Thrush", one line seems to scan quite jarringly compared to the even iambic meter of the others: The land's sharp features seemed to me The Century's corpse ...
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7 votes
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Why did Thomas Hardy fictionalise the place names in his Wessex?

Most or all of Thomas Hardy's novels are set in the region of "Wessex", which (as defined by him) covers a vast swathe of England, as you can see from the map provided in this answer: ...
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16 votes
1 answer
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Did Thomas Hardy's books get more miserable with time, and was this because of his own life?

Thomas Hardy is best known for his tragic romances, novels which are really miserable and depressing to read. However, not all of them are equally so: Far From the Madding Crowd, one of his first ...
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8 votes
2 answers
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What's the significance of Liza-Lu?

In Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles, the character Liza-Lu (Tess's sister) plays a very minor background role throughout most of the novel, until near the very end when Tess says she wants ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Should there be a trochee in the second to last line of Thomas Hardy's "The Oxen"?

I'm working through the website For Better for Verse, and I'm currently working on a scansion of Thomas Hardy's "The Oxen". The last verse looks like this: "In the lonely barton by yonder comb ...
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4 votes
1 answer
729 views

What view of marriage is presented in Jude the Obscure?

Thomas Hardy's gut-wrenching tragedy Jude the Obscure includes a lot of discussion of the concept of marriage, from various different characters, some of whose views even change over the course of the ...
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13 votes
3 answers
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Was Tess raped?

The first part of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles ends on an extremely dark and sinister note: Alec d'Urberville successfully gets Tess on her own in the middle of nowhere, and they end up ...
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19 votes
1 answer
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What justifies the anti-Tess interpretation of "Tess of the d'Urbervilles"?

Upon its publication, Thomas Hardy's novel Tess of the d'Urbervilles inspired much debate as to whether Tess should be perceived as an innocent young woman thrust too early into the cruel world of men ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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Is there a canonical map of Thomas Hardy's Wessex?

Most if not all of Thomas Hardy's novels are set in the fictional(ish) English region of Wessex. He uses many real towns and locations as settings, but gives them fictional names: for instance, Oxford ...
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