The Withered Arm
In order to answer the question, Rhoda Brook and Gertrude Lodge suffer equally in The Withered Arm albeit in different ways. How far do you agree with this statement? I will first explain how Rhoda Brook suffers throughout the story and I will explain how Gertrude Lodge suffers throughout the story. In my conclusion I will discuss the evidence that i have and evaluate who suffered the worst or if they both suffered equally. “The Withered Arm” was written by a man called Thomas Hardy in 1888.
Rhoda Brook is a milkmaid and is the first character we meet in the story. At the start of the story Rhoda Brooks suffering starts to appear that she is poor, hardworking and who is trying to earn a living, “Shows marks of the lady on her, as I expect she do”. This quotation proves that she works hard for a very little income. Just enough to keep her son and her alive.
Rhoda Brook is lonely in the beginning and end of the tale. For a couple of reasons, firstly because she is outcast and that “My husband says it is as if some witch or the devil himself had taken hold of me there, and blasted the flesh” People think she is a witch because Rhoda Brook is a ‘fallen woman’ and is seen as lower class person than most people because she is bore an illegitimate son to Farmer Lodge. Secondly, Rhoda had become pregnant to farmer Lodge’s child. But soon after they split up because Farmer Lodge finds himself a new wife that he loves. The meaning of them splitting up means that she becomes lonely, “For some time, she could not be found”
This essay is aimed at discussing the differences between the two short stories, called The Withered Arm and Turned. These stories have similar plots and both deliver and contrast these in their very own clever ways. They are both based on the idea of triangular relationships, involving two women and a man. In the story Turned there is a couple named Mr and Mrs Marroner, and their employed young ...
Gertrude Lodge has married Farmer Lodge which has made Rhoda Brook seem very jealous because she wants to find out what Gertrude is like, what she looks like, what is her personality like, so therefore Rhoda Brook sends her eight year old son to find out. Her eight year old son wears rags and tatty old clothes and looks as if know one looks after him which is linked to Rhoda Brook not earning enough money to buy essential items of clothing for her son and herself “She is not tall. She is rather short, he replied” This suggests that Rhoda Brook’s son does not know who his dad is. During her son finding out what Gertrude Lodge is like, Gertrude’s Husband who was married to Rhoda Brook drove past in the car and had just blanked his own son.
Moving on in the tale, Rhoda Brook has a vision in her sleep and that the vision curses Gertrude. As she dreams about the vision she is vaguely killing herself because “Maddened mentally and nearly suffocated by pressure” this suggests that in her vision she is tormenting Gertrude. The next day, Gertrude and Rhoda Brook meet for the first time and it seems as if they are getting on well with each other, enjoying one another’s company. “I have seen and spoken to her, I talked to her yesterday” This predicts how she might suffer in the future.
In the middle of the tale and towards the end of the ‘The Withered Arm’, Rhoda Brook tries to help Gertrude’s Withered Arm by offering her a suggestion of going to get help by a “Clever Man over in Egdon Heath” who is Conjourer Trendle. This man is the only doctor or if you wish the best doctor they can find. ‘Conjourer Trendle’ Gertrude Lodge is aiming and hoping to cure her arm. “Perhaps you had better go to a doctor, ma’am’ she replied that she had already seen a doctor”. She is desperate that a specialist doctor can help cure her ‘Withered Arm’. She tries to help Gertrude because she feels that she has done a bad thing to hurt Gertrude, it’s as if she didn’t mean to do it. Also this comes into people thinking she is a witch.
Moreover, as Rhoda Brook has convinced Gertrude to go and see Conjourer Trendle, he tells them that Gertrude is forced to touch a hanged man’s body just after the dead man has died. “Uncovering the face of the corpse, took Gertrude’s hand and held it so that her arm lay across the dead man’s neck” It mentions that “upon a line the colour of an unripe blackberry, which surrounding it”, this suggests that she has a bruised arm.
... In the Withered arm the main Characters are, Rhoda Brook (Farmer Lodges ex partner), Farmer Lodge, Gertrude (Farmer Lodges new partner) and Farmer Lodges and Rhoda Brooks son. The first thing ... The Withered Arm there are four main characters, Rhoda Brook, Gertrude and Farmer Lodge and Rhoda and Farmer Lodges son. Out of the main four Gertrude and Rhoda are involved ...
In the end Gertrude Lodge died as a result of these experiences and Rhoda’s Brutal attack on Gertrude. “When he lifted her up she was unconscious”, this links in to Gertrude’s husband betraying her, “Her delicate vitality, sapped perhaps by the paralysed arm, collapsed under the double shock that followed the severe strain” Rhoda Brook has made Gertrude Lodge unconscious at the feet of her husband. It’s as if Gertrude is confounded in Rhoda. Rhoda Brook has just seen her son wrongly hanged for arson and she is not in a good frame of mind, and she is feeling a bit scarcely.
At the end of the story, Farmer Lodge has died and has reason to believe that Rhoda Brook has been left with a small annuity payment which Rhoda Brook can keep for life, and it was then found that he bequeathed the whole lot of his inconsiderable property to a reformatory for boys subject to the payment of a small annuity.
Gertrude is married to Farmer Lodge, who is the second character we meet in this tale. Gertrude comes into the story after Rhoda Brook. The first suffering she has is that she finds out she has a Withered Arm, this event occurred because of a dream Rhoda Brook had. “Rhoda in a last desperate effort, swing out her right hand, seized the confronting spectre of its obtrusive left arm and whirled it backward to the floor, starting up herself as she did with a low cry” Rhoda and Gertrude thought there was something seriously wrong about her arm, because “Her general health being usually good” Rhoda Brook has cursed Gertrude from her “Dream” this would come in to think Rhoda is a witch.
Furthermore, the chapter a ‘suggestion’ Gertrude Lodge and Rhoda Brook strive to cure her arm because they feel it is life threatening and if they don’t do something about it, Gertrude could lose her arm, or even worse, die as a result of it. They ask the best doctor in the village ‘Conjourer Trendle’ to help them; he suggests that you “Lay your arm across the dead man’s neck”