Explore Hardy’s representation of women in his collection of short

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Explore Hardy’s representation of women in his collection of short stories The Wessex Tales

Most of Hardy’s short stories, in his book ‘The Wessex Tales’, contain references to females or contain female characters. This essay will explore the author’s representation of females in, two of his short stories, ‘The Distracted Preacher’ and ‘The Sons Veto’. These stories were chosen because they contain two contrasting but similar female characters. Hardy presents two women who show great loyalty and no loyalty to their families, women of different social classes and women of adventure and passion. The author presents these women differently from the way women were perceived in that day of age.

In Hardy’s time, 1840 – 1928, women
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He represents the female character,
Sophy, as an intriguingly beautiful woman. As Sam the gardener looks up at Sophy he describes her as “ A kitten like, flexuous tender creature.” This quote shows that Hardy has represented this woman as alluring to men, like a magnet, and very intriguing. As well as being intriguingly beautiful the reader is led to believe that Sophy has an interesting past. The reader is led to believe this when the narrator says, “ She was generally believed to be a women with a story.” This quotation suggests that Sophy has an almost mysterious past that nobody knows of. The use of the quotation will have engaged the audience and kept them interested in the story, so that they would be able to find out about her “story”. So far Hardy has represented Sophy as different from other females because she is intriguingly beautiful and she has a mysterious past. He also represents sophy as different from other women by hinting at her social status when Mr. Twycott, a priest, marries her. The difference in social status can be seen in the quotation “ He had committed social suicide by this step, despite
Sophy’s spotless character.” The quote shows that Mr. Twycott, who was of a higher social status than Lizzy, made a choice to marry a woman with a good character but it was frowned upon to marry a woman of a different social status regardless of