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Discuss the Treatment of Marriage and Class in the Son's Veto and the Odour of Chrysanthemums.

  • Date Submitted: 03/18/2013 09:40 PM
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Discuss the treatment of marriage and class in The Son's Veto and The Odour of Chrysanthemums

The writers of both the stories make it clear that class creates problems and that marrying between the classes leads to an unhappy marriage. The women in both the stories marry out of their own class. In Elizabeth's case we do not know from what background she came from but it is clear that it is not the same as her husbands. She hates the fact that her husband has brought her to a place like the mining town to live and that he leaves her alone often, with the children. "What a fool, and this is what I came here for, to this dirty hole, rats and all, for him to slink past his door". Elizabeth regrets having married her husband. We know where Sophy has come from and that she was just a maid to her husband before they married. Neither of the women have been satisfied or fulfilled by their marriages. Elizabeth talks of her husband and her marriage "bitterly". Sophy never actually loved her husband but "she had a respect for him that almost amounted to veneration". Sophy's marriage was never properly fulfilled, she was secure in her marriage to the vicar and she had everything she needed but she did not actually love her husband and because of this their marriage was never complete. The consequences of the marriages have effects on the women. Sophy becomes lonely after her husbands death because even though she lived amongst the people of her husband class, she was never really accepted by them. Elizabeth resents her husband's class and her husband for bringing her into the mining village. The difference between the two women and their feelings towards their husbands are Sophy has respect for her husband whereas Elizabeth does not.

The settings in both the stories reflect the unhappiness of the two marriages. Hardy compares the village of Gaymead, from where Sophy and her husband came from, with the house they move to in London, after they are...


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