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How Does Thomas Hardy Present Emma in You Last Drive , I Found Her Out There , the Going?

  • Date Submitted: 03/22/2011 12:26 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 64 
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Thomas Hardy met his wife Emma Gifford while he was working as an architect on St. Juliots Church, just outside Boscastle on the North Cornwall Coast. He married Emma in 1874 and she died in 1912, he wrote several poems about their first meeting and their marriage, most of his poems were written immediately after her death. In Hardy’s poems he explores the guilt he feels for neglecting Emma, he uses his writing to absolve himself of this guilt and come to terms with the fact that his wife Emma is now dead.
In the poem “Your Last Drive” the mood of the poem is changing throughout, in each stanza Hardy is recalling something different about Emma. He is thinking about Emma persistently “What profit, move me much?” this line portrays that he will still memorize Emma even though she’s gone. He remembers her in a positive way and also contrasts death and heaven together “To be in a week the face of dead, and you told of the charm of the haloed view”. Hardy representation of Emma is really positive; Imagery is used as he associated her to a lot of light showing that Emma is naive and innocent.   Hardy uses simple language in most of his poems “That never again would beam on you” which gives us the clear meaning that his wife is now dead.
In the title “You Last Drive” there is a big emphasis of the word Last it connotes the fact that this was the last time Emma and Hardy went on a drive. Death in this poem is presented very unexpected like it is presented in his other poems, he mentions in the poem the he had no idea Emma was close to death which symbolises the fact that there was a lack of communication between the both as they both use to live in separate rooms and didn’t talk to each other. Hardy uses of rhyming couplets adds a sombre tone to the poem with a few lines of the stanza’s rhyming “tree – everlastingly”, it flows and creates rhythm and then suddenly changes dramatically, causing a huge impact towards the end “Dear ghost, in the past did you ever find” in...

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