What would be a summary of "The Son's Veto" by Thomas Hardy?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The summary of this excellent short story is one of the enduring power of class and how it can bring misery to our lives. The story centres on Sophie Twycott, who, at the beginning of the story, is married to a pastor in the church who is ailing fast. She used to be a maid working in his house before his first wife died, and after her death, the pastor chose to marry her, saving her from marrying Jo, a man from her village who was her social equal. Mrs. Twycott has a boy who is being brought up to follow in his father's footsteps and definitely to not be aware of his mother's humble origins.

When Mr. Twycott dies, Mrs. Twycott is left to live an obscure life because of the recognition that as her son continues to advance and become more socially mobile, she will inevitably become more and more of an embarrassment to him because of her indelible signs of working class origins. She meets her first love Joe again, and desires to pursue a relationship with him once more, but her son refuses to let her, saying it would shame both herself and him and make his future impossible. As a result, Mrs. Twycott, in spite of the way that her re-kindled relationship with Joe reinvigorates her, dies a slow and lonely death, being obedient to her son and his veto until the last.

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