Aspects of Narrative within Thomas Hardy poems - SETTING

If you study English Literature at AS level with AQA, then these revision cards will help most with Section B of the paper, where it will ask you to write about three texts in terms of a selected aspect of narrative. These revision cards show key points about each aspect of narrative from the Hardy poems: The Voice, Under the Waterfall, Convergence of the Twain, Neutral Tones and The Haunter.

This set focuses on Setting.

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Setting - The Voice

This poem uses a lot of natural imagery to convey the setting:

"the breeze in its listlessness" - 'breeze' emphasises the ghostly theme of the poem, and another intriguing point is that a breeze is not a strong wind - which shows that Hardy is not strong without Emma. 'listlessness' primarily means a lack of energy, which shows he is run-down in his grief.

"wet mead" - 'wet' could have strong connotations with tears, and juxtaposed with 'mead', which means alcohol, could indirectly show that he has turned to alcohol to help fight his grief.

"leaves around me falling" - is an analogy/symbolism, and it depicts that as the leaves are leaving the trees, she has left him. This could lead to a use of pathetic fallacy - it points to the season of Autumn, which is the beginning of the end of the year/nature.

"through the thorn" - 'thorn' shows pain, yet as this stanza is hopeful, it could hint that he will get through it

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Setting - Under the Waterfall

"under the fall... where one ever has known" shows that under the waterfall is a secret and special place, significant in the lovers' relationship.

"walked under a sky of blue" - the use of pathetic fallacy here shows that their time together was truly happy - so we know this poem is transcendent.

"leafy pattern of china-ware - the hanging plants that were bathing there" uses a domestic situation to induce the flashback, where the lover remembers the setting of the date.

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Setting - The Haunter

"Hover and hover a few feet from him" - shows that she is never far away from him

"where the shy hares print long paces... night-rooks" - this natural imagery of animals shows that love is still present between Emma and Hardy even though she is dead.

"close as his shade can do" - emphasises the closeness by being as close as a shadow.

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Setting - Neutral Tones

"stood by a pond that winter day" - pathetic fallacy shows that it is cold and dying, like the relationship

"sun was white" - colour symbolism, shows a greyscale, bleak outlook on the relationship

"few leaves lay on the starving sod" - 'leaves' being on the floor shows that they are dead, and 'starving sod' shows that nothing can grow, which symbolises the relationship's state of life, similar to "fallen from an ash" and "grayish leaves"

The use of natural imagery emphasises that the pair were MEANT to split

"God-curst sun" - religous overtones show he is blasphemous, and is cursing the relationship, showing resent to the woman.

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Setting - Convergence of the Twain

"In a solitude of the sea deep from human vanity" - the ship is lonely because it doesn't belong in the sea, it belongs with the vain humans it was created by

"cold currents thrid" - the sea is subtle and not giving anything away

"in shadowy silent distance" - the Iceberg is subtle and quiet, emphasising its sinister nature

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