Two poems from this section have never come up before that is:
The Ruined Maid
Les Grands Seigneurs
The poems both use fantastical and dramatic images - of sword swallowing in Give and knights and castles in Les Grands Seigneurs.
Each has an ironic tone, and features some black humour.
Give is much more challenging to the reader and less accepting of the status quo.
Both poems directly address the reader, speaking in the first person, although only Give uses the second person "you".
There is a challenge to society's stereotypical perceptions in both poems.
Both poems use repeated sentence structures - do they create the same effect?
The Ruined Maid-
The role of women in society: Is this the only way a lowly maid could achieve independence in Victorian Britain? Is the farm worker right to admire 'Melia? Is 'Melia a victim or in control of her own destiny?
Money isn't everything: The farm worker admires 'Melia's new found wealth (which is probably not much anyway, just more than it used to be) but 'Melia herself knows that money isn’t everything. The price she has had to pay outweighs the material wealth.
Morals: The poem throws up a lot of questions about 'right' and 'wrong'. Hardy used to condemn those men who would publicly criticise prostitutes whilst being their customers in private.
Humour is used in both poems (black humour in both cases).
Both poems clearly display a personal voice (the former is a dramatic monologue, the latter a dramatic dialogue though).
The theme of women being used and abused for an individual's personal pleasure is in both poems.
Don't judge something on first appearance... there might be much more to the individual or situation than meets the eye.
The Hunchback in the Park
Life can be very cruel sometimes: both central characters seem to end up in their situation out of necessity (though one could argue 'Melia had more of a choice).
Don't judge people simply by what they look like: the "hunchback" might very well be a nice, friendly man but isn't even given the chance simply because of his disability; 'Melia's former colleague is incredibly impressed by her appearance but doesn't understand the cost behind it.
Society has a responsibility to look after people: 'Melia seems a very sparky, intelligent character who has been driven into prostitution because her prospects were so bleak; the "hunchback" obviously should be taken care of rather than having to exist in such an awful, lonely manner.
(I don't know what the themes could be for Give, but I hope this helps)
Btw I am also sitting this paper tomorrow, GOOD LUCK EVERYONE
English Literature GCSE 2016 - Character and Voice Watch
- Thread Starter
- 26-05-2016 23:26