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By a careful comparative analysis of the ways in which women are presented in The Sons Veto, Tony Kytes - Arch Deceiver, and On the Western Front, written in the nineteenth century, examine the role of women in society.

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Introduction

By a careful comparative analysis of the ways in which women are presented in the following three stories, written in the nineteenth century, examine the role of women in society. In so doing, comment on the ways in which the values and attitudes depicted in theses stories have contributed to their situation. Women's role in society now, is very different to how it used to be, mainly due to the suffrage movement. In the nineteenth century women couldn't vote, were not considered equal to men, and also couldn't even earn a living. Most of the time men would look down at women as they were seen as the inferior gender and often were patronizing, the first example of this is in 'The Son's Veto' where the female (Sophy) is being corrected by her own son! 'Has, dear mother-not have!' Her son is a public school boy; does this make him think he is better than others and superior? He is certainly frustrated with his mother's apparent stupidity. Sophy has not got Standard English dialect, most probably from a bad upbringing, so in her son's eyes she embarrasses him, although she knows herself she does not fit. The lack of education is problematic in marriage as if either partner does not have the same education and background they're most unlikely to be unhappy in marriage. It is apparent to us that Sophy does not love her husband, the Vicar and married him out of respect-'Sophy did not exactly love him, but ...read more.

Middle

get along well one example of this feeling is when Mrs Harnham states that she likes the Fair her husband response is-'Hm, there's no accounting for taste' this shows he is insulting her preferences. Throughout the story she is commonly mentioned as a lonely person-'Mrs Harnham-lonely impressionable creature that she was' this implies she does not often spend time with her husband-we do not know whether this is intentional due to the fact that she may not enjoy his company neither are we told what her reason for marrying this man was, perhaps, like Anna and Tony Kytes she married through security. But is this the same for males-do they marry through security in these stories? Surely as the males are dominant they would not need to, Charles marries Anna because he is taking responsibility of the situation, even if he did act mature at the beginning of their relationship. Tony Kytes marries Milly as she is his last resort and was always the safer option-'Milly Richards, a nice, light, small, tender little thing'. The Vicar marries Sophy because he became morally dependant on her and enjoyed her company, when she looked after him and wanted it to last longer, he was also affected by what she endured for his sake-'The Parson had been very greatly moved by what she had suffered on his account' The points 'Tony Kytes' makes about marriage are that every decision made there will always be social and moral consequences, 'The Son's Veto' suggests that you ...read more.

Conclusion

You must never leave me again' On the Western Circuit, shows that women are valued, more so than either of the other two short stories, although, at first Charles is portrayed as immature, and unreliable, his character changes and he is seen to be loyal and redeems himself from innocently exploiting Anna. This is a sad story of two lovers who cannot marry as each of them are already committed to another person and although they kiss knowing of the others commitments nothing happens as a result of this. In this short story the females seem to be controlling the relationship and in a way both females have exploited and used, almost deceived Charles, especially Mrs Harnham, for her own pleasure-'The luxury of writing to him' when Charles finds out about Anna's illiteracy he confesses his love to Mrs Harnham-'Why, you and I are friends-lovers-devoted lovers-by correspondence!' 'God help us both! -In soul and spirit I have married you, and no other women in the world.' The roles of women in society are portrayed differently in each of these short stories. They are comically used in Tony Kytes by publicising their misfortunes and not treating women with respect or equality. They are seen in The Son's Veto as the weaker gender and are patronized, in this case Sophy, although corrected by her own son, 'hastily adopted the correction, and did not resent his making it, or retaliate, as she might well have done'. And in On the Western Circuit they are treated as marriage material, without the husband having to care, respect or love the women he is marrying. ...read more.

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