"Before doing so she looked around in the wary manner of a poacher. It was not the first time that she had broken fence in her life; but somehow, and all of a sudden, she had felt herself too near womanhood to indulge in such practices with freedom. However, she moved forward..."
"The phrase 'felt herself too near womanhood' gives us an early indication of the sort of sexual imagery which got dear Hardy into so much trouble and which eventually made him give up novel writing:(. His descriptions of women invariably have a sexual connotation and although they are ostensibly innocent he gives us to understand that their innocence can be lost at any time. Hardy was a womaniser and I think his deep love of women shows through in his descriptions of women and the problems they encountered living in Victorian society."
"The inclusion of the beech and the ash here shows Hardy using the symbolism of trees as Margery approaches the house - the beech is known as the 'tree of wishes' and the ash represents sacrifice/surrender. In his descriptions of nature, Hardy regularly uses the symbolism of flowers and trees well known to Victorians."
"Having imprudently advanced thus far, Margery's wish was to get back again in the same unseen manner; but in moving her foot for the purpose it grated on the gravel. He started up with an air of bewilderment, and slipped something into the pocket of his dressing gown. She was almost certain it was a pistol. The pair stood looking blankly at each other."
"'My guardian child--my good friend--you have saved me!''What from?' she ventured to ask.'That you may never know.'She thought of the weapon, and guessed that the letter he had just received had effected this change in his mood, but made no observation till he went on to say, 'What did you tell me was your name, dear girl?'"
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