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Thomas Hardy concentrated on human relationships in his short stories, as this was his main area of interest. Hardy also had a keen interest on the supernatural such as aliens. In 1874, Thomas Hardy got married to the love of his life, Emma Gifford, but after 38 years of marriage in 1912, Emma passed away sending Hardy into deep depression. This is when Hardy's short stories hit its prime. He went on a pilgrimage in 1914 to find out about life after Emma. Although, in the same year, he re-married to Florence Dugdale at the age of 74 and in 1928, he passed away. All his poems are firmly grounded in Dorset life and folklore, particularly the short stories The Withered Arm and Tony Kytes: Arch The first relationship that we find out about in the Withered Arm is Getrude and Farmer Lodge, we find out that they are married: "Her face too was fresh in colour, but it was of a totally different quality- soft and evanescent, like the light under a heap of rose petals." This is the comparison between Gertrude and Farmer Lodge. Hardy describes Gertrude as "the light under a heap of rose petals" suggesting she is way beyond beauty. The simile is effective, as this sets a picture in your head of what she would look like. This may also suggest that the marriage is purely superficial and Lodge has only married Gertrude purely as she is pretty: "The well-to-do Farmer Lodge came nearly last; and his young wife, who accompanied him, walked up the aisle"¦appeared thus for the first time." This says that Lodge his parading his new "possession" to the public, and doesn't care about Gertrude's feelings, just the fact that he is with a beautiful woman. Later in the story, Lodge rejects Gertrude because of her disfigurement. This shows that Lodge is a very shallow individual and is defying the laws of marriage, for example "in sickness and health". Other people interpretations of Gertrude would be very positive as all eyes are upon her when she is paraded at church, but Rhoda, one of the milkmaids and Lodge's ex-girlfriend isn't best pleased about Lodge's new wife and how she looks: "I wouldn't look up at her if she were to pass my window this instant." This shows a very bad approach towards Gertrude and she feels threatened by her at the same time. Later in the story, Rhoda has a dream and her whole interpretation of Gertrude is changed, in fact, they become good friends: "I hope you will find this air agree with you, ma'am and not suffer from the damp of the water mead's" This tells us she has a enough courtesy to call her "ma'am". Her whole interpretation changed as she had a dream about Gertrude getting her arm cut off, and the next morning, Gertrude's arm hurt, so i guess she felt kind of responsible for what happened to her. Their relationship is very different from their relationships with Farmer Lodge as they are both in the same boat and they bond very well. Also, Farmer lodge used them both for their looks, and not for who they are so again, they have another thing in common. Tony Kytes: The arch deceiver is very different to the withered arm, as the man in this isn't using the women for his image, he's just a womaniser. Tony is described as not a very good looking man, but still get the girls: "'Twas a little, round, firm, tight face, with a seam here and there left by the smallpox" Hardy describes his face like a little mongrel's face; being left with small pox i would say is an insult. The affiliation between Tony Kytes and the three women he is playing with is very obscure because it would never happen. This makes the story slightly humorous too. The naivety of all three women is astounding, to say the least, as they believe Tony every time a word comes out of his mouth, they obey and listen: "Now, Milly, would you do me a favour- my coming wife, may I say...I don't mind, to oblige you, Tony" This is where Tony asks Milly to go in the back of the wagon, and she pretty much gives herself to way to him. I think this is awfully stupid but at the same time humorous. Tony's lack of fidelity is rife in this story as he cannot make up his mind who he wants to go with, this is a lot like Farmer Lodge and his lack of commitment to his ex Rhoda and ultimately, his son. Tony, like Farmer Lodge is very shallow as he would dump his wife-to-be Milly for either Unity or Hannah, and this is because he can't make his mind up: "I'm afeard...Now which would you marry, father, if you was in my place?" This shows that Tony is not just womaniser, but he has a heart too and he is afraid of the consequences, and fears he may end up with nothing. Jealousy is rife in this story, as all three women would go with Tony, even after what happened: "And away walks Unity Sallet likewise, though she looked back when she'd gone some way, to see if he was following her." Even after Unity rejected Tony, she still feels a sense of defeat and looks back to see if he was following her, knowing full well he went with Hannah. When Hardy puts Unity's whole name in the quotation given above, you know it will be her first, or final act in the story, and I think this is a good technique used in all stories. When all three women are in the cart together, the jealousy is so rife, they start to fight and sob to gain Tony's affections: "Now at these strange voices sounding from under the cloth Hannah was thunderstruck a'most into a swound" They are all fighting over the right to gain his affections, they don't care about there own safety, also another humorous part.
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Thomas Hardy concentrated on human relationships in his short stories, as this was his main area of interest. Hardy also had a keen interest on the supernatural such as aliens. In 1874, Thomas Hardy got married to the love of his life, Emma Gifford, but after 38 years of marriage in 1912, Emma passed away sending Hardy into deep depression. This is when Hardy's short stories hit its prime. He went on a pilgrimage in 1914 to find out about life after Emma. Although, in the same year, he re-married to Florence Dugdale at the age of 74 and in...
When Hardy puts Unity's whole name in the quotation given above, you know it will be her first, or final act in the story, and I think this is a good technique used in all stories.

