The Ruined Maid by Thomas Hardy and Cousin Kate by Christina Rosetti Essay

The Ruined Maid by Thomas Hardy and Cousin Kate by Christina Rosetti Essay

Length: 816 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Ruined Maid by Thomas Hardy and Cousin Kate by Christina Rosetti


The poems that I studied are 'The Ruined Maid' by Thomas Hardy and
'Cousin Kate' by Christina Rosetti. 'The Ruined Maid' was published in
1901, and 'Cousin Kate' in 1879. These poems were both written in
Victorian times, and they both reflect the attitudes towards women at
the time. At the beginning of the Victorian period women's powers were
extremely limited; they could not control their own money and were
very much under the control of men. Among the few respectable jobs
available to women were teaching and taking in embroidery, but these
were poorly paid. The attitude towards women at this time was
extremely patronizing. Women had not yet been given suffrage: As they
could not vote, they had little power and little choice. In the light
of these attitudes the poems will be analysed to show how they reflect
the Victorian women of the time.

The poem 'The Ruined Maid' is about a woman who used to be a country
maiden, who was 'tired of digging potatoes and spudding up docks', so
has become a prostitute. This poem satirizes the Victorian view of
prostitutes as doomed and ruined women, and suggests that they may in
fact be happy and refined. 'Melia, 'The Ruined Maid' in the poem, has
met an old friend 'in town' and now that she has become ruined she
seems to be far better off than she was before. 'Melia left her home
'in tatters, without shoes or socks' and now she has 'gay bracelets
and bright feathers'. Since her ruin 'Melia has also improved her
language. "At home in the barton you said 'thee' and 'thou' and 'thik
oon' and 'theäs oon' and 't'other'; but now your ...


... middle of paper ...


... in society. This tone is conveyed by the use of
positive language such as, my 'dear', wearing 'fair garments', such
'prosperity', she has 'gay bracelets' and 'a delicate cheek' and is
'pretty lively' now that she is ruined. In 'Cousin Kate', Kate has all
of the material things that 'The Ruined Maid' wants, but in 'The
Ruined Maid', 'Melia has all of the material things that the country
maiden wants.

The poem that best represents the women of the time is 'Cousin Kate'
which, coincidentally, is written by a woman. Although Thomas Hardy is
more understanding and respectful towards women in his novels, this
poem, 'The Ruined Maid', displays a totally different attitude towards
Victorian women.

Of the two poems I prefer 'Cousin Kate' because it is a more typical
and realistic portrayal of the life of a ruined maid.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Life and Work of Thomas Hardy Essay

- Out of so many authors, writers, and poets, Thomas Hardy was far the most sincere and the most famous writer that made an impact in English literature during the Victorian times. He accomplished many things and wrote a lot of books, poems, and novels. Most of his stories were not really similar to the plot of his life, but his writing career lasted about fifty years long maybe more. At first publishers rejected some of his very first novels and poetry, but even though this occurred he kept doing what he did best and that was to write....   [tags: Thomas Hardy, authors,]

Better Essays
772 words (2.2 pages)

Essay about Thomas Hardy 's Poems Of Separation

- As in all art, each masterpiece has a distinct mark from their specific artist. The literary arts are no exception, with each author leaving a prominent rhythm, style and language. Thomas Hardy is known for his poems of separation. Thomas found love when he was 30 years old, but his relationship went sour when his marriage to Emma Gifford became estranged. Emma later died leaving her husband an outcast. It was not until 1914 when Thomas Hardy married his second wife, Florence, that he understood how much he missed his first wife....   [tags: Poetry, Thomas Hardy, Marriage, Rhyme scheme]

Better Essays
1187 words (3.4 pages)

Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy Essay

- Far From the Madding Crowd is considered the first great novel of Thomas Hardy. Margaret Drabble, editor and novelist, cites the novel as "the first of Thomas Hardy's great novels, and the first to sound the tragic note for which his fiction is best remembered" (Hardy xiii). Hardy was born in 1840 and began life as an architect. He wrote his first novel, The Poor Man and the Lady, in 1867. It was not received well. Four years later he wrote three more novels, two anonymously and one bearing his name; they were received slightly better then the first....   [tags: Thomas Hardy]

