Status is a high rank or standing, especially in a community or a workforce. Your status describes how well known you are in the community, compared to different people. This is why in the 1880’s, status became a powerful and popular item for men to own. It was important for men in the 1880’s to have a high status because it showed how well known you were and how important you were in the community compared to other men, for this reason status became a vital possession to own, and men could boost their status considerably by having exceedingly good wealth, and also the key feature which boosts men’s statuses were their wives.
Wives either made or beaked a man’s status in the community in the 1880’s. Men became fond of having their trophy wives to show of to other men to make them feel jealous, just so they can gain a higher status compared to other men. Overtime as the men’s wives got older and seemed to loose their touch or gleam about them, their husbands disliked them and started to find them less attractive from when they first got married, as soon as the wife becomes less and less attractive the man’s status would fall down as well.
This made women become more and more obsessed on how they looked so they could please their husbands and made sure they did not dislike them or find them unattractive anymore. Most of the short stories are set in rural England, and are all mainly affected by men and their status but also the social division system. In the 1880’s there was a social division system, this system split people from different classes up. The higher up the social class you were, the more important you were, and on the bottom scale of the social division class system were people who weren’t as important.
People who were at the bottom of the social division class were usually the homeless, and people who were at the top end of the social division class were usually earls and dukes. This social division system split different people up. So that a man from a high social class would not be able to marry a woman from a lower social class, he would not be able to because simply she is just from a lower class and that was looked down on very much in the 1880’s. This same scenario repetitively comes up in Thomas Hardy’s short stories, and this is where Thomas Hardy decides to criticise the social division system.
Thomas Hardy explores the different situations in the social division system in his short stories, he describes the fact that it is dreadful the way the social division system operates. On a whole Thomas Hardy discovers and presents his views on relationships between men and women in the 1880’s, mainly about the social division system, in his short stories. Rhoda and Gertrude are two separate women. Gertrude owns a luxurious lifestyle, where as Rhoda lives a struggling, and poor lifestyle.
Gertrude shares her luxurious lifestyle with Farmer Lodge, a rich land owner, but Rhoda shares her struggling lifestyle with her son, but also shares a secret relationship with Framer Lodge. Farmer Lodge loves Rhoda and decides to make his relationship legitimate, but Farmer Lodge realises that he can not make his relationship legitimate with Rhoda because of the social division system. “This pretty young woman had rendered impossible any reparation which Lodge might have made Rhoda for his past conduct”.
Rhoda and Framer Lodge love each other and want to make their relationship with each other genuine, but understand that they will have no chance of being together at all, because of this social division system Rhoda and farmer lodge can never be. The use of pretty has an effect on Rhoda and emphasises that she is a young sweet good looking girl. Thomas hardy is trying to show that people who loved each other and wanted to create a relationship with each other cannot, just because one of the couple may be from a higher class, Thomas Hardy does this by using Framer Lodge and Rhoda each from a different class.
Thomas Hardy explores the relationship between them both and concludes that fact that two people can not be because of the social division system. Farmer lodge has been married to Gertrude for about six years, and he realises that their marriage has worsened. Farmer lodge has realised that he only married Gertrude for her looks and appearance. Farmer lodge dislikes Gertrude because she still has not given him a child, farmer lodged realises Rhoda Brook and her son and fears that it might be a judgment from heaven.
Mr and Mrs Lodge’s married experience sank into prosiness, and worse… he had wooed for her grace and beauty… and feared this might be a judgement form heaven”. Thomas hardy explores the fact that the main reason why farmer lodge married Gertrude was only because of her beauty. The use of sank gives an impression of the couples relationship sinking and therefore the relationship seems dead and gone. The word fear, gives an impression that farmer lodge is scared and desperate that he does not want an issue to occur that he is afraid of.
Gertrude has brought no child to framer lodge yet which disappoints him because farmer lodge will have no one to look after his land apart from his son, who he had of Rhoda, farmer lodge believes that he is being judged upon form heaven. Thomas hardy is trying to show that farmer lodge only married Gertrude for her looks, and now that it was a mistake marrying her for her looks because she has not gave birth to a child yet, so there will be no one to look after the land after farmer lodge apart from his son who he had of Rhoda.
Farmer lodge does not want to let his son look after the land because of the social division system. Thomas hardy explores the relationship between both Gertrude and Rhoda, and concludes the fact that farmer lodge only married his wife for her appearance and doing this has caused him problems because she is not giving him a child, where as if he married a woman from the same class and not only on her looks she may of given him a child. During the relationship between farmer lodge and his wife Gertrude, he starts not talking to Gertrude.
Gertrude starts to realise that farmer lodge is starting to loose interest in her. Gertrude understands this and knows that it is true, and she is becoming alone. “Cold… alone”. This is symbolic towards Gertrude and farmer lodge’s relationship between him and Gertrude. It is symbolic because Gertrude is alone and has no body to be with now, because farmer lodge has no interest in her. Also their relationship still remains symbolic because farmer lodge is cold to Gertrude, just because she is loosing her appearance in her and that she is not like she used to be.
The word cold and alone makes the impression that Gertrude is separated, these two words also give the effect that Gertrude is removed from the relationship between her and farmer lodge. Thomas hardy is trying to show that the relationship between Gertrude and farmer lodge is failing because farmer lodge is starting to be cold towards Gertrude which forces Gertrude to do things alone. Thomas hardy is putting the idea across that farmer lodge is losing interest in his relationship between him and Gertrude, because she has started to lose her touch and appearance that she once used to own.
