Financial situations

Both stories deal with the pressure that lack of money can cause in a marriage, compare the way in which Thomas Hardy and DH Lawrence portray relationships between the men and women in 'To please his wife' and 'Her Turn' In the two stories 'To please his wife' and 'Her turn' the two authors both deal with the problems lack of money can cause in a marriage. The relationships created by Hardy and Lawrence have different outcomes because of their responses to their financial situations.

In 'To please his wife,' Shadrach Jolliffe is a sailor who returns to the town he grew up in after years at sea. Immediately he sets out to find a wife. A sensitive and kind-hearted person Emily Hanning 'lost her heart to the sailor that Sunday night'. I believe Shadrach and Emily loved each other from the moment they met. However Shadrach ends up seeing Joanna because of Emily's lack of interest. 'Don't say anymore Mr Jollife'; therefore she is afraid of Shadrach's approaches. I believe she only tries to cover up her feelings because she knows Joanna is seeing him and is true to her friend.

Joanna talks to Shadrach and then 'contrived to wean him away from her gentler and younger rival'. Joanna is a spiteful person who does not love Shadrach, she knows she could marry better and yet she goes after Shadrach purely because he is seeing her friend. It is this envy that I believe defines Joanna's character throughout the play and thus fuels her actions. 'Green envy had overspread Joanna' as she discovers Shadrach loves Emily. Even though she did not love Shadrach, seeing him bestow his affections on another woman causes her to become spiteful and decide to keep Shadrach and not allow him to leave her. She is spiteful and envious of Emily who has long been her friend.

Mr and Mrs Radford in 'Her Turn' get on tolerably with each other, 'the truce that is held between a man and his wife'. They are happy with the way things are going and see no need for change. I think that their relationship is in no real danger anywhere in the story because of this 'truce' between them and the fact they actually love each other compared to Joanna who I think does not love Shadrach as Hardy describes her mood as 'one of indifference'. I believe she has no love for Shadrach and sees him only as a possible husband and nothing more.

The main cause of both the couple's discord is a lack or want of wealth. 'What are we to do to get richer?' Joanna asks her husband. Joanna is yet again showing envy of Emily who has married a much wealthier man. It appears the main reason for Joanna sending Shadrach to sea is not only to gain a better standard of living but because is to satisfy her jealousy. Her greed and jealousy has consumed her and although she is prepared to do anything for more wealth. In comparison Mrs Radford feels financially secure, because Mr Radford 'earned good money down the pit'. She lives comfortably and merely wants a share of his strike pay for her own shopping. The attitudes of the pair towards money in 'Her Turn' is very light hearted and is derived from the fact the couple have money.

In contrast to this, Mrs Radford does love her husband but all the same wants his strike pay, 'could not entreat nor nag the eleven shillings strike pay from her husband'. This shows that she does not get angry with him or force him into giving her the money. She is a 'easy going' lady at heart and would not leave her husband or seriously fall out with him over the pay. In comparison I believe that if Shadrach was not such a kind hearted man Joanna would be deeply unhappy and her greed would be even more influential upon her actions.

Lack of money is not as serious an issue for Mrs Radford as it is for Joanna. 'They are rich and we are still poor' Joanna tells her husband, she is exaggerating slightly trying to persuade him to get more money for her. Joanna is prepared to send her own husband to sea again where he may be killed just for the sake of one upmanship with Emily. Compared to the fact that Mrs Radford merely spends money to try and get her husband to give her more shows the seriousness of her lack of money.

Mrs Radford spends a lot of money in one go to try and get her husbands pay from him 'There was a certain smug sense of satisfaction about her'. This shows that she considered the fact her husband was upset by the amount of money she had spent a positive sign. She wanted his money and did not care if he got a little angry as long as she got it in the end. I believe she did want to get at her husband but saw it as the only way to get what she wanted. She is not a cruel or jealous person like Joanna, she knows it will shock her husband but it will not cause him any serious harm; unlike Joanna who knows Shadrach is risking his life for her and is still unsatisfied when he returns.

At the end of the story Joanna has lost Shadrach and her sons to the sea. 'I made them go!' Joanna confesses to Emily. She was driven by her greed and jealousy and in the end lost everything she had. Joanna constructs her own fate and has no one to blame but herself for her loss. She is still bitter though 'I don't like you, I can't bear to see you' she tells Emily. Even when Emily tries to console her she cannot bear her pity and is unkind to her though she is the only friend she has left. Mrs Radford gets her way in the end 'next week he handed her his half sovereign', she got the money form him. She did not leave him with any other choice 'A wave of anger came over him'. He reacted badly at first to seeing what his wife had done but he dealt with it.

I think that the greed felt by Joanna compared to Mrs Radford's merely wanting a bit more of her husbands money defines foreshadows the outcomes. If Joanna had been content with her standard of living, her husband and sons would still be alive. In contrast Mrs Radford has her way in the end, she deserved her husband's strike pay from the start. Joanna wanted wealth out of greed and jealousy and in the end paid for it dearly thus whilst I admire Mrs Radford's initiative, which gained a lot for herself and merely injured her husbands pride, Joanna got her comeuppance.