In “The Three Strangers,” by Thomas Hardy, the main plot technique employed is that of the use of a stranger intruding on a close-knit society and in some way disrupting the normal rhythm of its lives. Although Hardy uses three intrusions rather than just the normal one, they are only vaguely threatening or suggestive of the supernatural, climaxing at the moment when the hangman sings his song of self-disclosure and his audience backs off in shock. Otherwise the tone is kept at a humorous level, through such well-used devices as the depiction of rustic talk, fondness for drink, and the miserliness of Mrs. Fennel, particularly as it is opposed by her naive but generous husband.
Also of interest:
A Lodging for the Night by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Minister’s Black Veil by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Purloined Letter by Edgar Allan Poe
The Seven Vagabonds by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Three Strangers by Thomas Hardy
The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County Easy Reading Version
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