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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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Our universe is an ever-turning wheel...Our universe is an ever-turning wheel that maintains a beautiful balance of life. On the spokes of this wheel the existence of all things is assured; life is given, bodies and souls are fed, each position on the wheel is cultivated by the next, and then one day we will pass away, only to start the circle again in another mysterious way. Take a moment to look around you and see the many cycles that exist for the sole purpose of keeping our wheel in motion, and then recognize how little these great givers of life are celebrated, or even noticed. Without a second thought we will all at one time or another dishonor the same things that pay tribute to us. But that, too, is a part of the cycle. It's not good, nor is it bad. It just is. In his story "Death in the Woods," Sherwood Anderson demonstrates mankind's ability to take for granted the gifts received through our Mother Earth, aptly symbolized by an old woman with no name. He also reveals to his reader the beauty that lies within the ceremonies of life and death that are constantly taking place all around us and within us. The story is broken into 5 different parts, told in first person, and although the narrator is not the main character, he lends significant importance to the symbolism that takes place throughout the tale. In the first part of the story our nameless storyteller introduces his reader to an old woman; one that everyone sees, but nobody knows. Demonstrating society's lack of concern for such an old woman, the narrator states, "People drive right down a road and never notice an old woman like that" 23. In this first section he uses the words 'old woman' eight times, and yet we know he considers her to be strong, not frail like the people that we usually associate with the condition of being aged. Our first clue of this takes place in the first and second paragraphs where she is diligently working to make a few eggs and hens trade into enough food to feed a farm. This is her job, and she does it without complaint. Somehow, she is able to make the impossible work. In the fifth paragraph he describes himself as "a young and sick boy with rheumatism" 23, and then in the next sentence depicts her carrying a heavy pack on her back- one that he could probably not manage on his own. In that pack on her back she carries the burden of feeding and caring for those that depend on her, and yet she manages the load without any glory. Her burden is both physically and symbolically heavy, reflected in her drooping shoulders, and yet she never lets anyone down. The cows, horses, dogs, pigs, and men somehow always get fed despite her limited resources. She manages it simply because she must; it is her role just as it is the role of our Mother Earth. In the sixth paragraph we are introduced to the old woman's neglectful and abusive husband and son, undoubtedly the embodiment of the worst traits in all of us. They treat her with complete disrespect, and yet expect her to continue serving their endless needs. For instance, if the old man were to come home and find no food on the table, ""¦the old man gave his old woman a cut over the head" 25. Of course, she continues to feed them, and every other mouth on their pathetic farm. Interestingly enough, if they would only give her more to work with, i.e., more money, more hens, more love, more respect, she would undoubtedly be able to provide much more for them in turn. The men are hurting their own cycle of sustenance. This is so painfully symbolic of our relationship with our caretaker, Mother Earth. Even though we repeatedly abuse the source of our nourishment, she continues to provide for those that give so little back. After we are introduced to her husband, in paragraphs nine through fourteen Anderson flashes back to her youth in an abusive foster home, as well as her short courtship and abrupt marriage to an equally cruel husband. Even as a young girl she is fulfilling her role as caretaker and feeder. She fulfills the basic household needs, puts food in everyone's mouths, and satisfies the German farmer's more primal appetite for sex. Of course, sex is frequently not an issue of lust, but rather an issue of control for mankind, and of fertility for Mother Nature. It is in a struggle for this control that the young girl lucks into marrying her husband. Anderson tells us that he wouldn't have married her if ""¦the German farmer hadn't tried to tell him where to get off" 24. Neither of the men loved her, but both fought for the control of her body, her new suitor being the victor. So, away goes the trophy to the winner. In part two there are no less than sixteen references to the old woman feeding someone or something in her daily life. The narrator depicts her feeding meager supplies of food to the cows, dogs, pigs, horses, chickens, the German couple, and her husband as well as her son. He even makes reference to the old woman at one point having to feed her husband ""¦in a certain way" 25, though she stopped doing that after the children were born. It is well established that this is her role and duty in the circle of life, and it doesn't seem to bother her. She just accepts it. But under the weight of her duties her slender shoulders become stooped. At this point she is no longer a young woman, but has become old in appearance. She wanders around her farm muttering to herself, trying