Thomas Hardy Poetry - GCSE Questions

Below is a list of past CIE GCSE English Literature 0486 questions on Thomas Hardy poems, sorted by poem. Those that were originally listed in pairs have been split up to refer to one poem each.

These are provided to be used as aids in revision in the run-up to the exam. You will notice that most questions follow the same basic formula, so it is easy to invent your own practice questions. As revision practise, have a go at planning as many of these as you can (minimum 5) and writing up several of those into essays (minimum 3).

This list will be perfect for you if you’re studying the CIE GCSE Literature exams, but if you’re studying Hardy at GCSE with another exam board (such as AQA or Edexcel), they will be useful for you to use as practise too.

Neutral Tones

  1. How do Hardy’s words and images make the poem Neutral Tones so sad?
  2. Explore the ways in which Hardy makes you strongly sympathise with the speaker in Neutral Tones.
  3. How does Hardy make Neutral Tones such a powerful portrayal of disappointment in love?

‘I Look into My Glass’

  1. How does Hardy powerfully convey feelings about growing old in ‘I Look into My Glass’?
  2. How does Hardy portray the passage of time in ‘I Look Into My Glass’?

Drummer Hodge

  1. Explore the ways in which Hardy makes the poem Drummer Hodge so moving for you.
  2. How does Hardy make the situation of Drummer Hodge in Drummer Hodge so moving?
  3. How does Hardy make Drummer Hodge so powerful?

The Darkling Thrush

  1. Explore the ways in which Hardy creates a vivid picture of the natural world in The Darkling Thrush
  1. Explore the ways in which Hardy’s words and images create feelings of sadness inThe Darkling Thrush.
  1. How does Hardy memorably convey the effect on his mood of the thrush’s song inThe Darkling Thrush?
  2. Explore the ways in which Hardy creates vivid images The Darkling Thrush.

On the Departure Platform

  1. How does Hardy movingly reveal the feelings of the speaker in On the Departure Platform?
  2. Explore the ways in which Hardy writes vividly about the past in On the Departure Platform.
  3. Explore the ways in which Hardy vividly conveys the pain of separation in On the Departure Platform.

The Pine Planters

  1. Explore the ways in which Hardy portrays hopeless love in The Pine Planters.
  2. In what ways does Hardy make the people come vividly to life for you in The Pine Planters?
  3. Explore the ways in which Hardy creates a vivid sense that some things do not change despite the passage of time in two of The Pine Planters.

The Convergence of the Twain

  1. Explore the ways in which Hardy creates a vivid picture of the natural world in
  2. The Convergence of the Twain.
  3. How does Hardy make The Convergence of the Twain so powerfully dramatic?
  4. Explore the ways in which Hardy memorably responds to the sinking of the Titanic inThe Convergence of the Twain.

The Going

  1. How does Hardy make memories so vivid in The Going?
  2. How does Hardy make The Going such a moving portrayal of despair?
  3. Explore the ways in which Hardy writes vividly about the past in The Going.
  4. How does Hardy movingly convey a sense of loss in ‘The Going’?
  5. Explore the ways in which Hardy vividly conveys the pain of separation in The Going.

The Voice

  1. Explore the ways in which Hardy strikingly creates feelings of loneliness in The Voice.
  2. How does Hardy movingly convey a sense of loss in ‘The Voice’?
  3. How does Hardy movingly create sympathy for the speaker in The Voice?

At the Word ‘Farewell’

  1. Explore the ways in which Hardy makes you strongly sympathise with the speaker inAt the Word ‘Farewell’.
  2. How do Hardy’s words and images make At the Word ‘Farewell’ so moving?

During Wind and Rain

  1. How do Hardy’s words create strong feelings about the passage of time in During Wind and Rain?
  1. How does Hardy powerfully convey feelings about growing old in During Wind and Rain?
  2. Explore the ways in which Hardy creates vivid images in During Wind and Rain.

In Time of ‘The Breaking of Nations’

  1. Explore the ways in which Hardy memorably conveys feelings about the passage of time in In Time of ‘The Breaking of Nations’.
  2. How does Hardy make In Time of ‘The Breaking of Nations’ so memorable for you?
  3. Explore the ways in which Hardy creates a vivid sense that some things do not change despite the passage of time in In Time of ‘The Breaking of Nations’.

No Buyers: A Secret Scene

  1. How does Hardy make the situation of the people in No Buyers: A Street Scene so moving ?
  2. In what ways does Hardy make the people come vividly to life for you in No Buyers: A Street Scene?

Nobody Comes

  1. How does Hardy make the feelings of the speaker so vivid in Nobody Comes?

I will try to write up a couple of these into essays and post them on the Scrbbly platform for you guys to read through. Feel free to send me your completed essays or essay plans, if you’d like me to upload them to the page as examples to help other students!