For whom do you feel more sympathy: Rhoda Brook, Farmer Lodge or Gertrude?
In this essay I will analyse each of the three main character's circumstances, how they deal with these circumstances, how the character is hurt by the others, coincidences which affect the storyline and whether the character was responsible or deserved their ending. To conclude I will write a summary to reveal whom I believe deserves sympathy.
Rhoda has had a difficult life bringing up her twelve year old son alone and being an outcast in the village, a thin, fading woman of thirty milked somewhat apart from the rest.' Page 25. This shows that she is not included with the gossip and does not even attempt to milk near to the other workers. thin, fading' suggests that she is hardly noticeable. Her living conditions were poor and Rhoda and her son lived in poverty, built of mud-walls, the surface of which had been washed by many rains' Page 27. mud-walls' indicates that's they have trouble keeping themselves. This is followed by into channels and depressions' Page 27, picking out the word depressions' gives a sense of unhappiness in the state of the house. The house itself also didn't seem too stable as the book quotes while here and there in the thatch above, the rafter showed like a bone protruding through the skin.' Page 27 In this sentence the simile like a bone protruding through the skin.' Sets uneasiness for the reader which Hardy frequently does in his titles of tragedy.
Although Rhoda did live a life of suffering, she and her son remain strong throughout most of the story, convincing the other villagers that they were doing fine. I told her I lived with my mother, and we had enough to keep ourselves, and that was how it was;' Page 33 This was said by Rhoda's son and it sounds as if this phrase has been said to him many times if he would at all moan about their lack of wealth. Later on in the story Rhoda becomes unable to cope with the village rumours...