What rhetorical devices are used in "The Son's Veto" by Thomas Hardy?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In the short story "The Son's Veto" by Thomas Hardy , the author uses several symbols and metaphors. For example, in the opening of the story, Hardy describes the mother's "nut-brown hair" which is "coiled like the rushes of a basket." The comparison of the mother's hair to...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

the rushes of a basket is asimile, and the hair is also a symbol of the pains the mother takes to make herself attractive and pleasing, even though she is in a wheelchair and is less educated than her son.

The incident in which Sophy, the mother, becomes lame is also a symbol, as it leads to her being caught in a marriage in which she does not really love her husband. In addition, it means that she becomes a virtual prisoner of her city house, far from the rural village where she grew up and which she loves. As she becomes reacquainted with Sam, the man she initially intended to marry, she gains in strength and is even able to walk a bit. Her wheelchair is also a symbol of her entrapment in a marriage--and an urban life--that is not to her liking.

In the end, Sophy's son, Randolph, is also a symbol of her imprisonment. At the end of the story, at her funeral, he is described as a "young smooth-shaven priest in a high waistcoat [who] looked black as a cloud at the shopkeeper standing there." The son, in a simile, is described as "black as a cloud" as he looks at Sam, the man who wanted to free his mother from her joyless life. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial