フツリアイナ ケッコン ノ セイタイ 8 : ウンメイ ト アオイ ガイトウ ノ バアイ : キョウカン ノ ツウロ オ モトメテ
Modes of Mismating 8 : In the Case of ‘Destiny and a Blue Cloak' : Hankering for 'a Congenial Channel
Departmental Bulletin Paper
‘Destiny and a Blue Cloak' (1874) was almost disregarded by Thomas Hardy himself and was not included among any of his collections of short stories in his lifetime. This fact has tended to discourage critics to analyze the story in its potentiality. Hardy wrote this story just before The Hand of Ethelberta (1876) and he put it away as dispensable， because some points were， Hardy wrote，reproduced in The Hand of Ethelberta. Certainly enough，as R. L. Purdy points out，Old Farmer Lovill seems to be a rough sketch or a prototype for Lord Mountclere. The marriage between Agatha Pollin and him can be regarded to be developed into the marriage between Ethelberta and Lord Mountclere.
If we see this story along the development of Hardy's career as a popular novelist at that time，he seems to have tried his hand at a certain kind of comedy，which was to be performed in The Hand of Ethelberta as its sub-title ‘Comedy in Chapters' shows. Comical aspects of Hardy's works are to be minutely discussed in other papers hereafter，but this story seems to show vividly the delicate ballance of the‘more sober' aspect and the comical one in his story writing. This ballance might be reflected in the title ‘Destiny and a Blue Cloak' itself.
In the story Agatha Pollin is mistaken for a renowned beauty in the village，Frances Lovill，by Oswald Winwood. Through this mistake ‘a congenial channel' is confirmed between Agatha and Oswald who is afterwards informed of his mistake. Their attempt for marriage is to be slyly checked by Frances Lovell，who is to get married to Agatha's uncle， Humphrey，and becoming her aunt conspires to revenge herself on them behind the scene as a kind of ‘femme fatale' or ‘destiny.
Agatha's desperate attempt to build ‘a congenial channel' with Oswald is baffled by her rival Frances，now her aunt . Ironically enough their rivalry becomes an obstacle for their attempt to make ‘a congenial channel' with Oswald and leads them to mismating severally; Agatha with Old Farmer Lovill，and Frances with Agatha's uncle as his second wife.
In this paper ‘Destiny and a Blue Cloak' is analyzed from the viewpoint of the theme of hankering for ‘a congenial channel，' as part of series of studies of Thomas Hardy's short stories.
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Liberal Arts and Sciences