Farmer's Bride analysis

Here is a farmer's bride analysis from the AQA english literature relationship cluster

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Stage 1:
Poem: Farmer's Bride
Subject: Early experiences of marriage between a husband and his wife.
From the poem it seems that it was an arranged marriage.
Themes: Fear, broken love, arranged love.
Messages: If there is something wrong in the relationship, time isn't going to
heal it.
Stage 2:
Poem: Farmer's Bride
Emotions, Regret He is full of regret that there is not 'Some other in the house than we!' imparting a sense of
Moods, loneliness and tragedy because they have no children. Also the farmer seems to be uncomfortable with
Feelings: his desire for the young bride who has rejected his advances. There is also a suggestion of jealousy of
the animals his wife talks to : 'I've hardly heard her speak at all'
The reader feels sympathetic over the farmer's mischance of love and his loneliness over having
no children is also very sympathetic. Love isn't as it seems between the couple from the beginning
because they don't know each other as they never had time to do so because of the prominent life
of a farmer. Unfortunately, the chance of having children will not hide the cracks in the
relationship - it is just bringing in another person in a broken relationship. This is very selfish of
the farmer, hoping to bring a child to fill in his loneliness from his wife's withdrawal and a child
is supposed to be brought up in a loving and healthy home.
Frustration - Stairs separate the farmer's bed from his wife's; the farmer is frustrated and longs to
consummate his marriage (making it complete through sexual union), as was legally his right in the 19th
The frustration makes the reader feel disgust towards the farmer because he is very inconsiderate
of the wife's views on relationships and the farmer is under self-pity of the love that they could
have had.
Desire- the farmer is clearly attracted to his wife and this is expressed both in the imagery used
throughout the poem and the poet's breakdown at the end of the poet.
The desire felt by the farmer highlights the force of the arranged marriage and the unwillingness
of the wife indicates the reason why they have not pursued any sort of relationship especially the
physical sort.
Fear- there is a sense of foreboding as the farmer is struggling to keep his desire for her under control
and there is little to suggest that there will be a happy ending for the married couple.
The sense of fear portrays to the reader that this isn't going to be a "happily ever after" poem and
there is only one way this poem is going to end.
Sadness- the farmer still sees his wife as attractive yet he constantly links her to the natural world and
this link highlights the sadness views and feelings.
The use of the sadness implies how the love was forced because the wife is more interested in a
friendship with something and possibly she was too young to pursue any physical romantic
Contrast between husband and wife's feelings- the farmer wants to be able to touch and love his bride
but she seems to be really scared of him: 'not near, not near! Her eyes beseech'.
Bethany Cunningham The Farmer's Bride

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Stage 3:
Poem: Farmer's Bride
What techniques are Colloquial language to create the personality of the farmer-narrator in his rural
used environment: 'When us was wed' and 'she runned away'. There is a suggested lack of
And what effect do formal education. The farmer admits that he did not take time to find a bride: 'more's to
they do/At harvest-time than bide and woo'.…read more

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Rhetorical question -
But what to me?'
This ends the stanza and is strongly suggestive of his unhappiness.
'like the shut of a winter's day'
This portrays how sudden the change was as winter days go dark very quickly.
Punctuation - this is used to create emphasis at several places in the poem. The end of the
first stanza has two commas in the line, slowing the pace and halting the rhythm to reflect
the disturbance caused by the wife's escape.…read more

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Both poems have a frustrated narrator yet 'Farmer's Bride' seems to have a
more tragic ending whereas 'To His Coy Mistress' is witty and comic.
In 'The Farmer's Bride' the poet uses imagery to connect the farmer's wife with nature, particularly wild animals. This
tells us about the farmer's attitude to marriage and power, as well as indicating his feelings for the wife (she cannot
be tamed).…read more


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