Men and Women
All Hardy’s novels are love stories, but from an early stage in his career he depicts love relationships as problematic and liable to be attended with pain, stress, and even madness and tragedy. In his second published novel, Under the Greenwood Tree (1872), for instance, the heroine, Fancy Day, is a young teacher who finds herself obliged to choose between three men who all seek her hand in marriage — a simple countryman, a rich farmer, and a socially superior clergyman — and the happy ending is reached only after she has confronted the opposition between the impulses of her heart and the lures of social and economic ambition. In this chapter we shall examine a number of scenes in which the relationships between men and women, inside and outside marriage, are explored.
KeywordsDouble Standard Happy Ending External Thing Love Story Narrative Mode
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