Rural Life and Love-a study of two short stories by Thomas Hardy

Essay by domus March 2004

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Both the Withered Arm and the Melancholy Hussar of the German Legion are both set in small villages in rural England. Village life in England was then and still is a lot different than city life in cities you don't really know many people and you aren't as isolated as in villages where everyone knows everyone and every bodies business you know what someone has done or is going to do before their closet friends or family even know what is happening in villages, Although they are isolated the environment is a lot better than in towns or cities there is a lot less hassle and its more comfortable and quiet than them.

In the villages in pre 1914 it was a lot different than now there was a lot of believe in witchcraft and superstition as in the Wessex tales also the difference in classes was a lot more significant than nowadays back then the people with all the money would practically own the whole village and could destroy someone's life if they didn't like them in a number of different ways.

Life was also a lot harder than now today most people live quite comfortable lives whereas back then the rich lived fantastic lives and were treated like kings and the poor were treated as if they didn't even exist. Hardy represents this well in his stories the Withered arm and the Melancholy Hussar of the German Legion, one shows a poor family who have to struggle to survive and the other shows a family who have a nice comfortable live with no worries about where there next meal is coming from.

Hardy depicts village life well in his stories and the characters and speech he uses brings to life the village atmosphere with the help from...