How To Tell If You’re In A Thomas Hardy Novel -The Toast

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judePreviously in this series: How to tell if you’re in a Jane Austen novel.

You live in a city that is not exactly Oxford and is not exactly Dorchester, located in a county that is most emphatically not Dorset.

You make a terrible decision, fueled by the effects of alcohol, that casts an unremitting pall over the rest of your days.

You are a victim of erotolepsy and have been ensnared in a marriage not of your choosing by a manipulative scoundrel.

You are personally critical of Christianity in particular and of social institutions in general. This does you no good.

You have a favorite cow.

You have tried to kill yourself, and you have been stymied in the attempt. The actual cause of your death ten years later will be far more painful and drawn-out than anything you could have dreamed up.

You have a terrible secret. The man you love has an even more terrible secret. The man who loves you has no secrets at all; this is why you could never love him.

You saw a tractor once, and hated it.

Someone very interesting has just returned from Paris.

Your pure and radiant beauty is the worst thing that has ever happened to you.

You have been rejected on your wedding night.

A simple misunderstanding in the afternoon leads to three untimely deaths in the evening.

You have been left alone to face social consequences despite your intrinsic goodness.

You find yourself caught up in a battle between the desires of your own heart, the convictions of your untrammeled mind, and the expectations of your family. Your family wins, and it’s terrible.

You are hanged to death while you may or may not be pregnant.

You are more sinned against than sinning, even more to be pitied than censured. But you are still censured.

Someone very interesting has just returned from Brazil.

A minor enemy of yours, who you slighted in the long-distant past, is the ultimate cause of your destruction.

No matter how bad things get, you can always rely on the fact that no one you know will ever offer to help you.

Everyone in the world except for you is sexually repressed. This is the root cause of at least half of your problems.

Someone very interesting has just returned from America.

You add a bit of local color to a mildly ironic portrait of rural town life in the middle of the nineteenth century.

You have hastily married someone you know to be unworthy of you; your celestial imperiousness, love, wrath, and fervor had are thrown away on your milksop of a husband. 

You are about to break your marriage vows for someone you know to be unworthy of you.

You have a mystical connection with nature that makes your horrible, undeserved death all the more tragic.

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