Works of Thomas Hardy discussion

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Short Stories > LLI #1 The Son's Veto

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message 1: by Brian (last edited Sep 12, 2019 01:37PM) (new)

Brian Reynolds | 92 comments I recently finished a Zola novel that ended happier than I anticipated for a realism novel, and I thought, "I guess a happy ending can be realism, but not in a Hardy." Leave it to Hardy to leave one feeling melancholy after a story. He does with this one.

This story is not truly tragic in the Jude or Tess sense, but it clearly evokes a sadness that happiness is obstructed by immaterial factors; in this case a mother's devotion to her son's misplaced class pride. With stories like this one, Hardy tries to make society aware that such societal restrictions limit happiness without any strengthening of society. Hardy wants to be an element of societal change, not just a fatalist storyteller.

I did enjoy the story but do want to slap the son.


message 2: by Brian (last edited Sep 18, 2019 06:19AM) (new)

Brian Reynolds | 92 comments Emlymom wrote: ". Do you think he had any influence on the movers and shakers?"

I don't think he thought he had influence which probably added to his decision to turn from novels to poetry. I got the impression that writing poetry is what pleased himself the most.


message 3: by Pankies (new)

Pankies (mrspankhurst) | 19 comments We commented when we read Tess that Hardy seemed to have feminist opinions way ahead of his time and this is another example of it.
Randolph seemed to have no care for the utter emptiness of his mother's life - imagine all those years of nothing happening, no company and no prospect of any changes.
With his lack of empathy for his mother and the glimpse of him as a young priest at the end of the story, Hardy is also commenting on the hypocrisy of the Church.


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