Aspects of Narrative within Thomas Hardy poems - ENDINGS

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 Endings.


Endings - The Voice

The discourse marker of "Thus" introduces the end of the poem, and hints at a conclusion.

"faltering forward" shows that Hardy is moving on but he's uncertain about it, as it isn't smooth, it falters.

"leaves" - this word could be interpreted in a literal sense because he has left him.

"through the thorn" - he needs to come through the pain.

"the woman calling" - this is less direct which could indicate that he is moving on.

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Endings - Under the Waterfall

There's no clear set ending in this poem, which could be because the first love was eternal. However the word 'edge', which usually has connotations of danger, could symbolise the break up.

However a transcendent outlook on the relationship comes from the word "intact" because the love hasn't changed. Also, "no lip has touched it since his and mine" points towards the idea that there has been no love for the woman that is as special and unique as this one, which creates the good memory of "sipped lovers' wine."

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Endings - The Haunter

The last stanza is slightly transcendent with these lines:

"straight to his side I go" - she will always be there for him despite the way he treated her.

"All that love can do" - she still loves him

"a faithful one" - she will remain faithful and loyal, like always

"bring peace thereto" - hints at forgiveness

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Endings - Neutral Tones

A lesson has been learnt: "since then, keen lessons that love deceives", yet there is still a bleak outlook on relationships.

"wrings with wrong" show that the relationship was wrong from the start

"grayish leaves" - the colour symbolism shows that the leaves are dead, much like the pair's relationship

"God-curst sun" - this is unusual collocation which emphasises that the couple weren't right when they were put together.

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Endings - Convergence of the Twain

The last 3 stanzas:

Stanza 9 - "Alien" - the ship isn't meant to be there, and "No mortal eye could see" foreshadows the ship's fate, that no one, not even humans, could control.

Stanza 10 - "by paths coincident" - it could be asked whether this is really a coincidence, because it is hinted throughout the poem that it was the ship's destiny to sink, whether it be as a result of too much pride and vanity, or just because nature is superior. The oxymoron "anon twin halves" shows that nature and humans don't bode well together, and are not equal.

Stanza 11 - "Spinner of the Years" - capitalisation shows that it is God's fault/doing. "Now!" - the control/demand shows that the nature has authority and power. The alliteration of  "consummation comes" 'marries' the two together and "jars two hemispheres", which is the most unlikely of circumstances.

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