Hap by Thomas Hardy Analysis

Thomas Hardy Hap: In Hap Thomas Hardy,” the speaker laments the loss of a loved one. The first stanza consists of him hoping that “some vengeful god” is the cause of the speaker’s pain.

He imagines that the god would say that the speaker’s sorrow brings a perverted joy to the god: “thy love’s loss is my hate’s profiting!” The speaker describes his reaction to this revelation in the second stanza. He would “bear … clench … and die,” showing that his suffering would still continue and possibly even intensify.

He is upset that the god would do this to him because he does not deserve this “ire unmerited.” However, the speaker also says he would be “half-eased, too” because there would have been no way to prevent the terrible fate that befell him since it was caused by a being “Powerfuller” than him.

The speaker emits a sense of acceptance in the event that a god claims that he is the cause of the speaker’s suffering.

Hap by Thomas Hardy

However, no god claims to be the cause. Instead, the speaker is mournful about his fate. He describes his life, environment, and mindset as bleak and gloomy: “Crass Casualty obstructs the sun and the rain, / And dicing Time for gladness casts a moan….”

The speaker comes to the conclusion that all the blissful things in his life are either pain in disguise or the source of future pain.

The tone of the speaker is conflicted, pained, and melancholic. In the beginning, when he ponders the idea of a god torturing him, the speaker is agitated and upset because an outside force in the one causing his suffering and he cannot do anything to prevent it. Simultaneously however, he also realizes that his fate is out of his control and it cannot be changed, prompting a sense of acceptance from him.

This mixture of agitation and acceptance demonstrates the speaker’s conflicted feelings about a divine being meddling in his life.

By the end of the poem, however, the speaker relents that there is no god responsible for pain. Such a revelation eliminates the speaker’s half-easiness about the loss because he can no longer believe that a god “had willed and metered me the tears I shed.”

His half-easiness is replaced by a bleak outlook on life, where the sun and rain are obscured and time moans.

The speaker’s outlook causes him to become melancholic as he sufferers worsening emotional pain, so great that it makes him doubt all the good in life. 
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