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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