Gertrude brings back many remedies for her arm, farmer lodge notices that Gertrude has brought these remedies and accuses her of bringing back witch mixtures/poisons. “Poison yourself with these apothecary messes and witch mixtures”. Gertrude starts to feel that she is forcing farmer lodge to dislike her even more, and she tries everything to get her man back, in this case she tried to look sad and heart swollen. “Sad, soft glance upon him”. This trick that Gertrude played changes farmer lodge’s attitude towards her, and he starts to feel sympathetic towards her.
The use of sad and soft glance emphasises sweetness and sadness at the same time, it creates the impression that Gertrude is now sad but at the time she is also trying to be sweet. “I only meant it for your good”, here farmer lodge is trying to comfort Gertrude and make her feel comforted that he was supposing to be looking out for her, but we know that this is not true because Gertrude fooled him just so that she could keep her man. Thomas hardy is trying to present what woman did to try and keep their man.
Thomas hardy explores this by putting Gertrude in a situation where she may feel unwanted by her husband, Gertrude uses her looks to gain her husband back, Thomas hardy is exploring what women did to feel wanted and also what they did to get their man back. Thomas hardy is mainly putting the idea across that women want their man, and they will do anything to get their men back and also the men’s interest in them because Gertrude would start to feel sad and unwanted which she does not want to happen.
Mr Twycott made his relationship legitimate with Sophy, he married Sophy in the church with the help of two other people. Mr Twycott realises that he has made a big commitment to Sophy even though she is from a different class. “Mr Twycott knew perfectly well that he had committed social suicide by this step”. Mr Twycott has become aware that he has married Sophy even though there is a social divide between them both. Thomas Hardy is trying to explore the fact that Mr Twycott has married Sophy even though this would normally be strange and not a normal thing to do, because Sophy was from a different class.
Thomas Hardy also emphasises this by using the term social suicide, this is because Mr Twycott is putting his so called social circle or scene at risk, by marrying Sophy. The word “committed” also emphasises that Mr Twycott has been forced or has made a promise to keep by marrying Sophy, the word “committed” also gives the idea that Mr Twycott has been forced by Sophy to make the commit to be married her. This shows that the relationship is mainly in charge by the woman, because she can persuade the man’s opinions by making her man feel sympathetic towards her, and carry great effect on their men.
After Sophy’s husband dies, she realises that she had made a big mistake but still covers it up and does not think much of it. Her son thinks the same, as he is not impressed at hi smother still for what she did. The son is describing what he sees in his eyes, and also what he sees in his mother’s attitude. “In her son’s eyes – a mother whose mistakes and origin it was his painful lot as a gentlemen to blush for”. Thomas hardy is trying to explore what Sophy is feeling at this moment after her husband has died because of old age.
Thomas hardy is trying to show that the in the relationship between Sophy and Mr Twycott was everything Sophy seemed, Thomas hardy does this by describing what the son thinks of this situation. Thomas hardy explains and criticizes how the son feels embarrassed about the relationship hi smother had with Mr Twycott. Thomas hardy uses what Sophie’s son feels, which is unkind and harsh, but Thomas hardy does this to remind the reader what Sophie has done in her sons eyes. The son explains that he sees his mum, as a woman who would blush on her husband’s behalf, because she will not want to admit her mistakes of marrying Mr Twycott.
When Sophy is walking apart from Randolph, it shows that the relationship between her and Randolph is symbolic. “He drifted further and further away”. Thomas hardy is trying to show the relationship between Sophy and Randolph is symbolic, Thomas hardy does this because he wants to show that the relationship between Randolph has broken apart, and the gap between them both is getting bigger. Thomas hardy presents the relationship getting worse and making a bigger gap between Sophy and Randolph, by describing them both drifting apart from each other.
Thomas hardy is making the point that the relationship between Randolph and Sophy has got worse as they walk further apart from each other. The word “drifted”, gives the effect that Randolph is being drifted away from Sophy by the air or wind, and the word drifted emphasises that he is unable to stop because the wind or the air is drifting him away from her and he has no control to stop, and also the makes out that it was meant for Randolph to walk away from Sophy and not to look back at her.
Thomas hardy likes to give Sam a voice, this is because Thomas hardy likes Sam. This is why Sam criticises Randolph, and the way in which Randolph acts. Sam and Sophy are both talking, Sophy admits that she likes Sam, and they both discuss Sophie’s son and what he is like towards her. This is the point where Sam criticizes Randolph. “It is not you who are the child, but he”. Sam is comforting Sophy as well as criticizing Randolph.
Thomas hardy is exploring the relationship between Sam and Sophy, Thomas hardy does this by giving Sam a voice not Sophie’s, as Thomas hardy does this it allows the relationship between Sam and Sophy to develop so that she will probably be able to marry him. Thomas hardy explores the relationship between Sam and Sophy, and Randolph and Sophy by presenting his view in Sam’s opinions on Randolph, and also by letting Sam give his opinion towards Sophy, this helps build up the relationship between them both i. . Sam and Sophy, but decreases the relationship between Sophy and Randolph by Sam’s observations. The language of the word “child” refers Randolph not being a child but acting like one, the word “child” emphasises that Randolph is misbehaving badly like a child on purpose, and this way we think Randolph is starting to act mischievous towards Sophy even though she is not referred to being called a child.
All of the three short stories I have analysed each have something common, and that is the relationships between men and the women in the three short stories that I have read. The three short stories all compare what men expected form women and what women wanted from their men. The stories all share the same background of how the relationships between men and women where. I believe that Thomas hardy has represented his views and his opinions on the relationships of men and women very well.
He has described three situations/scenarios, of where men and women both had expectations for what they did for each other based on their relationships, Thomas hardy described and handled these scenarios well and presented his ideas in a sensible and easy to understand fashion. Since I have read those three short stories based on relationships, I have realised that I can notice a difference in society from then and until now. I can notice the differences mainly because in our society we do not base each other as much on our class, by the relationship you may be having with some one.