When all three women are in the cart together, the jealousy is so rife, they start to fight and sob to gain Tony's affections:

"Now at these strange voices sounding from under the cloth Hannah was thunderstruck a'most into a swound"

They are all fighting over the right to gain his affections, they don't care about there own safety, also another humorous part.

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"I have said that the soul..."I have said that the soul is not more than the body, And I have said that the body is not more than the soul, And nothing, not God, is greater to one than one"s self is, And whoever walks a furlong without sympathy walks to his own funeral drest in his shroud..." -Walt Whitman, Song of Myself Zora Neale Hurston, in dealing with the female search for self-awareness in Their Eyes Were Watching God, has created a heroine in Janie Crawford. In fact, the female perspective is introduced immediately: "Now, women forget all those things they don"t want to remember, and remember everything they don"t want to forget. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly" 1. On the very first page of Their Eyes Were Watching God, the contrast is made between men and women, thus initiating Janie"s search for her own dreams and foreshadowing the "female quest" theme of the rest of the novel. Detailing Janie"s quest for self-discovery and self-definition, Hurston celebrates Janie as a role model for all by communicating her understanding of life"s true meaning. In finding life"s true meaning, Janie underwent self-definition or what today is called self-actualization: In 1954 an American psychologist Abraham Maslow proposed that all people are motivated to fulfill a hierarchical pyramid of needs. At the bottom of Maslow"s pyramid are needs essential to survival, such as the needs for food, water, and sleep. The need for safety follows these physiological needs. According to Maslow, higher-level needs become important to us only after our more basic needs are satisfied. These higher needs include the need for love and "belongingness", the need for esteem, and the need for self-actualization In Maslow"s theory, a state in which people realize their greatest potential All information by means of Encarta Online Encyclopedia. It is ironic that a black female author of the late 1930"s was able to write a novel exemplifying this very theme, well before its time. Although Hurston had Janie endure three marriages and a slew of hardships, the novel"s protagonist finally reached the pinnacle in human existence. She had been a part of the loving harmony she had witnessed so early in her childhood. Janie was complete. Janie Crawford is a black woman who asserts herself beyond expectation, with a persistence that characterizes her search for the love that she dreamt of as a girl. After witnessing the symbiotic relationship of a bee and a blossom, it dawned on her that there is much more to life and love than she had previously imagined. Soon after this enlightenment, Janie meets a young boy, Johnny Taylor and she allows him to kiss her over the fence. However, Janie"s grandmother, Nanny also witnesses this kiss. As a former slave, Nanny"s idea of marriage is influenced by her social status. Back to the years of slavery and the years after emancipation, African-Americans couldn"t get too much freedom, if any. Their white masters treated the African-American women as goods. In the social echelon of things, they were at the bottom of the society. In turn making them the "mules" of the world 14. Slavery had anchored Nanny"s mind; she believed that the best thing that could happen to an African-American woman is to marry a man that she can depend on, a marriage that can provide protection. Nanny felt that Johnny Taylor was not that type of man because a trifling youth like him would ruin Janie"s life. That is why Nanny had chose someone who is respectable. Because Janie was born as a free child, Nanny felt she didn"t have to experience life the same way she or her mother did. Notwithstanding Janie believes that she should fulfill her own dream by marrying a man that she loves, and she disregards the importance of material wealth. After hearing her grandmother"s thoughts, Janie understands the societal status that her life has handed her, yet she is determined to overcome this somehow. Yet Nanny is determined to have Janie marry a more reputable man. "So de white man throw down de load and tell de nigger man tuh pick it up. He pick it up because he have to, but he don"t tote it. He hand it to his womenfolk"s. De nigger woman is de mule uh de world so fur as Ah can see," opines Janie"s grandmother in an attempt to justify the marriage that she has arranged for her granddaughter 14. This excerpt establishes the existence of the inferior status of women in this society, a status that Janie must somehow overcome in order to become a heroine. This societal constraint does not deter Janie from attaining her dream. The man her grandmother had arranged for Janie to marry is Logan Killicks, a respectable black man with financial security and a plot of land, who fit Janie"s grandmother"s view of the perfect marriage. However, after the first few months of her marriage to Killicks: ""¦ she [realized] now that marriage did not make love. Janie"s first dream was dead, so she became a woman" 24. Logan had It is now apparent that Janie is not afraid to defy the expectations that her grandmother has for her life, because she realizes that her grandmother"s antiquated views of women as weaklings in need of male protection even at the expense of a loving relationship, constitute limitations to her personal potential: "She hated her grandmother . . . Nanny had taken the biggest thing God ever made, the horizon " 85-86. Despite her pre-arranged marriage, Janie is not afraid to follow her instincts, even when this means leaving her first husband to marry her second - without a divorce. "Janie hurried out of the front gate and turned south. Even if Joe was not there waiting for her, the change was bound to do her good" 31. With her second marriage it seems that Janie"s dream has come true. She thinks that her prayers are answered when she first sees Joe Starks. In fact, she felt as if he were "a bee for her bloom" 31. Joe was a respectable looking man that seemed as if he didn"t belong in "colored" skin. It was no surprise to the reader that Janie left the "ole skullhead" for the much more appealing Joe 13. Tragically, Janie soon realizes that Joe is not the "bee" she was looking for. She saw that he had only wanted her for her looks and nothing else. He kept her away from the entire world for fear of someone stealing her away. She was not allowed to talk on the porch with the other townsfolk, and after a man commented on her hair, she was forced to cover it. She never realized just how tied down she was by him until after a funeral the town had for a mule. After that incident, Janie begins to respond to the treatment with Joe"s own medicine. After commenting about Janie"s sagging behind, Janie rebuttals by denouncing Joe"s manhood. This defiance is what seems to have caused Joe to die. Without the respect of his wife, or the townsfolk for that matter, he had no reason to live. Almost immediately after Joe dies, "she . . . let down her plentiful hair. The weight, the length, the glory was there" [83]. Symbolically this releasing of her hair represents Janie letting her "self" escape from the masquerade she had been living. At this point in her life, Janie has decided that she no longer needs to please one person. Yet, she still seeks the love that she has sought since she was a girl. Ironically she finds it in the most implausible of places. Vergible Woods, not only younger than she, but also not as wealthy as her former husbands, has a certain romantic appeal. When she leaves with a younger man the gossip that follows throughout her small town makes references to her family"s troubled past with marriages and men. But Janie, after the death of her second husband leaves her a widow, does not slow her pursuit of her dreams in the least. "Ah done lived grandma"s way, now ah means tuh live mine" 109. Janie"s continued quest for the perfect love and ultimate happiness would not last long. Finally, she finds happiness with Vergible, or as he was known, Tea Cake. This means so much, because she has decided to go through with it on her own. According to Hurston "[Tea Cake] could be a bee to a blossom- a pear tree blossom in the spring. He seemed to be crushing scent out of the world with his footsteps. Crushing aromatic herbs with every step he took"¦ He was a glance from God" 101-2. With her newly found happiness and freedom Janie"s transformation is nearly complete. Tragically the ending is not a happy one. Even though, Janie has discovered her "true-self", and is living up to her own potential, she still has an "Achilles heel". That crutch she so desperately depends on is Tea Cake. Two years after the day Janie and Vergible became man and wife; a rabid dog, in their flight from a hurricane, bit Tea cake. Tea Cake refused treatment because he felt well and didn"t think anything of the dog. Sadly, three weeks later, Tea Cake fell ill with rabies. During one of his diseased fits, he became convinced Janie was cheating on him, and attempted to shoot her. Janie was forced to kill the man she so desperately needed to save her own life. When she returns from her journey, after Tea Cake dies she has truly reached the pinnacle of human existence. She was now independent. She did not need anyone to be by her side, protect her, or encourage her to make her feel complete. She was independent and that was all the difference. By discovering the "two things everybody"s got to do fuh theyselves," Janie"s personal victory over oppression and the harsh rule of reality was epitomized 183. In relating her life as a "delegate in da Grand lodge, big convention of livin" to her friend Phoeby, Janie inadvertently begins her life as a role model for all seeking the culmination of Human existence 4. The two keys that unlocked life"s secrets she believed were "people got tuh go tuh God, and they got to find out about livin" fuh theyselves" 183. Zora Neale Hurston closes off Their Eyes Were Watching God with one final, poignant image, reiterating the transformation in the heroine: "[calling] in her soul to come and see the splendor of her life" 184. Hurston has portrayed a female character as an emergent heroine, a creator of her own destiny, and one who has mastered the journey for self-awareness. Says Mary Helen Washington in the Foreword of Their Eyes Were Watching God, "for most black women readers discovering "Their Eyes" for the first time, what was most compelling was the figure of Janie Crawford - powerful, articulate, self-reliant, and radically different from any woman character they had ever before encountered in literature." Janie Crawford is defiant; she defies men, but most importantly, she defies our own preconceived notions of what the role of an African-American woman should be in modern literature.   

"I have said that the soul is not more than the body, And I have said that the body is not more than the soul, And nothing, not God, is greater to one than one"s self is, And whoever walks a furlong without sympathy walks to his own funeral drest...

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