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Compare and Contrast A Withered Arm by Thomas Hardy and The Monkey's Paw by W.W. Jacobs

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Compare and Contrast A Withered Arm by Thomas Hardy and The Monkey's Paw by W.W. Jacobs


In this essay I am going to explain the similarities and differences
between 'The withered arm' and 'The monkeys paw'. Both of these texts
were written before 1914 by two different people. Thomas Hardy wrote
'The withered arm' and W.W. Jacobs wrote 'A monkeys paw'.

The withered arm is a short story about a milkmaid who had an affair
with a high class farmer. When the farmer gets a new wife, the
milkmaid becomes jealous.

In a nightmare, the milkmaid who is called Rhoda Brooks sees the new
wife she had been obsessing over for the past few days in a horrific
apparition gloats over her new husband. In this nightmare Rhoda grabs
the apparition and feels her arm as if it were real as she throws the
spectre to the floor. The ghost is gone when she looks down. The
farmers' new wife, the next day, finds a new mark on her forearm in
the shape of a hand in the same place that Rhoda had grabbed the
apparition. Rhoda and Gertrude, the farmers' wife soon become good
friends as her arm becomes increasingly more serious. Eventually
Gertrude persuades Rhoda to get her to take her to a conjurer called
conjurer Trendle who is a local magic man. Eventually Rhoda takes her
and conjurer Trendle gives her advice but does not give a solution to
her trouble. They return home to the village.

A year later after Rhoda and her son had left the village Gertrud's
arm is becoming steadily worse and she is using all types of potions
and magick on it but nothing seems to make it any worse so she goes to
see conjurer Trendle for one last time. This time he gives her a
solution, she must touch the neck of a recently hanged man while the
body is...


... middle of paper ...


...ell
in the rural setting of A withered arm.

The time frame for each story is also different, the monkeys paw all
takes place over a few weeks where as a withered arm has the story
lasting for over a year. The time frame they are set in gives them a
big difference as it distinguishes one from the other easily.

I think that the story which is most striking out of these two has to
be The monkeys paw. This story is a better length to not take a while
to read and the plot seems better as a whole. Each character seems to
have obviously different personalities that they use all the time and
these are distinctly separate from the characters of a withered arm. I
like the way that the ending of this story is a cliff hanging, we are
not told what Herbert looks like after he was brought back to life we
are just told about the sigh of dismay from Mr Whites wife.


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