How Hardy Uses Language to Create a Fairytale-Like Atmosphere, a Melancholy and Wistful Atmosphere, and an Ambiguous Tone Towards Love
The fairytale atmosphere is created in the first stanza of the poem.
The settings for a fairytale are usually romantic, with the perfect
place, perfect lovers and at a perfect night. The language used in the
first stanza gives us an image of this, it starts off talking about
the lovers together and looking over a parapet stone, we get a sense
of closeness between the two people because of their actions, looking
over a balcony at night gives the reader a sense of tranquillity,
especially under the “southing moon”. The moon seems to be looking
over the lovers and trying to get closer to them because of the words
southing and blent. The girl is described as being beautiful like how
a princess of a fairytale would be ...view middle of the document...
Whereas in the third stanza, negative words such as drowned, tired,
hopeless and despair sets a dark and gloomy tone. When the reader
finishes the poem, he or she feels wistful because the beginning of
the poem is so happy and romantic but the ending is very depressing
and horrifying. There is a longing for the past, as it was so much
happier than the present.
c. An Ambiguous Tone Towards Love?
In the beginning, we feel that love is a very positive thing, and that
it can do many wonders. But that is not the only view on love that
Hardy gives us, he shows us that love can make people do extreme
things, such as dying for a loved one. The phrases that stuck out the
most were “his arm around her, they laughed and leant.” , “Drowned
herself for love of a man”, So much for love in this mortal sphere!”
and “her arm dropt his as they wandered away.”, you can see that as
the poem progresses there is a dramatic change in the way the poet
sees love as being.
d. A Disturbing Suicide?
Tension is built up when her suicide is described; the verbs in
succession “climbed over; slid down; let go” makes it seem as what she
did happened very fast because of the semicolons. It also involves the
reader and it appears that they actually saw it happening, although
the description is not very in depth, it gets its point across because
when you read it, you get the ‘machine gun’ effect. The girl
dehumanised by the vocabulary chosen to describe her, the way her arm
upbore and how she was described as a dripping body. Usually the word
upbore is used to describe animals or inanimate objects and body is
used to describe dead things. In this case, the words dripping body
emphasize the fact that she is lifeless. Lastly, the line “So much for
love in this mortal sphere!” sounds like whoever is saying it is quite
pessimistic toward humans and hates life, it also sounds like that
they have given up on anything that has to do with love.