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The Withered Arm

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Charlotte Reilly

on 11 December 2015

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Transcript of The Withered Arm

Introducing the
Short Story
by Thomas Hardy
The Withered Arm
What's in a title?
The Withered Arm
'The' is singular, so it suggests there is one withered arm. It makes the image powerful.
This also follows the conventions of a story title.
What does the title lead you to expect from the story?
TASK: Copy the title into your book.
Analyse the title to explore the meaning
Write your predictions in full sentences.
LO: To learn how to analyse a
title
and to examine how it relates to a
story opening
.
How does the writer use
descriptive language
to
set the scene
in the opening passage?
Highlight
examples of descriptive language.
Does the opening fit with the title?
On a cold, fretful afternoon in early October, 1872, a handsome cab drew up outside the offices of Lockhart and Selsby, Shipping Agents in the financial heart of London, and a young girl got out and paid the driver. She was a person of sixteen or so - alone, and uncommonly pretty. She was slender and pale, and dressed in mourning, with a black bonnet under which she tucked back a straying twist of blonde hair that the wind had teased loose. She had unusually dark brown eyes for one so fair. Her name was Sally Lockhart; and within fifteen minutes, she was going to kill a man.
It was an eighty-cow dairy, and the troop of milkers, regular and supernumeracy, were all at work; for, though the time of year was as yet but early April, the feed lay entirely in water-meadows, and the cows were 'in full pail'. The hour was abut six in the evening, and three-fourths of the large, red, rectangular animals having been finished off, there was opportunity for little conversation.
The Withered Arm?
The Withered Arm?
Think about:
plot
genre (style i.e. horror, romance, comedy etc)
character
setting
Look at the following story openings...
Which one do you think is most effective...why?
Write down your answers.

Which one is the opening of 'The Withered Arm'?
How do you know?
Find clues that link the opening with the title.
HINT: look for words which seem to have negative associations.
Romance gone wrong!
Find clues that the story will feature a plot about heartache.
http://www.dialectsarchive.com/england-38
ACCENT & DIALECT Westcountry early 20th century - not dissimilar from Hardy's Wessex
The Lorn Milkmaid
1. What do you learn about Rhoda Brooks in this chapter?
2. What do you learn about Farmer Lodge?
3. Why do you think the relationship ended?
DIALECT

noun
a particular form of a language which is peculiar to a specific region or social group.
"the Lancashire dialect seemed like a foreign language"
synonyms: regional language, local language, local tongue, local speech, local parlance, variety of language;
a 5
b 7
c 8
d 2
e 4
f 1
g 18
h 3
i 12
j 11
k 15
l 19
m 10
n 21
o 20
p 6
q 23
r 9
s 16
t 14
u 13
v 17
w 22
Read the opening.
Anser questions at the end in your book in full sentences.
LO:
To know what
dialect
is and to be able to identify examples of dialect in
'The Withered Arm'
Radio Play
TASK:
Write a
poem
or a
short story
, using some of the original
words
from your
dialect sheet
.
CREATIVE WRITING
Plot detectives...
We are going to work together to decide in what order the events unfold.
How will we decide?
Plot structure
LO:
To learn the literary elements of a plot.

To demonstrate an understanding of plot structure in The Withered Arm.

Title:
PLOT
Dramatic Readings...
Try to use appropriate:
Tone
Pace
Accent
Volume
Emotion
Find a quote to illustrate this image
*
Write a
description
of the image using
adjectives
.
**
Write a
description
of the image using
simile
(comparison of images using 'like' or 'as') and
metaphor
(using 'was', 'is', or 'are')
***
Write as if you are
one of the figures
in the picture and use
simile
and
metaphor
.
The Nightmare
by Henry Fuseli, 1781
"Nightmare" evokes the modern word for a female horse but the terms are wholly unrelated. The word derives from the Old English "mare", a mythological demon or goblin who torments others with frightening dreams.[3] Subsequently, the prefix "night-" was added to stress the dream-aspect.
Origin

Middle English (denoting a female evil spirit thought to lie upon and suffocate sleepers): from night + Old English mære ‘incubus’.
What does Hardy want us to think about
the power of nightmares
?
Is the dream
real
or
symbolic
?
A Vision - III
Belief in the supernatural
Find another example of belief in the supernatural in the story
1856-1939
Thomas Hardy 1840-1928
Society is like a body...
it is made of parts.
We need all parts to work well together
Parts of society in 19th Century...

Monarch - Queen Victoria
Upper class - the rich
Middle class - professionals
Lower class - workmen/workwomen like farmers and maids
What does Gertrude's withered arm symbolise?
Why do you think Rhoda believes she has injured Gertrude in her dream?
Freud believed that
dreams
are
SYMBOLIC
.

