Works of Thomas Hardy discussion

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Short Stories > LLI #3 A Tragedy of Two Ambitions

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message 1: by Brian (last edited Sep 19, 2019 10:46AM) (new)

Brian Reynolds | 92 comments I enjoyed this story, though not quite as much as the first two. I had the feeling that if this were a novel or novella, that the father's death might come back to haunt the brothers. However, being a short story, the resolution is to the sibling's advantage, and though not truly tragic, there will be clouds over the boys forever. What form the clouds take It is left to the reader's imagination. That is not a bad thing.
I found it interesting that Hardy labelled this story a tragedy when he has far more tragic stories. A character's death does not automatically make a story more tragic.


message 2: by Pankies (new)

Pankies (mrspankhurst) | 19 comments Was the tragedy here the (slightly) untimely death of an obnoxious, wastrel unloving father or the guilt that the sons were left with. Or was it the realisation of what they had strived so hard for didn't actually mean much to them and wasn't worth having.
I enjoyed this tale - a good example of Hardy characterisation, but (a little tritely I know), I would say the moral of this one could be "Be careful what you wish for".
Another dig at The Church and class barriers.
The relevance of "bad blood" and having embarrassing forbears is (fortunately) such a dated concept nowadays.
I especially liked the comedic gipsy wife character.


message 3: by Brian (new)

Brian Reynolds | 92 comments Panks, you're right that the tragedy is the guilt the sons have forever for not taking acts to prevent his death. I thought there was good characterization too.
You are also right that embarrassing forbears is a more dated concept in these times. Embarrassing progeny, though, that's a different story.


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