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Compare the ways in which women are portrayed in 'Tony Kytes, the Arch-Deceiver' by Thomas Hardy (1894) and 'Tickets Please' by D.H Lawrence (1922).

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Introduction

Compare the ways in which women are portrayed in 'Tony Kytes, the Arch-Deceiver' by Thomas Hardy (1894) and 'Tickets Please' by D.H Lawrence (1922). In Victorian times and in the early twentieth century short stories were popular because they were easily accessible; they often featured in newspapers. They formed a focus of enjoyment, and as literacy rates increasing reading become a popular past time. I will be analysing two short stories written thirty years apart. Women's attitudes are very different in each story. This is because of the change in women's rights during the 20th century. The first is 'Tony Kytes, the Arch-Deceiver' which Thomas Hardy wrote in 1894, Victorian times. In this time the women's place was in the home, it was a time of elegance, sophistication and a rather serious side to people's social behaviour. The woman would have waited for the men to approach and propose to them. The men had all power, control and respect. Men controlled the world and women. In these times women relied on men for survival. In the 20th century men lost a great deal of power they once had. Now women have almost an equal amount of power. This short story features characters struggling to come to terms with their place in society. The second short story is 'Tickets Please' which was set in the First World War and was written by D.H Lawrence in 1922. ...read more.

Middle

Unity - 'I should have made you a finer wife and a more loving one' Confidence was important because of the fierce competition. Women were low down in society and relied completely on men, that's why women were so eager to marry. They were expected to be polite and passive. However the women are hard to please, as they are always demanding for things such as commitment and favours. 'Well aren't you going to be civil enough to ask me to ride home with you?' This shows that they bossy and they can get what they want. They can also be very manipulative and Tony is easily lead in to his engagement to Milly. Before they discover he is 'playing' them, all the women are very eager to marry Tony. He knows that he has all the power but is not quite in control of everything. The women discover each other, and demand an explanation. Tony must decide between the women, and he first choice is Hannah. Unexpectedly he gets rejected, this happened because Hannah's father was there and did not want her to marry him; his influence changed her mind. In those days it was up to the father to decide whether a man marries his daughter or not. Next he chooses unity to be his wife. She rejects him straight away, as she is too proud to accept second best. Third and finally he chooses Milly who was supposed to be his future wife anyway. ...read more.

Conclusion

He then left the room. The women realized their actions had not actually gained anything. The women in this story seem to want true commitment from John Thomas but this is not what he is offering. He does not want the women to get serious with him; he likes to work his way through as many women as he can. They wanted to now be treated with respect and want an equal respectful relationship. The women are loving toward John but would not go to extreme lengths to get a man. This shows how the women's power and independence have made them become in control of the situation. There was a women's rights group at the time, called the suffragettes, claiming more independence and the right to vote. Women were working because all the men are at war. This gave them authority, which was a great advantage for them. The women did not need men to survive anymore so they can make respectful decisions and stand on their own two feet. The women become like soldiers, in their uniforms, and used this in a negative way. They ganged up on John and it was not fair. They battled with him first emotionally and then physically. The women attack him in a primitive, savage, animalistic way. Lawrence uses animal imagery to show this; 'watchful, gleaming eyes' 'like a cat'. The tables have turned from John playing with the women to the women playing with John. The women took their revenge, unlike in Tony Kytes where the women came grovelling back to Tony after being let down. ...read more.

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