The Sons Veto
The Sons Veto Thomas Hardy was an English novelist and poet and his story ‘The Sons Veto’ is based on the rigid class system popular in Victorian England. At that time, women were perceived as having a diminutive purpose with little independence. The restrains of society were clearly seen in Sophy’s character.
Hardy opens the story with a detailed description on a woman’s hair. He comments on the fashion of that time. Her name was Sophy and she was born in the country village of Gaymead in a remote nook of North Wessex.
As a young girl, she worked as a parlour maid in the house of the reverend, Mr. Twycott. Sophy had a young man named Sam Hobson, a gardener in the village. After a few months, Sophy wanted to leave her job and marry Sam but couldn’t do so after Mr. Twycott’s wife died. She decided to stay back and also had a quarrel with Sam regarding her decision. As time progressed, Mr. Twycott realized how dependent he was on Sophy. He became ill and whilst he was ill, Sophy brought his meals to him.
One day, she slipped on the stairs while taking the tray down. She twisted her foot in the fall. Mr. Twycott’s health became better although Sophy was no longer able to walk. The parson felt guilty for her and asked her to marry him; she felt as though she was unable to refuse and felt obligated to marry him in order to be socially accepted. She married the vicar out of respect and not love. She was more concerned over her future and knew that any marriage would mean that she would have a home and a good lifestyle in the imminent years.
As the story progresses, Mr. Twycott dies and Sophy raises a son all by herself. The author sets up a social detachment between Sophy and her son, Randolph through the language they speak. Sophy could not formulate sentences correctly and her incorrect grammar would blatantly annoy Randolph. Sophy as a woman had her deficiencies. One day while sitting by her window, she found her childhood friend Sam. They get together after so many years and after a few days he proposes to her.
When she talked to her son he was positive about the idea of remarriage but became angry when he found out that the man was a farmer. In a fit of rage, he made her swear on the cross that she would never marry Sam. One may also interpret it to be Sophy’s fault, which wouldn’t be incorrect, however Randolph gains a sort of power over her eventually leading to her death that could have been avoided had he not been so full of pride for himself.