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The Son's Veto

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The Son's Veto

Thomas Hardy was a novelist and a great poet. He was born into the
working class until he married into the upper class, forgetting about
his past because of the embarrassment it caused him. He was born in
1840 and died in 1928.

Sophy is an upper class woman with a lower class background who is
used to working class expectations and 'not up to the standard of the
upper class'. Sophy had worked as a maid in the house of the reverend
as a young girl and after his first wife died had stayed to look after
the reverend. After an accident which left her partially lame, the
reverend asked her to marry him. Her life would have been happier if
she had married Sam instead. She would not have been caught between
society's boundaries.

An example of his embarrassment about his background is shown when he
is alleged to have destroyed evidence of his past when working on his
autobiography about him. He was reluctant for his upper class
acquaintances to know about his poor past. Another example is the fact
that he did not invite his family to his wedding. He was embarrassed
about them and did not consider them good enough to mix with his new
family. This is reflected in 'The Son's Veto when Mr Twycott ensured
that the wedding was held in secret because it would destroy Mr
Twycott's reputation. In those days people from the two classes could
never mix.

Another example is that Sophy and Rev Twycott gave up their home in
Gaymead and went to live in a small 'dusty house' in London. 'They
were however away from everyone who had known her former position'.
This is an example of Rev Twycott wanting to get away from observation
and gossip. They were prepared to give up everything to avoid gossip
and hide ...

... middle of paper ...

...ship with Sam, thus denying her any happiness and so
contributed to her downfall.

The Son's Veto is written in the third person. Hardy however, intrudes
on the narration with his personal comments such as his comments on
Sophy's hairstyle and the amount of time and work she spent on it. She
had done it all herself, poor thing. She had no maid and it was the
only accomplishment she could boast of. Hardy evokes the readers
sympathy for Sophy by giving her a hard life who never gets what she
wants because of the restrictions of society.

Sophy had a number of weaknesses but I believe that the restrictions
of society played a great part in her downfall. If she had married a
working class person she would have had a far happier life. Generally,
it is far easier today for the two social classes to mix, people are
more tolerant about other people's origins.

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