Thomas Hardy

Start Your Free Trial

How might one analyze Thomas Hardy's poem "He Didn`t Expect Much"?

Expert Answers info

Verdie Cremin eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write2,994 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Conclusion of previous answer:

Line 18 is especially interesting, since the speaker imagines that life regards him and other humans as children. In other words, he assumes that life is not belligerent or hateful, just honest and forthright. It doesn’t promise too much, and thus it wins the respect of the speaker, who appreciates its paradoxically reliable unreliability. In other words, life is consistently inconsistent and never gave any indication that it would be otherwise. To add further irony to these kinds of paradoxes, precisely because  life has proven to be consistently inconsistent, the speaker has been able to plan for it and cope with it. And, to add yet one further irony to our reading of the poem, we realize by the end of the work that this poem has not really been a dialogue between the speaker and life (since life cannot participate in any such dialogue) but has simply been an extended meditation by the speaker, who himself deserves credit for the solid good sense he...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 665 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Verdie Cremin eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write2,994 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences



check Approved by eNotes Editorial