The Ruined Maid by Thomas Hardy

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Today’s society has changed monumentally within these last centuries. The differences in the way people dress, what people do for work and how nonchalant people are about their way of life. “The Ruined Maid” by Thomas Hardy is a great example of how things used to be in the eighteenth century; it shows how quickly things can change through two friends that happen to bump into each other. They start talking about their lives from when they were together and how things have changed. It is interesting because this woman mentions all the things that have changed with her friend. She is now more beautiful, but she is still considered “ruined.” WN Herbert calls it “a very jagged irony” (Ruined).
“The Ruined Maid” starts off with a fellow greeting between two friends. ““O 'Melia, my dear, this does everything crown! / Who could have supposed I should meet you in Town? / And whence such fair garments, such prosperi-ty?” — / “O didn't you know I'd been ruined?” said she” (Hardy). It was such a surprise and quite the coincidence that they had ran into each other. The friend starts to observe her “fair garments” (Hardy). I possess the tone as she does not like what she sees, as if she is giving off a disgusted vibe. Clare Pollard from BBC Arrows of Desire says, “To be called ruined at that time would be to suggest that morally you were sort of beyond the pale, that you were an outcast of society…she can only see the positives of her situation” (Hardy). To some extent I think we agree with each other. Pollard mentions that she, as in Amelia, can only see the positives of her situation. Amelia’s situation is that she is “ruined” (Hardy) and she can only see the positives while her friend gives off an un-pleasurable attitude. Pollard does not ...

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... If she wants to take a walk on the wild side, let her. Society changes in every moment that passes, whether we see it or not. This one woman that wants to be “ruined” (Hardy) is one change but eventually it becomes much more. That is the underlying analysis of this piece of writing.

Works Cited

11692, Michelle. "The Ruined Maid Analysis." The Word Press. Newtonian19, 26 Sept. 2012. Web. 09 Nov. 2013.
2.1. The Ruined Maid. Perf. WN Herbert, John Kinsella, and Clare Pollard. YouTube. BBC Arrows of Desire, 15 July 2010. Web. 07 Nov. 2013.
"The Ruined Maid Interview." Personal interview. 8 Nov. 2013.
Guz, Savannah S. "Understanding Thomas Hardy's The Ruined Maid." Suite 101, 4 Nov. 2013. Web. 07 Nov. 2013.
Hardy, Thomas. “The Ruined Maid” Literature and the Writing Process. 9th ed. Eds. Elizabeth McMahan et al. Boston: Longman, 2011. 467 - 468. Print.
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