Choice and Fate in ‘Fellow-Townsmen’ and ‘an Imaginative Woman’
Nada Al-Ajmi

This paper focuses on two short stories from Hardy‟s vast body of work and thus attempts to point to variation in understanding particular topics within Hardy‟s work. The analysis of the short stories in this paper will show that the narratives do not simply provoke sympathy for the characters but also invite the reader to participate actively in the decisions that would shape their lives and futures. In „Fellow-Townsmen‟ and „An Imaginative Woman‟, the narrative voice used by Hardy invites the reader to overcome life‟s circumstances (which seem fated by social convention and religious dogma) through the use of personal choice by pointing to the tragedy and loss of faith experienced by the characters. Rather than a conventional approach of labelling „Fellow-Townsmen‟ and „An Imaginative Woman‟ as pessimistic short stories, this paper seeks to explore the complexity of the character‟s experiences which in turn point to the complexity of the human mind suggesting a dynamic interplay of the forces that shape our actions and desires.

Full Text: PDF      DOI: 10.15640/ijll.v6n2a18