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CCEA Curriculum Monitoring Programme 2018-19
This is our legacy website and will no longer be kept uptodate from Monday 20th January 2020.

Background and theme

Background details

The conditions of 19th century rural work are relevant to the poem. Hardy’s father was a stonemason who repaired churches, while Hardy trained as an architect.

What the poem is about

The poem features a dialogue between a stonemason and the speaker. The speaker observes that the stonemason’s back is stooped. The stonemason replies that his work is the cause of his physical problems.

The poem presents the man’s attitude to his work. It depicts the sacrifices the stonemason has made in order to make the homes he is proud of safe and comfortable.