Aspects of Narrative within Thomas Hardy poems - STRUCTURE

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 Structure.


Structure - The Voice

This poem is a dramatic monologue made up of 4 stanzas.

It has a clear cycle of grief, which is mentioned in my Time and Sequence revision cards:

Stanza 1 - "when our day was fair" - anger
Stanza 2 - "Can it be you that I hear?" - confusion 
Stanza 3 - "listlessness, wistlessness" - depression
Stanza 4 - "faltering foward" - moving on, but uncertain about it 

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Stucture - Under the Waterfall

The main point about this poem's structure is that it is one big flashback, created from a domestic situation: "plunge my arm... in a basin of water..."

It also has a nostalgic ending: "There lies intact..." and "No lip has touched it since his and mine" - the narrator still feels the same, yet it "leaves no smart" showing that it is a transcendent poem"

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Structure - The Haunter

The only real point about structure I found in this poem is that is has two phases of grief:

Stanza 1, 2 and 3: grief and turmoil because she is "lacking the power"
Stanza 4: closure/resolution - "bring peace thereto" - represents forgiveness 

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Structure - Neutral Tones

This poem is circular with no real development, shown through the negative language throughout:

Stanza 1: "starving", "fallen"
Stanza 2: "tedious", "lost"
Stanza 3: "deadest", "die"
Stanza 4: "deceives", "God-curst"

This constant pessimism shows an emotional breakdown for Hardy and sends out the message that all relationships die. 

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Structure - Convergence of the Twain

The first 6 stanzas are about the ship, and the 7th stanza onward introduce the nature and its power over the humans.

It also has an abrupt ending: "jars two hemispheres" - it is a brutal end for mankind, yet it brings the two together in a collision.

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