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The Son’s Veto Essay

The Son’s Veto is a short novel written by Thomas Hardy. The three protagonists in the story are Sophy, Sam and Randolph. Sophy is from a lower class background however marries a clergyman. Mr Twycott commits social suicide when he marries Sophy, so they move away from North Wessex to London where no one knows about Sophy’s past. Thomas Hardy generates sympathy for Sophy here because she has moved away from her home town and is separated from her family and friends. Also she moves away from her husband to be Sam. Whilst Mr Twycott is alive, Sophy is reasonally content with her lifestyle yet still isn’t quite adjusted to a ‘lady’ life. We see this when her son Randolph corrects her grammar. ‘Surely you know by this time’.

When Randolph belittles his mother we feel sympathy for Sophy as this is an unnatural mother and son relationship. ‘His mother hastily adopted the correction, and did not resent his making it..’. Thomas Hardy makes Sophy seem very unconfident and timid towards her own flesh and blood, which makes us feel sympathy for her.

Also, Sophy is mostly in a wheel chair due to her ankle injury whist in Wessex. She is unable to walk and on the occasions she does she finds it a struggle. As readers we sympathise with her here because not only is she trapped and out of place in London, she is also trapped in her own home because she cannot walk. Her son Randolph is her aid to getting around and without him she is stuck. Thomas Hardy makes us pity Sophy because she is very vulnerable to her son because he holds the power.

Thomas Hardy generally makes us feel sympathy with Sophy because she did not marry her husband out of love, she married him out of respect. ‘Even if she had wished to get away from him she hardly dared refuse a personage’ When her husband dies, Sophy starts to reflect on her former life in the ‘native’ village in North Wessex. During the time period, women were not very well respected so Sophy cannot go to her own husband’s funeral. After a while of not sleeping and reminiscing of her life in Gaymead, it is when she is glancing out the window where she sees the former gardener of Gaymead, Sam. She realises that she misses the way she used to live but she is ‘trapped’ because of Randolph who is a ‘gentlemen.’

So far in the parts we have read, Thomas Hardy generates sympathy for Sophy Twycott by constantly reminding us of her former past and how it would be very hard to go back because of her son.


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