Thomas Hardy; Review the Voice

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The poem begins with the lines;“Woman much missed, how you call to me, call to me, saying
that now you are not as you were”, immediately introducing the notion of a sense of loss. Even
from these lines we know that Hardy is unable to accept his wife’s death. Hardy and his wife
were deeply in love at first but later they faced problems in their relationship which slowly grew
sour. Hardy had an affair with his secretary Florence, who was 39 years, his junior. This was the
main reason for the problems which the couple had. At the beginning, their relationship was
based on love, whereas as time passed, the woman changed from the one he had fallen in love
with and so a loss of love occurs, which is one of the poem's themes. The present consists of the
time after the woman has died when the speaker hears her voice, looks back at their time together
and expresses a feeling of grief, regret, guilt, and loneliness. The author establishes a contrast
between these particular moments through the use of several different devices. Furthermore,
Hardy was quite guilty after his wife’s death because he could not take proper care of her before
she died. Just like in his poem ‘Haunter’ Hardy tries to imagine that his wife is trying to
communicate with him. In his imagination, Emma tells him that she is not the woman who she
was forty years ago, but she has changed without Hardy’s realization.
      On the second stanza, the voice remembers their days of courtship in which he would drive
near to the town where the woman waited for him. As he implores the woman to appear to him in
the same place and wearing the same attire, a sense of longing and loneliness is created. This
attire is described through the vivid visual image, “the original air-blue gown!”. By connecting
the color blue to the color of the air, actually referring to the sky, a positive connotation is given
to the memory of this first moment, emphasizing the fact that those days were...

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