Free Essays
1128 words (3.2 pages)

Thomas Hardy's Tess Of The Durbervilles Essay

- Thomas Hardy's Tess Of The Durbervilles In this essay I will contrast and explain the description of Flintcomb Ash and Tolbothays Dairy. These two places are very important, because each place shows an important time in Tess' life. Hardy uses Tolbothays Dairy to represent the love and happiness she found and the chance for a new beginning after what happened with Alec. Alec raped her, he saw her as an object of desire. He took away her innocence. This was replaced with the burden of a child that dies....   [tags: Thomas Hardy Tess Durbervilles Essays]

Better Essays
1778 words (5.1 pages)

Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy Essay

- One of Thomas Hardy’s greatest works: ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles‘ was first published in 1891, a novel set in the fictional county of Wessex, Britain. By the time of its appearance, Hardy was considered to be on of England’s leading writers and had already published several well known novels including ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ and ‘The Woodlanders’ as well as numerous other short stories. However in spite of his reputation and fame, Hardy had immense difficulty finding a publication prepared to publish Tess when he offered it for serialization to London reviewers....   [tags: Thomas Hardy Tess Urbervilles Essays]

Free Essays
4992 words (14.3 pages)

Analysis of Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy Essay

- Analysis of Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy The depth of artistic unity found in Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles pervades every chapter of the novel. No one chapter is less important than another because each is essential in order to tell the tragic tale of Tess Durbeyfield. There is never an instance in Hardy's prose that suggests frill or excess. Themes of the Industrial Revolution in England, the status of women during Victorian England, Christianity vs. Paganism, matters of nobility, and the role that fatalism plays in life weave together with various symbols to create an amazing flow to his novel....   [tags: Thomas Hardy Tess of the D'Urbervilles Essays]

Better Essays
3699 words (10.6 pages)

Michael Henchard in The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy Essay

- Michael Henchard in The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy Michael Henchard is a character with traits that have both a positive and negative traits effect on his life. I believe the characteristics that allowed Henchard to rise to social respectability and fall into destitution where the same. "Character is fate"(Plato) For example Henchard stubbornness and pride allowed him to keep his 21-year vow not to drink. This shows his stubbornness brought an aspect forbearance....   [tags: The Mayor of Casterbridge Thomas Hardy]

Better Essays
603 words (1.7 pages)

The Downfall of Tess in Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles Essay

- The Downfall of Tess in Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles Tess of the D'Urbervilles is considered to be a tragedy due to the catastrophic downfall of the protaganist Tess. From the early days in her life, her father John had begun to destroy her, which then led to Alex D'Urbervill and eventually finished with Angel Clare. Each dominant male figure in her life cocntributed to her tragic downfall which the reader encounters at the end of the novel. It is unfortunate how one woman can be ruined by the three most important and dominant people in her life....   [tags: Thomas Hardy Tess of the D'Urbervilles]

Better Essays
784 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on The Use of Nature in Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles

- The Use of Nature in Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles In this essay I have explored Hardy's skill in creating mood through the use of nature in his novel 'Tess of the D'Urbervilles'. I start with an introduction to Thomas Hardy, the writer, and a brief discussion his life and his motivation for writing the Wessex novels. The three locations I have chosen to examine in this novel are Marlott, Talbothays and Flintcomb-Ash as I think these environments play an important part in the life of Tess, particularly as in regard to the changes that she undergoes....   [tags: Tess D'Urbervilles Thomas Hardy Essays]

Better Essays
5177 words (14.8 pages)

Thomas Hardy’s poem “Hap" Essay

- Thomas Hardy’s poem “Hap" Poetry is ultimately defined as a major literary genre. How boring that is for such a beautiful literary form. I believe that poetry is a genre devoted to art, complexity, and precision. All in which the poet does more than just writing; he or she takes that which is indescribable and finds words for it through poetry. Granted, this leaves poetry vastly open to interpretation. After all, each and every poet expresses him or herself in a different way; with different meter, rhyme, mood, and meaning....   [tags: Thomas Hardy Hap Poetry Poem Analysis Essays]

Better Essays
2212 words (6.3 pages)