The Workbox by Thomas Hardy
I have to admit that when I first read this poem I did not understand that there were hints and clue suggesting possible hidden truths. When first reading the poem, I thought that it was coincidental. Reading this poem for a second time and researching it has shown that there are some suspicions. "The Workbox" by Thomas Hardy is about a man who may have known more than his wife thought he knew. I feel that the husband knew something about his wife's past. In stanza's one and two, the husband gives his wife a gift. At first she was happy to receive the gift that her husband made for her. In stanza's three, four, and five she finds out that the gift was made out of wood from the coffin of a man named John
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More than likely, she knew this man. Her reaction suggests that she did not just know of John Wayward, but that maybe the two of them had some sort of relationship. She knew more about the man than she is telling. However, she said that she did not know him at all. To prove her allegation, she said that although he is from her home town, she could not have known him because first of all, he was older than she was. Secondly, he left her home town when she was a child; she was not a grown woman yet when he left. For a person who claims to not know the man, she sure did know more that someone who would not know him. How does she know when he left town? This allegation does not seem to be true based on her reaction. Why is John Wayward, and how does the husband know of him? Why did the husband feel that it was important not only to tell the wife that he made the gift out of the material from a coffin, but also of whose coffin it was made? It is almost as if the husband is hitting at some hidden truth. He knows something pertaining to his wife and John Wayward. Otherwise, why did the husband choose that specific coffin? The reaction by the wife tells me that she knew that her husband did something to her lover because someone turning pale suggests that they are frightened.
My theory is the wife had an imitate relationship with this John Wayward character. The wife thought she had done her dirty dead and her