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Compare the portrayal of the male and female characters in the stories, Turned by Charlotte Perkins-Gilman, and Tony Kytes, The Arch-Deceiver By Thomas Hardy.

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Introduction

Compare the portrayal of the male and female characters in the stories, Turned by Charlotte Perkins-Gilman, and Tony Kytes, The Arch-Deceiver By Thomas Hardy. Deceiving and flirtatious Tony Kytes is written wonderfully into this short story by Thomas Hardy, who wrote fifteen novels, over one thousand poems and four volumes of short stories within his lifetime of eighty eight years. Born in 1940 as the son of a builder in Dorset, Hardy started writing around 1960. Most of his writing is can be traced back to real people and events, just as is Tony Kytes, The Arch Deceiver, a short story about a cart journey in which Tony picks up three females, hiding each one from the others, promising them marriage and ending up with Tony being turned down by two girls, marrying the girl he wanted the least, but was planning to marry before the story started. The rights of women are brought out in Turned by Charlotte Perkins-Gilman, a prolific writer born in 1860 on Rhode Island, America. She was a well educated woman, but didn't finish college. After marrying a local artist, she had a child, which caused her nervous breakdown. She broke the mould of traditional stereotypical women when she left her child with her husband and moved to California, where she started writing, mostly about women's rights, which are included in Turned. A story about a woman like herself, called Mrs Marroner, who's husband impregnates their maid and leaves temporarily, returning to find the house empty. Upon finding his wife, who has returned to teaching, he discovers she and the maid, Gerta, are bringing the baby up by themselves. Both stories have a central male. This male lies, cheats and deceives the women, however, the way each woman reacts to the man makes the two short stories very different. Tony Kytes has the simplest structure as it has a chronological linear order. ...read more.

Middle

Once he's come home to find no one there and has found his wife, he feels sorry for himself. "It almost brought tears to his eyes" This shows how regretful he is about his actions. Tony is quite the opposite, probably because he ended up where he started and didn't loose anyone. Mr Marroner feels sorry for himself more than once. "He put out the lights, could not bear the darkness, turned them all on again" This doesn't weaken the thoughts of the reader though. He is not the one who should be feeling sorry for himself, he was the selfish one, robbing the maid who is now unlikely to marry or get any other job because of the child. It seems as though he does care for the maid, however, when he offers her money to help. "Here is money, in case you need it. I expect to get home in a month at latest. If you ever have to go, be sure to leave your address at my office. Cheer up -be brave - I will take care of you' " This says that he is willing to help the maid and his child, but another conclusion could be drawn from this. When he says, "If you ever have to go..." this sounds as though he's trying to get rid of her, so as he doesn't get into trouble. Perkins-Gilman has a certain point to make. She tries to inspire women readers through her work, showing that they can be independent. If she were to write Mr Marroner in as a good guy, the affect would be ruined and her point forgotten or missed. Overall, we can say both Tony Kytes and Mr Marroner are weak, lying, arrogant, flattering, deceitful males. The language that the two males use is not all that different, they flatter they compliment and they charm. "That I will Darling" "In fact, I never knowed you was so pretty before!" ...read more.

Conclusion

She uses her education to resolve the problem, whereas the girls in Tony Kytes just argued and cried. We can tell this if we compare the beginning and the end of the story. "She sobbed bitterly, chokingly, despairingly; her shoulders heaved and shook convulsively; her hands were tight clenched." "Marion, calm steady, definitely impersonal, nothing but a clear pallor to hint of inner stress." At the beginning, when she first realises what her husband has done, she tries to control her tears unsuccessfully, but at the end, it's as though she is a new person. We can also see, from these two quotes, that Mrs Marroner is very determined. She manages to keep on going, make a new life and help Gerta and her baby, even though her husband has just done this terrible thing which she knows will effect the rest of her life. When we look at her personality on a whole, we don't connect with her too well. Throughout the whole story, she comes across as cold, but we admire her strength. None of Mrs Marroner's characteristics match those of either Gerta or the females in Tony Kytes, which make her a completely new type of female. One reason for this could be because of her age. She is older than all the other females, therefore, probably, more experienced, making her act in a completely different way. After looking carefully at the characters in each short story, I can conclude the following statements. There are more like likenesses between the males than the females, as Mrs Marroner has thoroughly different characteristics to the other females. Gerta's first characteristics totally match all three females from Tony Kytes, though Hannah Jolliver is slightly different again. There are slight differences between the males but not enough to say they're utterly different. Hardy's intentions for his short story, Tony Kytes, was merely to entertain, however Perkins-Gilman was trying to stimulate the female population of her time, which probably answers the question of why there was such a huge difference in the one female in her story. ...read more.

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