Thomas Hardy "The Withered Arm"

Thomas Hardy "The Withered Arm"

Thomas Hardy "The Withered Arm"


Thomas Hardy

Sometimes strange things happen, and nobody can explain why. A door opens in the night, but there is nobody there. A cold hand takes you by the neck, but you are alone, and it is a warm day. You go into a house, and it is full of people. You cannot see them, but you can feel them there, waiting in the dark.

Rhoda is a farm worker. She is tall, with beautiful dark eyes, and works long hours for not much money. Gertrude does not work. She is pretty, has small white hands, a sweet smile, and beautiful dresses. Mr Lodge is a farmer, with a big farmhouse, and many fine cows on his rich farm. Which of the two women is the wife of Farmer Lodge? Which woman did he love, which woman does he love, which woman is the mother of his son?

And which of these people has a withered arm? A poor, thin, withered arm, an arm with the marks of fingers on it, an arm that grows thinner and more withered, week by week. How did those marks get there? Nobody knows, nobody can explain them. But people say they are a witch’s marks ...


Text Analysis: Unique words: about 400 Total words: 5,400
Hard words: arson, believe, blood, carriage, cow, cruel, cure, curse, dairy, dream, egg, enemy, fall, farmer, flash, God, hang, hangmen, heavy, horse, innocent, jail, kind, mark, married, milkmaid, pale, phantom, poor, pretty, ride, sad, scream, shiver, stare, strange, sweet, tears, terror, thin, trial, uncover, veil, wedding-ring, whisper, wise, witch, withered, worried


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