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A comparison between

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A comparison between "Tony Kytes, The Arch Deceiver" by Thomas Hardy and "The Seduction" by Eileen McAuly. "Tony Kytes the Arch Deceiver" is a hilarious story of an afternoon when Tony was driving home from the market in his wagon. A pretty girl called Unity to whom he was quite close before he met his present fianc� stopped him and asked him to give her a lift home. They were riding along, having a flirtatious conversation, when Tony saw Milly, his fianc�. Fearing her displeasure on seeing Unity riding with him on the wagon, he manages to persuade Unity to hide at the back of the wagon. Extraordinarily, later in the journey Tony manages to persuade Milly to do the same thing when he sees yet another young lady, this time called Hannah. Inevitably, at the end of the journey the three young ladies discover each other's presence. After a brief period of mayhem, Milly and Tony are alone again, planning their wedding. "The Seduction" tells a story of a boy and a girl, who after a party, go to sit by the river in the early hours of the morning. They talk a little and giggle while drinking vodka. He then quickly began his seduction of her with a kiss. As a result of this encounter, she becomes pregnant. She is very angry, afraid and ashamed as she realises that her life has changed forever. Both pieces of writing show how young women can be misled by somewhat more experienced men. ...read more.


In the case of the poem, the period in which it is written is highly relevant. It is only relatively recently that it has been acceptable for young girls of sixteen to go alone to parties and to have sexual encounters with strangers. However, despite this climate of freedom, the situation of the girl finding herself pregnant is a universal one, as is her reaction of terror and shame. The theme running through both the story and the poem is one of the subtle and delicate balance of power in the relationships between men and women. In the Tony Kytes story, it is often difficult to decide who is being more manipulative, Tony or the girls. Tony seems to be in less command of the situation than any of the girls. As he is continually acting on impulse. The girls on the other hand are each acting with the clear intention of securing Tony for a husband. However, because of the nature of a woman's place in the society of the time, Tony ultimately has the upper hand. The women must wait to be chosen. In the poem that is set in the current times, this balance of power would appear to be more equal. This is, however, not the case because of the fundamental differences in the way in which men and women review their relationships. For the boy the encounter appears to be very prosaic, as is shown by his conversation "I'll take you to the river where I spend the afternoons, when I should be at school or eating me dinner." ...read more.


Both pieces of writing use language that is highly appropriate for its purpose. In the Tony Kytes story the conversations paint vivid picture of the scene as when Hannah refuses to marry Tony ' "I have spirit and I do refuse him" and then "What you wont have me Hannah?" says Tony, his jaw hanging open like a dead man's.' The writer pokes gentle fun at the girls: "and away walks Unity Sallet, though she looked back when she'd gone some way to see if he was following her." The final sentence in the story is a good example of the gentle irony that runs through the piece: regarding the wedding between Tony and Milly, "everybody in Long Puddle was there almost" the obvious exceptions were Unity and Hannah! In the poem, there is no real humour. Even the clumsy way of speaking which the boy has, such us "Eating me dinner", which could be comical, come across only as pathos. The writer makes use of numerous adjectives such as "softly rounded belly", "pink smiling faces" and "grey and frothy tide." The phrase used to describe her ultimate feelings about the pregnancy is very powerful: "This despicable feminine void." These few words convey the situation in its entirety; its negative nature, that it is a purely female problem and that it is inescapable. The women in both the story and the poem appear at first to be from different worlds with nothing in common. However they are, in fact, united by their femaleness; by the vulnerability that they share simply by being women, trying to have a relationship with a man. ...read more.

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