How is the title of H.E. Bates' "The Ox" related to its theme?


H. E. Bates

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Mrs. Thurlow's attitudinal similarities with the ox point to the philosophical themes of H. E. Bates's short story. These similarities have to be understood with an ironic note however. Mrs. Thurlow is an exceptionally sagacious individual who has nothing to do with the ox. The similarities are an ironic reductionism. It is all related to her defence-mechanism and her will to survive in a tough battle with existence.

1. She is physically like a bony ox. Her lumbering movement and her tail-like pinned up edge of skirt while working are traces.

2. She has to do all the work. She is the beast of burden.

3. she is tied to her old rusty bicycle just like the ox is attached to her cart.

4. her stolid labour, selflessness, instinctiveness, apparent lack and no display of emotion at all and her impassivity are all ox-like features of her character.

5. She remains unacknowledged in all her dedication, once again, just like an ox.

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