An image might represent a
much bigger idea
.
In
The Withered Arm
- the
arm
could also be
SYMBOLIC
Gertrude's withered arm might
symbolise
an injured society. In the 19th Century, society was
divided
in to parts by the
class

system. Perhaps Thomas Hardy thought all classes needed to work
together

to be effective and build a
healthy
society. Perhaps the withered arm also symbolises how the writer felt about
men's
treatment of women. Gertrude's injured arm could symbolise how being
unfaithful
in love would
injure
all future relationships. After Farmer Lodge leaves Rhoda, her sadness and
jealousy
lead her to dream she has hurt Gertrude. Gertrude's injury, whether real or imagined, represents the
damage
done by Farmer Lodge in leaving Rhoda for a wealthier new woman.
What
problems
are there for Rhoda and Gertrude?
Love?
Money?
NIGHTMARES
READING
Why do people believe in the supernatural?
***How does the writer choose words to help the reader understand the key ideas in the chapter?
Look at the words in the chapter.
*TASK: group the words into categories, i.e. body, dreams, action
In A Vision - Rhoda has a nightmare with supernatural consequences for Gertrude.
A Vision
LO: To understand / explore / analyse
the writer's use of
symbolism
in Rhoda's
nightmare
.
The Supernatural
LO: to expand your understanding of the
supernatural
in
The Withered Arm.
To undestand
how
the arm is symbolic and to explore and analyse its symbolism.
Creative Writing Menu:
http://www.lang.nagoya-u.ac.jp/~matsuoka/ghost-stories-hardy.html
1. * Imagine you are Gertrude. Imagine you shared the same dream as Rhoda. Describe the dream as if you are Gertrude rather than Rhoda.

2. *** Imagine you are the arm! Describe what has happened to you and how you feel.

3. *** Invent your own supernatural nightmare to describe. It must have a supernatural effect and symbolise something significant.

4. ** Write a poem about the nightmare vision of the withered arm. You must use poetic imagery like simile, personification etc.
CHARACTERISATION
Gertrude
Rhoda
Read the character descriptions for each woman.
How many
contrasts
(differences) can you find between the women?
&
What do the women have in common?
How do you feel about Rhoda's character?
What does Rhoda do or say that makes her seem JEALOUS
Why does Rhoda's son describe Gertrude using so many colours?
Find references to colours
Characterisation
LO: To understand, explore or analyse the characterisation of Rhoda and Gertrude in the story
Choose your level of challenge
SAY A LOT ABOUT A LITTLE...
CLOSE READING
LO: To be able to verbalise your personal opinion!
Should a
central protagonist
be
likeable?
character
Do you like Rhoda?
'Rhoda Brook could raise a mental image of the unconscious Mrs Lodge that was as realistic as a photograph.'
metaphor
simile
nomenclature (naming)
What does the description tell you about Gertrude and Rhoda?
What might a
withered arm
symbolise about society?
Is it healthy?
Are all parts working well together?
TENSION
How do writers build tension?
LO:
To
understand
,
explore
,
analyse
the use of TENSION in
The Withered Arm
.
TENSION
Conjuror Trendle
When Mrs Lodge came out, and her face was met by the light, it appeared exceedingly pale - as pale as Rhoda's - against the sad dun shades of the upland's garniture. Trendle shut the door behind her, and they at once started homeward together. But Rhoda perceived that her companion had quite changed.
CLOSE READ
1. Where does the writer use personification?

2. What does the personification help to show about Mrs Lodge?

3. Why do you think the writer uses hyphen - in the line

'- as pale as Rhoda's - '?
TASK:
Imagine Gertrude decides to confront Rhoda, accusing her of cursing her and causing her withered arm.
Describe the scene, building tension as you go.
Use the tension techniques sheet to help.
The Final Chapter
1.) Explain the twist in the story.

2.) Do you feel sorry for any of the characters? Why?
a.) How does Hardy present the relationship between Rhoda and Farmer Lodge in the extract?
and then
b)
How does Hardy present relationships in the story as a whole?
What do you think one of these relationships tells us about the society in which the story is set?
A RENCOUNTER
to meet by chance
What is the rencounter?
LO:
To know, explain and analyse
the technique of the plot twist.
PLOT TWIST
LO:
To know how to approach a GCSE exam question on the 19th Cetury novel.
To be able to plan a response to the question.
ASSESSMENT
Use your list of writers' techniques to analyse the extract
Questions build suspense
Description controls reader's pace of learning about the arm, creating suspense
Personification of the vision wounding Rhoda
Direct speech - helps to make the mystery seem powerful and personal for Rhoda's character
Simile - exaggerates the injury
semantic field of the supernatural and evil - 'devil', 'witch', 'taken hold of me'
evasive language and hesitation build suspense forcing the reader to wonder what is really meant
imperative - command word builds sense of urgency and tension
Metaphor creates a sense of imprisonment
alliteration - focuses the reader on the power of the unconscious feelings that are at work in the story
rhetorical question builds suspense
Contrasting lexis
is used to show the conflict Rhoda feels
Examples of
mystery
in the novel as a whole:
The relationship between Rhoda and farmer Lodge
The vision
Conjurer Trendle
The son's story
Gertrude's death
Design a film version of the story.
How would you modernise ideas? Who would you cast for the main roles and why?
Write a short story using the genre of a mystery.
Design a game / quiz for the class to test their knowledge from English.
Work in pairs
CREATIVE MENU:
PRIZES FOR BEST WORK
Full transcript