Neutral Tones - Thomas Hardy AQA AS A English Lit

Watch
coolblergh
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 10 years ago
#1
Neutral Tones

WE stood by a pond that winter day,
And the sun was white, as though chidden of God,
And a few leaves lay on the starving sod,
--They had fallen from an ash, and were gray.

Your eyes on me were as eyes that rove
Over tedious riddles solved years ago;
And some words played between us to and fro--
On which lost the more by our love.

The smile on your mouth was the deadest thing
Alive enough to have strength to die;
And a grin of bitterness swept thereby
Like an ominous bird a-wing....

Since then, keen lessons that love deceives,
And wrings with wrong, have shaped to me
Your face, and the God-curst sun, and a tree,
And a pond edged with grayish leaves.


Hi can anyone contribute towards my analysation of this poem please? My exam is next week wednesday! :O
0
reply
billet-doux
Badges: 2
#2
Report 10 years ago
#2
Well, what do you have so far?
0
reply
coolblergh
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 10 years ago
#3
ermm the poem talks about two lovers next to a pond? HAHA

I think it is talking about breakup, and that the persona has learnt through "lessons" of love that love ends in breakup always.
0
reply
StrawberryFlip
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#4
Report 10 years ago
#4
Try looking at language techniques that Hardy uses to get you the maximum amount of analysis marks. Things like the use of pathetic fallacy - the poem takes place on a 'winter day', and uses drab, dull colours like white and grey to illustrate the sombre mood. Similie and metaphor are used effectively in stanza 3 -

The smile on your mouth was the deadest thing
Alive enough to have strength to die;
And a grin of bitterness swept thereby
Like an ominous bird a-wing....

Descriptions of the characters facial expressions as 'dead', 'bitter' , and compared to 'an ominous bird a-wing' create a poignant juxtaposition of the implied love the couple once had with the indifference indicated by the title 'Neutral Tones'.

You're absolutely right in that the author/speaker (note the use of 1st person that gives the poem a narrative, personal feel) appears to be recounting the lesson he has learned, namely that love is fleeting and inevitably ends in negative feeling, whether pain, anger, sorrow, or anything else.

Have you considered the context of the time of composition? The poem was written after the death of Hardy's beloved first wife, Emma, and therefore reflects his much changed attitude towards love and women. (Neutral Tones makes a nice comparison to any of the 'emma' poems, particularly 'Beeny Cliff' if you want a contrasting poem, or 'Shut Out That Moon' if you want one to compare with it.)

Overall the poem makes use of physical details such as setting to highlight emotion, culminating in a fictional event that becomes a personal motif of the dangers of love. Hope this helps! Any questions then just ask here or PM me.
1
reply
coolblergh
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#5
Report Thread starter 10 years ago
#5
(Original post by StrawberryFlip)
Try looking at language techniques that Hardy uses to get you the maximum amount of analysis marks. Things like the use of pathetic fallacy - the poem takes place on a 'winter day', and uses drab, dull colours like white and grey to illustrate the sombre mood. Similie and metaphor are used effectively in stanza 3 -

The smile on your mouth was the deadest thing
Alive enough to have strength to die;
And a grin of bitterness swept thereby
Like an ominous bird a-wing....

Descriptions of the characters facial expressions as 'dead', 'bitter' , and compared to 'an ominous bird a-wing' create a poignant juxtaposition of the implied love the couple once had with the indifference indicated by the title 'Neutral Tones'.

You're absolutely right in that the author/speaker (note the use of 1st person that gives the poem a narrative, personal feel) appears to be recounting the lesson he has learned, namely that love is fleeting and inevitably ends in negative feeling, whether pain, anger, sorrow, or anything else.

Have you considered the context of the time of composition? The poem was written after the death of Hardy's beloved first wife, Emma, and therefore reflects his much changed attitude towards love and women. (Neutral Tones makes a nice comparison to any of the 'emma' poems, particularly 'Beeny Cliff' if you want a contrasting poem, or 'Shut Out That Moon' if you want one to compare with it.)

Overall the poem makes use of physical details such as settineg to highlight emotion, culminating in a fictional event that becomes a personal motif of the dangers of love. Hope this helps! Any questions then just ask her or PM me.
Thank you I appreciate this very much


The smile on your mouth was the deadest thing
Alive enough to have strength to die;


This is my favourite line from the poem. Ah! It's beautiful. The paradox, of being the "deadest thing alive" perfectly ties up Hardy's bitterness towards love in this poem. Gorgeous!


