Gertrude Lodge is a woman of quite high nobility and happens to be very young yet attractive. She has come from afar to live with her newly wedded husband, farmer Lodge, in the quiet countryside of Casterbridge. Nearby is the Egdon Heath which is a desolate moor. She is a thoughtful and kind lady, one that is rare to find at that age. Gertrude has often visited the other farms and rented lands to help the residents/tenants with what she can spare or afford. In one such example she helps Jamie Brook by purchasing some durable boots to replace his tatty-worn out ones.
She did this out of kindness without a possible motive behind it. Though it has to be said, that one noticeable element of the beautiful Gertrude is that she prides herself in her own image. This means that she wishes to look beautiful constantly and when she had picked up that crude ‘withering’ on her arm, she had become quite solace and bitter about it. She was adamant to do anything to rid it, no matter how preposterous it sounded. Gertude lives another disgrace, that she can’t bare children for her husband.
The fact that she can’t appease her husband who has made her wealthy and looked after her really demoralises her. Gertude fears that her husband is falling out of love with her that she tries to take advice from a conjuror. Only then upon his advice she visits the hanging gallows where she seeks her treatment. To Gertrude’s surprise, the boy who was hanged is the farmer’s son and this shock amongst others is what pushes Gertrude into a decline of no-return. Rhoda Brook on the other hand is a quiet typical working class lady. She has had a fling with Farmer Lodge only to produce a son of whom he doesn’t wish to know off.
She has lived a life of solitude for as long as her son was born, and because of this some of the neighbouring village folk seem to be unkind as well as rumouring her to be a witch. Rhoda has brought up her son to know who his father is and tried her best to heed him between the rights and the wrongs on the lands they live on. Most of the people are farm workers and are very poor except for the farmers that own or rent the land out. Rhoda is one of these people who has always been a milk woman and a hard working one at it too. Rhoda is a timid lady with very a slight jealousy on the farmer’s wife, Gertrude.
It is understandable for this envy, but is not a malicious woman in any case. In fact, Rhoda has helped Gertrude to try and rid the withered scar that imprints her arm. I sympathise with Rhoda Brook, the thirty five year old milk woman the most. She is a hard-working lady and in contrast to Gertrude, the young beautiful wife of Farmer Lodge of 18 years of age, who seems to have a life of wealth. Rhoda has brought up Jamie Brook who happens to be the illegitimate son of both Rhoda Brook and Farmer Lodge all by herself without any aid from any others.
She is not a bad person, and does not mean any harm intentionally to any other of her fellow brethren. From Rhoda’s point of view, she has had to look after the boy and pay her way on the land through the early 19th century in a very quiet part of the country. My sorrow goes towards this older Rhoda who has now lost her son at the fault of hanging. Rhoda has put up with a dark secret that she has kept from everyone except her own son and farmer lodge, such a burden must be quite a strain to hold.