Analysis of Hap by Thomas Hardy

In this article, we are going to analysis the poem Hap by Thomas Hardy.

Hap Poem:

If but some vengeful god would call to me
From up the sky, and laugh: “Thou suffering thing,
Know that thy sorrow is my ecstasy,
That thy love's loss is my hate's profiting!” 

Then would I bear it, clench myself, and die,
Steeled by the sense of ire unmerited;
Half-eased in that a Powerfuller than I
Had willed and meted me the tears I shed.

But not so.   How arrives it joy lies slain,
And why unblooms the best hope ever sown?
—Crass Casualty obstructs the sun and rain,
And dicing Time for gladness casts a moan. . . .
These purblind Doomsters had as readily strown
Blisses about my pilgrimage as pain. 

Overviews of Hap Poem:

Thomas Hardy's half as a poem depicting God or fate through the perspective of naturalism. Naturalism is the belief that God and nature are uninvolved in the lives of humans. Do not care about humanity and are neither good nor bad.

It is the belief that humans cannot control their own destiny. Unlike the romantic view that nature is benevolent and God can be found in nature. Because of the 19th-century scientific discoveries, people questioned faith in God. Many authors such as Hardy felt life was controlled by fate or chance, not God. The erosion of traditional faith in Christian beliefs due to the discoveries in science and advancement of technology that came with the industrialization during the Victorian age created a new way of looking at nature and God called naturalism.

Analysis of Hap Poem: 

In the first few two stanzas, Hardy says if god were vengeful like the Greek gods telling him thou suffering thing know that thy sorrow is my ecstasy that thy love's loss is my hates profiting. Then he could just be angry and accept the unfairness of life.

But in the third stanza, he says this isn't. So in the third stanza, he says God isn't vengeful but rather he doesn't care one way or another about humanity. There is no rhyme or reason as to why some are fortunate and some are not. Life is controlled by chance and God is not involved.


The tone of helplessness of this poem is common during the 20th-century literature. And is a reaction to the Victorian period with its discoveries and science and major changes due to the Industrial Revolution and great pollution and the widening gap between rich and poor that all work together to make people feel that they had no control over their own destinies.

The world seemed out of control by the end of the Victorian period. In the poem, God is not capitalized but doom stirs and crass Casualty are. Suggesting Hardy's loss of faith and his gloomy view of the universe. Since Hardy wanted to at one time be a minister he felt the loss of faith more profoundly than most. 
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