Characterization & Summary & Themes of 'the Son's Veto'

Topics: Social class, Marriage, Middle class Pages: 5 (1748 words) Published: June 13, 2013
Characterization:

Reverend Twycott:
Reverend Twycott was the vicar at Gaymead, a little village in North Wessex. Following the death of his wife, he became aware of Sophy’ s devotion and care for him. Following the sad little accident that left Sophy incapacitated, Twycott proposes marriage to her. Twycott has committed what in his eyes was “social suicide” and he moves, exchanging the charming Gaymead for dull and drab south of London. The Reverend seems to have had a poor opinion of Sophy as a manager of money and on his death allowed her only a small allowance and the use of a small house. Twycott continued to control Sophy’ s life from his grave. Twycott is a typical Victorian man who decides for others what he thinks is best for them.

Sophy Twycott:
Hardy’s women characters suffer at the hands of fate and an unkind society. Sophy is gentle and attractive and devoted. Her only flaw was that she was not a great judge of what was best for her. She agrees to marriage with Rev. Twycott. She respects him but there is no love in this marriage, naturally. Her influence on Randolph her son is negligible and the boy grows up thinking his mother to be inferior to him in learning and position. Sophy has no control over her life. Her husband has left her only a small sum of money; the rest is under the control of trustees. She loves her son with tenderly and does not want to hurt him in any way but the boy has only crumbs to shower on her. Too late she realizes that she would have been happy with Sam but Randolph does allow her the freedom to make her decision and follow it. Too long Sophy has allowed others to control her life. Her immobility becomes a symbol for her dependence in life on her son’s will.

Randolph Twycott:
Randolph is a poor specimen of humanity. Even as a young boy he displayed a rather bad attitude towards his mother that bordered on impatience. As he grows up, he becomes acutely conscious of the difference in their status. He is the son of a gentleman but his mother is of poor stock. She lacks education and “culture” and is not worthy of being considered his equal. She dotes on him but he considers her with ill concealed impatience. 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.

Sam Hobson:
He is a gardener and a shopkeeper whom Sophy loves despite the fact that he belongs from the lower status and wants to marry him looking at his interest he has towards her and also at his manners and his attitude. But he happens to be the man whom Randolph hates and does not want this mother to get married to him because he feels his status in the society would go down if his mother marries Sam despite him having interest, good attitude and well manners towards her mother .

Summary:

Sophy is working as a servant to rural vicar Reverend Twycott when she receives a proposal of marriage from gardener Sam Hobson, but she rejects his proposal. When she injures her foot in a fall down stairs, she thinks she will have to leave the vicarage, but Reverend Twycott suddenly realises her worth and proposes to her and is accepted by Sophy. Feeling that he has committed ‘social suicide’ by marrying a servant, Twycott moves to a new ‘living’ in south London. They have a son, Randolph, who is sent to public school in preparation for Oxford or Cambridge, prior to taking up the ministry. When Twycott dies, Sophy lives in a small house he had the...
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