A Comparison Between The Literary Styles Of — страница 3

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narrative style. Dickens´ style guides us through the plot as if we are there, closely spectating the events of the story. The following quote describes the cutting and demonstrates the effects of Dickens´ narrative style well, “it was made through a clammy stone that became oozier and wetter as I went down”. This allows us to feel as if we, ourselves, are descending down the “zigzag path”. Although this is very realistic, this style has constraints; the narrator is unable to know what the other characters are feeling, he can only give his thoughts and feelings. This also adds to the mysterious atmosphere. Hardy´s narrative style means that ‘The Withered Arm´ is possibly not as vivid as ‘The Signalman´, but the narrator is able to state what the characters are

thinking and feeling. Dickens and Hardy use characters and their relationships very differently. Dickens uses two main characters, the narrator and the signalman, and two very minor characters who were only created to conclude the story. The story is based on the signalman, but the narrator is very nearly as important as the signalman. The relationship between the signalman and the narrator develops very quickly due to the length of the story. At the beginning of the story, the signalman is weary of the narrator but quickly begins to trust him. Soon after this they become good friends and enjoy talking to each other, but their friendship ends abruptly as on the third day of their acquaintance the signalman was killed in an accident. Hardy also uses two main characters, Rhoda

Brook and Gertrude Lodge, but has many other minor characters who continue the plot. The opening scene of ‘The Withered Arm´ was set in a dairy where “a troop of milkers” talk about Mr Lodge´s new marriage. These characters are only used to set the scene and then introduce Rhoda. They are unimportant to the story as Hardy felt it was more important to name one of the cows than to mention the names of the milkers. Rhoda´s son is mainly used to describe Gertrude and to reunite Rhoda and Gertrude at the end of the story. Again, he is not very important as he is not given a name. Conjurer Trendle, the young man outside the jail and Davies the hangman are used to continue the plot. Mr Lodge is fairly important as he is the connection between Rhoda and Gertrude and he is

instrumental in Gertrude´s sadness and detachment. I also think that Hardy uses Mr Lodge to show his disgust at people like Mr Lodge. Mr Lodge ignores his son and his ex-wife, Rhoda. Rhoda works in his dairy as he remarries a younger, more beautiful wife. In ‘The Withered Arm´, Hardy changes the main character from Rhoda to Gertrude. Their relationship develops and changes quite slowly. At the beginning, Rhoda hates Gertrude, but as they see each other more often they become good friends. At the end, Rhoda hates Gertrude again. Dickens and Hardy use settings for a variety of reasons and in a variety of different ways. Dickens sets ‘The Signalman´ in one location, the railway cutting. He uses the setting to evoke our feelings and also calls the signal box a “dungeon”.

This makes us feel sorry for the lonely signalman as he has a poor standard of living. Hardy sets the story in a variety of settings as the plot follows Gertrude´s journey while she tries to cure her unattractive and useless arm. The settings reflect the feelings and situations of the characters. For instance, ‘The Withered Arm´ is set in a small village and large empty fields. These settings are isolated like some of the characters. Another difference between the two authors´ literary styles is Dickens´ use of brackets and rhetorical questions. Dickens puts some text in brackets to further explain the plot and his opinions. He also asks rhetorical questions. This involves us in the story as he effectively asks us to answer the questions in our own head and think about what

we have read. There are both similarities and differences between the literary styles of Dickens and Hardy, but overall there are more differences than similarities. The stories have similar themes and both authors use characters to convey their feelings about certain issues, especially loneliness and isolation. But, many differences between the two stories and the two authors emerge and can be clearly identified. Chiefly, Dickens and Hardy make use of characters, relationships, dialogue, settings, time spans and narrative styles in very different ways. They are different authors with similar morals and have their own unique styles and techniques.