The Ruined Maid Thomas Hardy Analysis

835 Words4 Pages
The Attempt to Erase for Change Some people are born into a culture that they are not fond of, and as a result, they move away when they are older. Other people feel that when they feel like they do not fit in somewhere, they should move away to start over. At times, people feel like they need to change for the better, and they want to forget their past. In Hardy’s “The Ruined Maid,” when a country girl sees her old friend, Melia, in town, she examines her new city life but does not realize that Melia is now a prostitute. In Russell’s “St Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves,” wolf girls are sent to St Lucy’s Home to learn how to act like normal humans, but they are unable to fully adapt to the human lifestyle. Although some people may try…show more content…
The country girl who Melia comes across in town reminds her of her past life using words such as “tatters,” “paws,” and “hag-ridden,” to describe the harshness of the country life that Melia once knew (lines 5,13,17). Furthermore, the country girl also uses the words “prosperity,” “bright feathers,” and “delicate” to illustrate Melia’s glorious new life in the city (3,7,14). Though Melia’s life may seem better to the country girl, Melia replies, “Yes: that’s how we dress when we’re ruined” when the country girl comments on Melia’s new “gay bracelets” and “bright feathers” to reveal that even though girls like her dress well, they do not feel well inside (7,8). Although the reader is not certain on the tone of her voice, one can infer that Melia uses a sarcastic tone when she says, “One’s pretty lively when ruined” to make the country girl see that the “ruined” life is not as grand as it seems (20). Hardy ends his poem with Melia saying, “You ain’t ruined” to the county girl to show that she still carries a part of her country past with her even though she left it behind (24). While the town symbolizes wealth, culture, and education, the country epitomizes labor, dirt, and lack of education; Melia seems to be influenced by both cultures because she cannot erase her…show more content…
Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves” creates the idea that an appearance does not always reflect true change and feelings of a person. When Claudette alters her appearance by wearing new clothes and shoes, she fights her instinctive wolf urges by constantly telling herself to keep her shoes on her feet and to not chew on them (240). Though she is dressed like a human, her wolf instincts reveal that she is not completely human yet; her new appearance indicates her wanting to refine herself, whereas her feelings signify her past that she cannot seem to forget. Claudette continues exemplifying not experiencing a true transformation by saying, “Now I smelled like a purebred girl, easy to kill. I narrowed my eyes at Kyle and flattened my ears, something I hadn’t done for months...In a flash of white-hot light, my months at St Lucy’s had vanished, and I was just a terrified animal again” (249). Although she thought she had changed, who she really is was ultimately revealed. Furthermore, when she goes back to her family, her mother does not recognize her until she sinks her teeth into her daughter’s ankle and sniffs her for a long time (252). Claudette was difficult to recognize but she is still the same person that she was when she left. Furthermore, Sister Ignatius jokingly calls Mirabella “our little wolf disguised in sheep’s clothing” to exemplify that the real Mirabella disguises
Open Document