You wouldn't happen to know anything about the poem 'The Blinded Bird' would you?
0
reply
annie91
Badges: 0
#6
Report 10 years ago
#6
Does anyone know what we actually have to do to answer this question? or can anyone give me some advice on how to revise for this question?

I have no clue :confused:
0
reply
A-Man!
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#7
Report 10 years ago
#7
Yay I'm doing Hardy too. Here's my Netural Tones notes:
Neutral Tones – bad relationship represented via nature. It’s lost its life.
Oxymoronic smile language is used to catalyse the confusion and unimportance of the relationship.
Restraint and self-detachment evident here – Hardy does this to distance himself – no personal details. Poetry Link – ‘He Resolves to Say No More’, ‘I Look Into My Glass’. Gives a mature and self-protective side to his writing.
Etching meaning onto items gives a theme to relate to. Nature represents how love has lost its meaning – nature has lost its colour. Poetry Link – ‘At Castle Boterel’, ‘A Trampwoman’s Tragedy’, ‘Your Last Drive’.

If anyone wants any more poem notes then do ask.
Basically I'm revising by going through the main 40 poems of the text, and coming up with 5 things to say of each - inspired by piece_by_piece from the other gneral english topic
0
reply
annie91
Badges: 0
#8
Report 10 years ago
#8
(Original post by A-Man!)
If anyone wants any more poem notes then do ask.
Basically I'm revising by going through the main 40 poems of the text, and coming up with 5 things to say of each - inspired by piece_by_piece from the other gneral english topic
Heyy I need all the notes I can get is there any chance you could send me some please? have only started revising today and my exam is next Wednesday had been concentrating on the context question :eek:
How did you decide what the main 40 poems were?
0
reply
coolblergh
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#9
Report Thread starter 10 years ago
#9
(Original post by A-Man!)
Yay I'm doing Hardy too. Here's my Netural Tones notes:
Neutral Tones – bad relationship represented via nature. It’s lost its life.
Oxymoronic smile language is used to catalyse the confusion and unimportance of the relationship.
Restraint and self-detachment evident here – Hardy does this to distance himself – no personal details. Poetry Link – ‘He Resolves to Say No More’, ‘I Look Into My Glass’. Gives a mature and self-protective side to his writing.
Etching meaning onto items gives a theme to relate to. Nature represents how love has lost its meaning – nature has lost its colour. Poetry Link – ‘At Castle Boterel’, ‘A Trampwoman’s Tragedy’, ‘Your Last Drive’.
xt, and coming up with 5 things to say of each - inspired by piece_by_pie
If anyone wants any more poem notes then do ask.
Basically I'm revising by going through the main 40 poems of the tece from the other gneral english topic
Oh wow that would be really helpful!

Could I have some notes on 'The Blinded Bird', He Resolves to Say No More, A Trampwoman's Tragedy, I Look Into My Glass, Beeny Cliff, Your Last Drive, Drummer Hodge, Hap, The Darkling Thrush, He Found Her Out There and lassssssstly Old Furniture please?

I would be very grateful!
0
reply
A-Man!
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#10
Report 10 years ago
#10
I haven't got notes on 'The Blinded Bird', but basically it's saying how bad humanity is - evil etc. Strong ceasura placement at end affirms this - rhetorical questions also.

Right, I'll attach the word docs of what i have so far. I'll add others as I get through them. (All should be done by the end of tomorrow - leaving the weekend for the context question )

Poems of 1912-13 coming up soon.

Also guys, gotta remember that a lot of this is my own interpretation.
In return, tell me how you are revising for the victorian context question!! :P
0
reply
annie91
Badges: 0
#11
Report 10 years ago
#11
(Original post by A-Man!)


In return, tell me how you are revising for the victorian context question!! :P
thankyou so much that will really help me start off my revision,
As far as the context question goes I made a selection of the main concerns of the Victorian era, then made links between these concerns and the content in the texts I have studied. I then developed on that by writing a few points for each text on how the different writers convey their thoughts and feelings about such concerns through their specific text.
0
reply
A-Man!
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#12
Report 10 years ago
#12
(Original post by annie91)
thankyou so much that will really help me start off my revision,
As far as the context question goes I made a selection of the main concerns of the Victorian era, then made links between these concerns and the content in the texts I have studied. I then developed on that by writing a few points for each text on how the different writers convey their thoughts and feelings about such concerns through their specific text.
Thanks a lot. Sounds good and it looks like I'm on the right track.
Good luck in your revision, and please ask any questions etc in this thread - let this be our English Lit homebase!
How did your coursework go?
0
reply
coolblergh
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#13
Report Thread starter 10 years ago
#13
(Original post by A-Man!)
I haven't got notes on 'The Blinded Bird', but basically it's saying how bad humanity is - evil etc. Strong ceasura placement at end affirms this - rhetorical questions also.

