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The Withered Arm by Thomas Hardy and Odour of Chrysanthemums by DH Lawrence

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A Comparison between the Withered Arm by Thomas Hardy and Odour of
Chrysanthemums by DH Lawrence

Thomas Hardy was born in 1840 in Higher Bockhampton in Rural Wessex;
he died in 1928. David Herbert Lawrence was born in 1885 in Eastwood
near Industrial Nottingham, he died in 1930. Both Hardy and Lawrence
wrote Novels, Short Stories and Poems frequently about lonely
individuals, especially women. Lawrence’s work illustrates what he
was like as a person, deep-minded and genuine with extraordinary views
to life. Hardy’s work is often about troubled relationships between
men and women which is also what a lot of Lawrence’s work is based
around.

Both writers fell in love during their lives, Hardy married Emma
Lovinia Gifford who unfortunately died suddenly in 1912, although
Hardy married again in 1914 to Florence Dugdale, Gifford was the love
of his life and he had his heart buried in her grave when he died.
Lawrence fell in love with a woman named Jessie Chambers, he did not
marry her though probably because of the dominating influence that his
mother had over him. He eventually did marry, his wife was a German
lady named Frieda von Richthofen.

Another similarity is that both Hardy and Lawrence’s work was heavily
criticised. Critics said that Hardy’s work was “pessimistic” with an
“earthy realism” and “abstract philophizing”. This resulted in Hardy
to concentrate on writing poems instead of novels. In Lawrence’s
case, he was criticised for including a lot of graphic sex in his work
and 1000 copies of one piece called “The Rainbow” was burnt in front
of the magistrate. Soon after this he left England and became a
wanderer for the rest of his life. Hardy came from a more stable
background than Lawrence wi...


... middle of paper ...


...ader does not know whether Gertrude
knows the truth or not because of Hardy’s narrative technique which
forces the reader into Rhoda Brook’s shoes and limits the reader to
only the same information that Rhoda has. Hardy focuses the reader’s
attention in order to control the responses which I found remarkable.
Hardy’s main weakness was that it was hard for the reader to relate to
his characters as they did not seem real obviously because of the
super natural element to his story. But I found this to be one of
Lawrence’s strengths as his characters a lot more realistic as he used
such descriptive language which makes the reader able to picture the
setting and the characters distinctively. I thought that Lawrence’s
weakness was that the plot was not very gripping, especially when
compared to Hardy, and the story started to drag out because of the
slow pace.


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