to figure out how she is going to get everything fed. The burdens of her life have aged her. Equally "yoked," our Mother Earth has begun to age prematurely as well. In the 19th paragraph the narrator states, "She had to scheme all of her life about getting things fed"¦" 25. She is responsible for making sure that all trades are equal, that her husbands shortcomings are compensated for and the lack of food is stretched far enough to sustain everyone concerned, whether it is deserved or not. Once again, this symbolizes our equal opportunities for survival, although our chances for abundance increase with every ounce that we invest back into the cycle of life and nourishment. Over and over throughout the story we see her struggling to protect the cycle of life on her farm. The narrator states that "The stock in the barn cried to her hungrily"¦" 26, for they know she is their benefactor of life. She watches over the eggs in the barn to be sure they don't freeze. She worries about the cows that don't give milk anymore. She understands the importance of feeding the horse that isn't good for anything, but maybe could be traded off. Even her abusive husband has a purpose in her world, and she knows that she must keep him fed, too. Everything has value, and she must care for it. Her survival depends on their survival. As the transition from the second part of the story into the third part occurs, the narrator describes her last journey into town to trade her meager goods for food. It is in this part of the story that the narrator's understanding of the old woman is changed. He is now connected to the mystical qualities that take place in her end of life. The butcher that she visits in town does not understand her compulsion to feed those that hurt her, and cannot see her place in the scheme of things. He does not have the insight that she is gifted with. What she understands innately, he takes for granted. Someone must care for the flock, although the flock rarely appreciates the effort. It is fitting that a man who slaughters animals for a living is critical of one whose role is to feed those same creatures. As the old woman starts back for the farm, followed by the dogs that depend on her scraps, it is growing late and cold. It is here that we are witness to the beautiful ceremony that takes place in the transition of life and death on the wheel of life. As she slowly passes away under a tree in the woods, we can see through the narrator's eyes the ceremony that takes place all around her. The dogs run in circles, and the moon shines in a full circle. Round and round the dogs run in quiet ceremony in a sacred clearing of the woods. All of this comes together to symbolize the great circle of life that we exist in. The narrator knows this and appreciates it because he has experienced it as well. He states, "I knew all about it afterward, when I grew to be a man, because once in a woods in Illinois, on another Winter night, I saw a pack of dogs just like that. The dogs were waiting for me to die just as they had waited for the old woman that night"¦" 28. His story is deeply important to him because he understands the 'mystical' quality of it all. That is a powerful word; one that is used when no other word will suffice in description of the spiritual nature of life. He used it a total of three times, making the impact even stronger. Throughout life the old woman fed those who depended on her, and she fulfilled this role in death while the dogs feed on the food in her bag. The narrator understood that this was simply her part in this world: "She died in a clearing in the woods and even after her death continued feeding animal life" 31. Even beyond that, she will eventually lay to rest in the ground where she will feed back into nature. She has come from the earth, and now she completes the circle to return back to the earth. Once again Anderson symbolizes the all-important cycle of life that we all must exist within. In her death our narrator is able to see her beauty when the weight of her responsibilities are lifted from her shoulder. She is a young and innocent girl once again, and she is finally given her due respect in death. Unfortunately, when the weight of our burdens finally does our Mother Earth in, we won't be able to mourn her and put her to rest with ceremony. Our own circle of life is far too dependent on hers. Most likely, the animals on the old woman's farm will die within days of her passing, since there will no longer be anyone around to fulfill their needs. In the fifth and final part of the story the narrator recounts how the details all come together for him since the time of the old woman's death. He slowly collects the pieces of information throughout his life in a quest to understand the meaning of it all. For some enlightened people, the search for understanding of our place in the universe is very much like that. We gather together the clues that our Mother leaves us and slowly come to respect the important nature of life and death. We begin to see the rituals, appreciate our roles and recognize the signs of our Mother's wellness, or illness. The cycle of life and death is dependant on our cooperation, or lack thereof. We decide how much we want to invest into its abundance.   

Our universe is an ever-turning wheel that maintains a beautiful balance of life. On the spokes of this wheel the existence of all things is assured; life is given, bodies and souls are fed, each position on the wheel is cultivated by the next, and then one day we will...

