Aspects of Narrative within Thomas Hardy poems - POINT OF VIEW

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 Point of View.


Point of View - The Voice

Narrated by Hardy - his viewpoint

"Woman much missed" - indirect and impersonal, which could make it a universal opinion

The repetition of "call to me" shows his desperation to hear his wife

"Can it be you that I hear?" shows his confusion

"faltering forward" presents a feeling of uncertainty, especially about the future and moving forward without Emma

"through the thorn" means that he's experiencing pain, but hoping to get through it

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Point of View - Under the Waterfall

"I never miss the sweet sharp sense of a fugitive day" - the word 'miss' shows that the poem is a flashback, from the lovers' perspective. The oxymoron 'sweet sharp' makes the feeling of 'bitter-sweet' because it was love, but it ended.

"I know by heart" symbolises the love she felt and provides the nostalgic feel.

"There the glass still is" - metaphorical, because the 'glass' could be substituted for the feeling of love, because it's still there. This same idea could be reiterated with the line "There lies intact", meaning that the love hasn't changed.

"No lip has touched it since his and mine" - the word 'lip' although meaning in a literal sense to sip the wine from the glass, it connotates with the action of kissing, which is romantic imagery. There could also be a metaphorical sense in 'touched it' meaning that nothing can touch it, because there is no love like it, emphasising its uniquity. The phrase 'his and mine' shows that the point of view is from a woman, because of the society at the time of publication.

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Point of View - The Haunter

3rd person pronoun "He" refers to Hardy, showing that the poem is from Emma's point of view, yet it has tones of Hardy's feelings too, considering he wrote it. A good example of this double point of view is the quote: "his fancy sets him wandering" - it could be that Emma is angry at Hardy for being unfaithful, and Hardy is paranoid because he feels guilty for doing it.

"How I would like to join in his journeys he seldom wished to go... Now he wants me with him." - The 'Now" shows that Hardy has realised his mistakes in the way he treated Emma.

Also "my faithful phantom" could be seen as a guilt trip because he was unfaithful

"into old aisles where the past is all to him" is one of Emma's memories

"What a good haunter I am" shows the ****** and twisted mind of Emma's haunting torture

"All that love can do" and "bring peace thereto" shows that Emma has forgiven Hardy, which could be one of Hardy's subtle wishes.

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Point of View - Neutral Tones

"chidden of God" - sets the scene and shows Hardy's contempt for religion. The obscenity of this language shows that the relationship was dire.

Negative language is used throughout like: "starving sod", "lost", "bitterness", which clearly shows Hardy's point of view.

Colour symbolism - "ash" and "gray" shows that he is not happy.

Pathetic fallacy - "winter day" emphasises that the relationship is cold and dying

Oxymoron - "smile...the deadest thing" - shows that he is resentful of her.

The illipsis "..." means that the problem isn't solved

The bold statement of "love deceives" provides the circular motion of the poem, and his attitude hasn't changed, creating the pessimistic outlook on relationships

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Point of View - Convergence of the Twain

Third person omniscient narrator, yet it's not objective viewpoint, considering the humans are always portrayed negatively, and nature is presented positively. An example of this is the contrast in adjectives:

Humans: "grotesque, slimed, dumb, indifferent" - their product isn't pleasant, "human vanity" shows that they're arrogant, which we know is true because it was described as "unsinkable" in real life. "jewels in joy designed to lavish the sensuous mind" shows humans as over-indulgent and gluttonous, another one of the 7 deady sins.

"sinister mate", "gaily great" and "shadowy silent" - shows nature in a good light

"Immanent Will" and "Spinner of the Years" are capitalised, instantly giving it power, meaning that it refers to God. This means that the collision was fate, and meant to be because humans thought they were superior to nature.

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