What is the genre of the story "The Three Strangers" by Thomas Hardy?

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kateanswers eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The story "The Three Strangers," by Thomas Hardy, could be categorized into several genres. I'll describe each and allow you to determine if one of them is more relevant for your work than the others.

Most generally, "The Three Strangers" is a work of fiction. While the events could possibly have happened, Hardy does not refer to any places, people, or events known to be true. The story is set many years before Hardy wrote it down, so it is possible this is a story he first heard by word-of-mouth. Even if that is so, the tale is likely to have been embellished since the events first occurred. What's more, most of Hardy's writing was done in the form of works of fiction which occurred in realistic, "everyday" settings.

"The Three Strangers" is a short story, and so falls into the category of short stories. It was published in the book Wessex Tales along with several other short stories of the realistic fiction style. 

Most specifically, the story could be considered a comedy. Several of the details of the story are humorous, which is set in contrast by the rather humdrum and predictable setting of English society. One might argue that the rigidity of the greater social context of the story makes their events all the more humorous!

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The Three Strangers

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