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The Son's Veto

  • Date Submitted: 09/17/2014 11:42 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 61.8 
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The Son’s Veto

Thomas Hardy uses a variety of techniques in order to help us empathize with Sophy, the mother, who goes through very dramatic experiences in the short story “The Son’s Veto”. These effects are also used in order to highlight the flaws of society and perception of social class.
From the beginning of the story the reader can observe the sorrowful tone as the woman’s best asset is her hair, Sophy being described as a commun looking woman who does not lead an eventful life. “And she had done it all herself, poor thing. She had no maid, and it was almost the only accomplishment she could boast of. Hence the unstinted pains.”(pg.46) The author’s choice of strong diction implies that she is suffering, to later reveal the reader that Sophy is in a wheelchair and is the mother of a young boy. “‘Has, dear mother – not have!’ exclaimed the public-school boy, with an impatient fastidiousness that was almost harsh.”(pg.47) Hardy exposes the unsympathetic, dominating nature of her son, Randolph, who even from an early age seems to disrespect his mother who takes it lying down, foreshadowing how she lets him overrule her. “His mother hastily adopted the correction, and did not resent his making it.”(pg.47)This causes for us to feel compassion for her as well as frustrated on how the son acts towards his own mother.
Further in the story Randolph’s father dies, leaving Sophy as a widow and single mom who has to deal with monotony and lack of purpose for the rest of her life. “Her life became insupportably dreary; she could not take walks, and had no interest for drives, or, indeed, in travelling anywhere.”(pg.53) The author also uses repetition to accentuate the distance between her and his son and how they interact less and less as he focuses on his education and his target to become a priest. “He drifted further and further away.” (pg.54) This helps the reader gain insight of how their relationship progresses and empathize with Sophy’s misery.
As the story...


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