Thomas Hardy, No Buyers

How Does Thomas Hardy Communicate a Scene of Pathos in No Buyers? Thomas Hardy portrays a sense of isolation and desolation contrary to our idea of a street scene with his use of literacy techniques such as his choice language, emotive diction and pathetic fallacy which causes the reader to feel a sense of pathos towards the people in No Buyers. No Buyers is split into three stanzas which vary in length, rhyme and rhythm and thus, this doesn’t provide a rather unnatural structure and this is reflected in the poem with no buyers in a street scene.

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Each stanza focuses on the only three things in the street a man, woman and pony. This emphasises to the reader the stark reality of the true lack of not only buyers but people on this street creating a sense of solitude. Furthermore, one key way Hardy communicates a sense of pathos is via the use of his language. Throughout the whole of the poem the reader receives the theme of that everything laborious and this is shown not only by the diction choice but also the use of caesuras, alliteration and other literacy techniques.

For example, on line two the brushes, baskets, cradles and chairs are described as “Labours along the street”. This is rather ironic and strange because these are the sort of items that would be used to hold people, babies, or items but instead it is now being perceived as something negative and resistant and this is further emphasised by the enjambment at the end of the first line where there should be a pause and this emphasises the incongruence’s of these items.

Moreover, Hardy’s portrayal of time in No Buyers gives the impression of something very sluggish and arduous with the man’s paces being described as “slower than a funeral tread” and both the man and the woman walking “step by step “and this gives a sense of lack of purpose with all their merchandise weighing them down. In addition this is further shown by the caesuras in the form of commas either side of “step by step” and this slows down the rhythm of the poem drastically. This sense of lack of motion contrasts to what we would normally expect in a street scene, thus evoking the feelings of pity and sadness.

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