Questions for Discussion

Multiple-choice Assessment Questions on Hardy's "The Three Strangers"

Notes for Question 3:

Verbal irony = the opposite is said from what is meant.

Dramatic irony = the contrast between what a character says or thinks, and what the reader knows to be true.

Situational irony = the difference between appearance and reality, or expectation and fulfillment.

'I thought so. And so be I; and by your tongue you come from my neighbourhood.'

'But you would hardly have heard of me,' he said quickly. 'My time would be long before yours, ma'am, you see.'

This testimony to the youthfulness of his hostess had the effect of stopping her cross-examination.

Subjective questions: answer ONE of the following.

A. How does Thomas Hardy develop various types of conflict in “The Three Strangers”?


B. How does Hardy lead readers to contemplate his theme about class and regional differences and social tensions at the end of the story?


C. What strategies does Hardy use to make this story believable?

Relevant Illustrations of Cottages from "A Thomas Hardy Gallery"


Hardy, Thomas. "The Three Strangers." Longman's Magazine 1 (March 1883), 569-88; Harper's Weekly 3 March (pp. 135-5) and 10 March, 1883 (151). Rpt. in Volume IX of the Wessex Edition, Wessex Tales. London: Macmillan, 1912. Pp. 3-29.

Hardy, Thomas. Wessex Tales. Illustrated by Henry Macbeth-Raeburn. Volume Thirteen in the Complete Uniform Edition of the Wessex Novels. London: Osgood, McIlvaine, 1896.

O'Connor, William Van. "Cosmic Irony in Hardy's "The Three Strangers." English Journal 47 (Winter 1974), 75-84.

Pinion, F. B. A Hardy Companion. Trowbridge, Wiltshire: Macmillan, 1968.

Purdy, Richard L. Thomas Hardy: A Bibliographical Study. Oxford: Clarendon, 1954, rpt. 1978.

Ray, Martin. "Part One: Wessex Tales; 'The Three Strangers'." Thomas Hardy: A Textual Study of the Short Stories. Aldershot, Hants: Ashgate, 1997. Pp. 8-13

Roberts, James L. "Legend and Symbol in Hardy's 'The Three Strangers'." Nineteenth-Century Fiction 17, 2 (September 1962): 191-194.

Wright, Sarah Bird. Thomas Hardy A to Z: The Essential Reference to His Life and Work. New York: Facts on File, 2002.

Created 23 January 2017

Last modified 21 April 2024