A Comparison Between The Literary Styles Of — страница 2

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the cause of the skin complaint. This shows Rhoda´s former loneliness as she only just met Gertrude and previously hated her, but Gertrude instantaneously became her best friend. Gertrude´s loneliness is shown when her relationship with Mr Lodge deteriorates and also when Rhoda leaves the village. At this stage in the story, Gertrude cannot talk to her only friend, Rhoda, and she is detached from her husband due to her withered arm. Gertrude feels isolated and I think this is a situation that Hardy sympathises with. Hardy may also have views about rejection. This is shown where Gertrude sees Rhoda and Mr Lodge´s son walking along the road and asks Mr Lodge who he is. Mr Lodge just says the boy is “one of the neighbourhood,” and goes onto say that he thinks the boy “lives

with his mother a mile or two off”. He does not even communicate with the boy and does not feel the need to tell Gertrude that he is his son. Another similarity is that when mysterious events take place, none of the characters from either of the stories believe in coincidences. In ‘The Signalman´ the narrator says, “men of common sense did not allow much for coincidences”. The narrator of ‘The Withered Arm´ says Rhoda “did not reason on the freaks of coincidence.” This may have been due to the nature of the people of the time the stories were written or just the opinions of Dickens and Hardy. Previously, similarities between the two writers were discussed, but there are also many differences between them. ‘The Withered Arm´ is much longer than ‘The

Signalman´ and the two stories are structured very differently. Dickens´ writing flows throughout the story, whereas Hardy chooses to use headed chapters. The difference in structures may be connected to the time spans involved in the stories. In ‘The Withered Arm´ it is clear that the plot is spread out through a number of years and often inbetween chapters a large amount of time has passed. This is shown at the beginning of chapter 6 as it reads, “Half a dozen years passed away…”. This allows Hardy to create a more elaborate story line and use several characters. Whereas, ‘The Signalman´ ranges over a period of only three days. Dickens concentrates on the main characters and is more succinct in telling the story and putting his views across. As the plot concludes

quickly, when we read of the signalman´s death it is more shocking. The two authors also introduce the stories in different ways. Dickens opens the story with speech, the narrator shouts, “halloa! Below there!” This starts the story off quickly. Hardy introduces the story by setting the scene. This starts the story gently before introducing characters and using dialogue. Both Dickens and Hardy extensively describe settings and characters, but they use different methods. Dickens concentrates more on the description of characters´ body language and movement and the setting of the story. Whereas, Hardy better describes the appearance of the characters. Hardy uses more dialogue in ‘The Withered Arm´ than Dickens does in ‘The Signalman´ as Hardy´s story is much longer

than Dickens´. Dickens uses dialogue to develop the relationship of the two characters, convey the characters´ personalities and carry the plot forward. Hardy uses dialogue in these ways as well, but he also uses it to describe characters. For example, he uses a conversation between Rhoda and her son, where Rhoda wishes to know what Gertrude looks like and Rhoda´s son describes her. He says, “her hair is lightish, and her face as comely as a live doll´s”. This allows us to construct a mental picture of Gertrude. Dickens uses his narrative style to set the scene and describe the movement of characters. The narrator describes the railway cutting signal box as a “solitary and dismal place,” with “dripping wet walls of jagged stone,” and appeals to our senses by

saying that that the tunnel has “an earthy, deadly smell”. The narrator also observes the signalman attentively and describes his movement. The following quotes from ‘The Signalman´ show this well, “He was several times interrupted by the little bell, and had to read off messages and send replies,” he continues, “I observed him to be remarkably exact and vigilant, breaking off his disclosure at a syllable, and remaining silent until what he had to do was finished.” This allows us to imagine that we are in the room with the signalman, watching him as he works, noting every detail of his movement and actions. The narrative styles of the two authors are very important in their descriptions. Dickens uses a first person narrative style, while Hardy uses a third person