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William Golding the author of the...William Golding the author of the book Lord of the Flies used a group of boys on an isolated tropical island to illustrate problems in the nature of mankind. The group of British school boys that become stranded on the island had to deal with changes that all the boys underwent as they gradually adapted to the isolated freedom from society as they knew it. Three of the boys that had to adapt to the island were Ralph, Piggy, and Jack and each of the boys had different effects on themselves under those circumstances. Piggy was a very educated boy who was mature than the other boys because of his academic childhood. He grew up as an outcast and all the things that happened to him, as a child made him more aware of the cruelty people possessed in the world. As chief of the savage tribe Jack was very arrogant and self-righteous. The freedom of the island made him develop the darker side of his personality even more than it already was. The last boy was Ralph who was very dependent on Piggy's wisdom. Towards the end of the book Ralph is rejected from the society of the boys on the island and had to fend for himself. The events on the island made the boys more aware of the evils inside themselves and others even though the experience differed from boy to boy. Piggy was the educated boy who was rejected by the other boys because he was overweight. His academic background and his isolation from the savage boys made him able to remain mostly unchanged from his primitive experiences on the island. His unattractive attributes separated him from the other boys on the island. Piggy was not welcomed by the other boys on the island, on their first exploratory trip of the island. "We don't want you,"Golding 24 Jack said to Piggy before the boys left on the trip to explore the island. Learning from the actions of others Piggy was like the observer on the island. His status in their society allowed him to look at the boys from an outsider's perspective. He learned of the hatred being brought out of the boys without having to experience the thirst for blood that Ralph was directly exposed to. The other boys did not easily intimidate Piggy, especially not Jack. He also did not lack the self-confidence to protest or speck out against the indignity from the boys as the shy choir member Simon did. The self-confidence of Piggy's differed from that of Ralph's as it did not come from acceptance by their peers nor did it come from the authority and power Jack had grown accustomed to. It came from the pride in having accumulated wisdom that obviously was greater than most of the other boys his age. Piggy knew the rules, as did all the other boys did, but he also had the patience to at least wonder why the rules existed. This intuition of Piggy's made him more aware of why the rules were imposed thereby ensuring that he would abide by them even when they were not enforced. When the boys flocked to the mountaintop to build their fire at the beginning of the book, Piggy watched the boys in disgust and said "Acting like a crowd of kids!" Golding 38. Piggy was a very reliable person who could look ahead and plan carefully what needed to happen in the future. He thought the boys were very immature and recklessness and he said, "That first thing we ought to have made was shelters done there by the beach"¦Then when you get here you build a bonfire that isn't no use. Now you been and set the whole island on fire"Golding 45. Like Ralph, Piggy's sense of responsibility set him apart from the other boys. William Golding the author of the book Lord of the Flies used the image of Piggy not having long hair to illustrate his civilized behavior. "He was the only boy on the island whose hair never seemed to grow"Golding 64. The author's description of his baldness also showed an image of old age that made Piggy seem to lack the strength of youth. The increasing injustice Piggy endured towards the end of the book was far greater than any that he had encountered previously in his life. After his glasses were broke by Jack in a fit of anger, Piggy cried out, "I don't ask for my glasses back, not as a favor. I don't ask you to be a sport, I'll say, not because you're strong, but because what's right's right"Golding 171. The fit of anger brought tears out of him, as the suffering became intolerable. For a brief moment, Piggy's anger at the unfairness and his helplessness took away his usual logical reasoning, which returned when he was confronted with his fear of the savages. Piggy was an intelligent boy with a good understanding of their situation on the isolated island. He was able to think clearly and plan ahead with caution so that even in the freedom the boys had in their unregulated world, his wisdom and his isolation from the savage boys kept him from giving into the evil that was so easily consumed by Jack and his followers. The result of the cruelty Jack inflicted upon his taught Piggy showed how much evil there was in the world. Jack was first decried with being very cruel, which made him naturally unlikable. As the leader of the choir and one of the tallest boys on the island, Jack's physical features and authority matched his arrogant personality. His desire to be chief was clearly evident in his first gathering of the boys on the island. When the idea of having a chief was mentioned Jack spoke out immediately. "I ought to be chief," said Jack with simple arrogance, "because I'm chapter chorister and head boy"Golding 22. He led his choir by administering much discipline resulting in forced obedience from the boys. His ill nature was well expressed through his impoliteness saying, "Shut up, Fatty"Golding 22 to Piggy. However, despite his unpleasant personality, his lack of courage and his conscience prevented him from killing the first pig they encountered: "They knew very well why he hadn't: because of the enormity of the knife descending and cutting into living flesh, because of the unbearable blood"Golding 31. Even at the meetings, Jack was able to contain himself under the leadership of Ralph. He had even suggested the implementation of rules to regulate themselves. This was the Jack who was proud to be British, and who was shaped and still bound by the laws of a civilized society. But the freedom offered to Jack on by the island allowed him to express the darker sides of his personality that was repressed by the ideals of his past environment. Without adults as a superior and responsible authority, Jack began to lose his fear of being punished for improper actions and behavior. This freedom along with