Thomas Hardy was born in rural England where he spent his early life training as an architect. His family did not have much money and this made him acutely conscious of social inequalities in Victorian England. He moved to London when he was a young man and worked there for a time. He later returned to Dorset, becoming a fulltime writer. The decay of rural Britain, the status of women in society and social inequalities of his times and the Christian idea of God are some of the recurring themes we see in Thomas Hardy’s novels. Many of his stories are set in semi-fictional Wessex. Thomas Hardy’s characters struggle against adverse social circumstances, strong passions and an inexorable fate that decides the path of their life. …show more content…
Her love for him is of no importance to him and he seeks the company of others of equal station in life. When he enters Church, she hopes that he would take a more humane view of her and the less fortunate world but the more he studies the more humanity he seems to lose it. Her desire to marry Sam is met with consternation and Randolph’s concern is not his mother’s happiness but his position in society which he feels will be undermined by that action. Sophy’s isolation from the company of Sam who cared for her and her remoteness from Randolph who no longer had any love for his mother led her to her premature death.
Themes (major and minor)
Social inequalities were a major concern for Thomas Hardy as was the issue of lack of choices for women in the Victorian England. Social issues remained unsolved in the larger social fabric and in A Son’s Veto, we see it is not resolved even within families. Randolph forbids her mother from marrying a man who he feels is below his own status though he is eminently suitable for his mother; this is one man who can bring joy to her life. Failed marriages are a recurring theme in Hardy’s novels. Here the marriage is not a failed one but there is no spark, no fulfillment for Sophy. She has some material comforts but no inner sustenance. Lack of educational opportunities for women was also a subject that Hardy explored. Only the girls from upper classes had the luxury of being privately tutored.
Plot / Summary
Sophy is a maid in the