A Man Ahead of His Time
Thomas Hardy has been said to be one of the great English writers of the nineteenth century. Hardy wrote many novels, short stories and poems in his lifetime. However, he is probably best remembered for his novels and short stories. Throughout his many different writings, we see a unique style and a similar theme, one that paints a picture of pessimism and gloom over the human interactions, all who fall victim to a fate beyond their control.
Hardy’s first novel, The Poor Man and the Lady, was never published. This was extremely discouraging to Hardy and he destroyed the original manuscript. After being encouraged to try again by a good friend and mentor, he makes a second attempt and publishes, Desperate Remedies and Under the Greenwood Tree, anonymously. Over the next 20 years or so, Hardy wrote many more novels. He kept his stories close to home using the rural community in which he resided describing in great detail the landscape and architectural structure of the early nineteenth century England. “Hardy's novels are all set against the bleak and forbidding Dorset landscape (referred to as Wessex in the novels), whose physical harshness echoes that of an indifferent, if not malevolent, universe. The author's characters, which are for the most part of the poorer rural classes, are sympathetically and often humorously portrayed. Their lives are ruled not only by nature but also by rigid Victorian social conventions. Hardy's style is accordingly roughhewn, sometimes awkward, but always commanding and intense.” (Sauder)
Thomas Hardy uses twists and turns in every story to keep his readers interested. He desires to present a moral argument to the reader through the development of the characters, compelling the audience to put themselves in the shoes of the characters. “Everyone is a toy in the hands of fate. No matter how hard humans fight against the odds for happiness, fate is in control and often causes tragedy.” (Sauder) Hardy has...