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ID 451
Title Transcription
フツリアイナ ケッコン ノ セイタイ 3 : セイブ ジュンカイ サイバン ノ トジョウ ノ バアイ
Title Alternative
Modes of Mismating (3) : The Case of On the Western Circuit : Hankering for 'a Congenial Channel'
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Departmental Bulletin Paper
On the Western Circuit in Life's Little Ironies by Thomas Hardy presents an interesting perspective in relation with the story An Imaginative Woman. In An Imaginative Woman Ella Marchmill is imaginative enough to fall in love with her rival poet Robert Trewe who is never to meet her. Her passionate love for him is the reaction to the barren marital life with her unromantic, practical husband. Ella is in a sense scorched to death by her own imaginative hankering for 'a congenial channel' with someone who has the same disposition with her. In On the Western Circuit Mrs. Harnham is in the same situation with Ella; influenced by the belief of the parent, she has consented to marry the elderly wine-merchant as apis aller, at the age of seven-and-twenty to find afterwards that she has made a mistake; the marriage contract has left her still a woman whose deeper nature has never been stirred. Her protegee Anna, who is illiterate, comes to know Charles Bradford Raye at the fair in Melchester; he is an end-of-the-age young man who lives in London and a stuff-gownsman going the Western Circuit. Raye sets his eyes on this beautiful girl whom he believes to be 'a fairer product of nature' found in the country far away from the City. Their relation deepens as they correspond by letter, as Anna's letters make deep impression on Raye. However, her letters are written in her name by Mrs. Harnham who takes great care not to lead Anna to misery. On account of Anna's personal condition Mrs. Harnham hastens and succeeds in getting Raye marry with Anna in London. After the marriage Raye comes to know the whole truth. He and Mrs. Harnham find that ironically enough a true 'congenial channel' is made up through letter-writing between them. In this paper On the Western Circuit is analyzed from the viewpoint of the ironical relationship with the protagonists in terms of the same theme of hankering for 'a congenial channel' with that in An Imaginative Woman.
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Liberal Arts and Sciences