Theruined maid represents one of the most complex criticisms ofVictorian sexuality done by Thomas Hardy. The poem entails a dialoguebetween two women, one deemed as ruined while another is un-ruined.It is quite sophisticated owing to the ideologies involved. Who isactually ruined? This is the question posed by this two women. Thewoman depicted as ruined wears nice clothing, shows around her skinwhile walking in the streets among other acts. Whereas the un-ruinedwoman works in the fields tirelessly. The ruined woman does not haveto force herself into the demeaning labor in the farms like hercounterpart does. In that respect, who is actually ruined?
Byutilizing the words thee, thou and you’d, they underwrite themeaning and tone of the poem as well as the language utilized.Additionally, the difference between the two women is clearly broughtout. Several figurative speeches have been utilized within the poem.Imagery is one aspect. As portrayed by the un-ruined woman, theyrepresent hardship i.e. left without shoes, socks and in tatters,while digging potatoes. All these are images of hardship. The titleitself represents a paradox i.e. maid it taken to depict maiden whileruined portrays sexually impure [ CITATION Tho01 l 1033 ].
Rhymingwords like digging potatoes, and spudding up docks outline the forcedaspects faced by the first speaker. The word “ruined” iscontinuously repeated in a variety of forms. This insinuates Hardycould be utilizing it to portray irony. Using the word numerous timesall in diverse forms exemplifies irony. The first speaker also uses“my dear” and could be a mockery. She affirms this through hernext sentiments like “fine sweeping gown”, “delicate face”among others. The term “my dear” is superficially used to implyintimacy, yet the two women do not seem to like each other [ CITATION Tho01 l 1033 ].
Hardy, Thomas. The Ruined Maid. The Ruined Maid. 1901. Document.