his malicious and arrogant personality made it possible for him to quickly degenerate into a savage. He put paint on his face to camouflage himself from the pigs. But he also discovered that the paint allowed him to hide the forbidden thoughts in his mind that his facial expressions would otherwise show: "The mask was a thing on its own behind which Jack hid, liberated from shame and self-consciousness"Golding 64. Through hunting, Jack lost his fear of blood and of killing living animals. He reached a point where he actually enjoyed the sensation of hunting an animal that was afraid of his spear and knife. His hunting of the pigs brought out his natural desire for blood and violence. As Ralph became lost in his own confusion, Jack began to assert himself as chief. The boys realized that Jack was a stronger and more self-assured leader and gave in easily to the freedom of Jack's savagery. Placed in a position of power and with his followers sharing his crazed hunger for violence, Jack gained encouragement to commit the vile acts of thievery and murder. The freedom from the conditions of a regulated society, Jack gradually became more violent and the rules and proper behavior, which he was brought up on, were forgotten. The freedom that was given to him unveiled his true self under the clothing worn by civilized people to hide his darker characteristics. Ralph was introduced as a fair and likeable boy whose self-assured manner made him feel secure even on the island without any adults. His interaction with Piggy demonstrated his pleasant nature as he did not call Piggy names with hateful intent as Jack had. His good physique allowed him to be well accepted among his peers, and this gave him enough confidence to speck out readily in the boys meetings. His handsome features and the conch were a symbol of power and order that made him stand out from the crowd of boys and led him to being the proclaimed chief: "There was a stillness about Ralph as he sat that marked him out: there was his size, and attractive appearance; and most obscurely, yet most powerful, there was the conch"Golding 22. From the quick decision he made as chief near the beginning of the book, it could be seen that Ralph was an well-organized person. But even so Ralph began repeatedly to long for and daydream of his civilized past. Gradually, Ralph became confused and began to lose clarity in his thoughts and speeches. He started to feel the lost in the boy's new environment as the boys did to, with the exception of Piggy. But the boys began to change and adapt to their freedom. Ralph did not lose his sense of responsibility, his viewpoints, and priorities, but they began to differ from those of the savages. He was more influenced by Piggy then by Jack, who in a way could be viewed as the source of evil on the island. Even though the significance of the fire as a rescue signal was slowly dismissed, Ralph continued to stress the importance of the fire at the mountaintop. He also tried to reestablish the organization that had helped to keep the island clean and free of potential fire hazards. This difference made most of the boys less convinced of the integrity of Ralph. As his supports became fewer and Jack's insistence of being chief grew, his strength as a leader diminished. Even though Ralph had retained much of his civilized personality, he too was not spared of the evil released by the freedom of the rules and adults. During the play fight after their unsuccessful hunt for the pig, Ralph for the first time had an opportunity to join the hunters and share their desire for violence. Without rules to limit them, they were free to make their games as real as they wanted. Ralph did not understand the hatred Jack had for him, nor did he fully comprehend why their small and simple society deteriorated. This confusion removed his self-confidence and made him more dependent on Piggy's judgement, until Piggy began prompting him on what needed to be said and done. Towards the end of the book, Ralph was forced into becoming independence when he lost all his followers to Jack's savagery, and when the boulder pushed down the hill by Roger smashed Piggy and the conch. Ralph was forced to determine how to avoid Jack's savage hunters alone. His more responsible behavior set him apart from the other savage boys and made it more difficult for him to realize and accept the changes they underwent. The book Lord of the Flies by William Golding used changes experienced by boys on an uninhabited tropical island to show the evil nature of man. By using different characters the author was able to portray various types of people found in our society. Their true selves were revealed in the freedom from the laws and punishment of a world with adults. Under the power and regulations of their former society, Jack's inner evil was suppressed. But when the rules no longer existed, he was free to do what he desired. Ralph had grown so used to the regularity of a civilized world, the changes they underwent were difficult for him to comprehend and accept. He became confused and less capable of thinking clearly and independently. Although Ralph had also experienced the urge for violence that had driven Jack and the hunters to momentary peaks of madness, his more sensitive personality and his sense of obligation saved him from complete savagery. These two traits also helped to keep Piggy from becoming primitive in behavior. Piggy was made an outcast by his undesirable physique and his superior intelligence. The isolation and wisdom also helped him to retain his civilized behavior. As well, he was made painfully more aware of the great amount of injustice in the world. From these three characters, it could be seen that under the same circumstances, different individuals would develop in different ways depending on the factors within themselves and how they interacted with each other. Their personalities and what they knew determined how they would interpret and adapt to the new environment such as the isolated tropical island. Not every boy had so much evil hidden inside himself to make him become a complete savage when released from the boundaries of his society. Some people will remember and abide by the rules they had depended on for social organization and security because of the ways they were raised.   

William Golding the author of the book Lord of the Flies used a group of boys on an isolated tropical island to illustrate problems in the nature of mankind. The group of British school boys that become stranded on the island had to deal with changes that all the boys...

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