Right, I'll attach the word docs of what i have so far. I'll add others as I get through them. (All should be done by the end of tomorrow - leaving the weekend for the context question )

Poems of 1912-13 coming up soon.

Also guys, gotta remember that a lot of this is my own interpretation.
In return, tell me how you are revising for the victorian context question!! :P
THANKKK YOU!

Well, in all honesty, I am using the website you kindly referred me to in a different thread. Sorry I can't be more help :/ If I do find something worth mentioning I will telll you
0
reply
Ducklighter
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#14
Report 10 years ago
#14
(Original post by A-Man!)
I haven't got notes on 'The Blinded Bird', but basically it's saying how bad humanity is - evil etc. Strong ceasura placement at end affirms this - rhetorical questions also.

Right, I'll attach the word docs of what i have so far. I'll add others as I get through them. (All should be done by the end of tomorrow - leaving the weekend for the context question )

Poems of 1912-13 coming up soon.

Also guys, gotta remember that a lot of this is my own interpretation.
In return, tell me how you are revising for the victorian context question!! :P
Taken these, thanks =)

For the Victorian context question I've got the book that I've borrowed from school AQA English LitA: Victorian Literature, and just going through it and verbally answering it.
0
reply
coolblergh
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#15
Report Thread starter 10 years ago
#15
(Original post by A-Man!)
I haven't got notes on 'The Blinded Bird', but basically it's saying how bad humanity is - evil etc. Strong ceasura placement at end affirms this - rhetorical questions also.

Right, I'll attach the word docs of what i have so far. I'll add others as I get through them. (All should be done by the end of tomorrow - leaving the weekend for the context question )

Poems of 1912-13 coming up soon.

Also guys, gotta remember that a lot of this is my own interpretation.
In return, tell me how you are revising for the victorian context question!! :P
I'll tell you what! I will do exactly the same as you, but with my own ideas, then I will post them in a word attachment as you have

Are those just your key points that you want to say?

This should be interesting, for possible alternate interpretations and all
0
reply
A-Man!
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#16
Report 10 years ago
#16
(Original post by coolblergh)
I'll tell you what! I will do exactly the same as you, but with my own ideas, then I will post them in a word attachment as you have

Are those just your key points that you want to say?

This should be interesting, for possible alternate interpretations and all
yeah sounds good!
a lot of it is own interpretation and yeah they're my key points. For some of the poetry im going to go deep (convergence, boterel, and during wind and rain which im doing seperately to the rest) but im going to answer the question quite widely in the exam.
And yes do that - it will be interesting! And lol about the site you're using! I told my class about that site and now they all love me :P
0
reply
annie91
Badges: 0
#17
Report 10 years ago
#17
(Original post by A-Man!)
Thanks a lot. Sounds good and it looks like I'm on the right track.
Good luck in your revision, and please ask any questions etc in this thread - let this be our English Lit homebase!
How did your coursework go?
Haha good idea
Coursework went well got 57/60 .
What did you get?
0
reply
A-Man!
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#18
Report 10 years ago
#18
(Original post by annie91)


Haha good idea
Coursework went well got 57/60 .
What did you get?
Wahey thats great! Havent got specific marks, but have been told I got a top A in the first piece and a mid-range A in the 2nd piece. Not bad at all considering our other teacher ran off half way through the course!!!
0
reply
annie91
Badges: 0
#19
Report 10 years ago
#19
(Original post by A-Man!)
Wahey thats great! Havent got specific marks, but have been told I got a top A in the first piece and a mid-range A in the 2nd piece. Not bad at all considering our other teacher ran off half way through the course!!!
Hahha oh dear! thats a brilliant grade
I'm really pleased with mine because I'm doing it distance learning so it's been a new experience, think I'm actually getting better grades doing it this way too
0
reply
annie91
Badges: 0
#20
Report 10 years ago
#20
(Original post by A-Man!)
I told my class about that site and now they all love me :P
which site is that?
haha I'm so worried about this exam, how did you decide which poems were the most important?
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Regarding Ofqual's most recent update, do you think you will be given a fair grade this summer?

Yes (112)
28.07%
No (287)
71.93%

Watched Threads

View All