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How do Hardy and Gaskell portray their poems

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Introduction

How do Gaskell and Hardy portray the role of female characters in the stories 'The Half Brothers' and 'Tony Kytes, the Arch Deceiver'? Being a Housewife, supporting the husband and looking after the children where the main roles of the women in the 19th century. In the stories 'The Half Brothers' and 'Tony Kytes, the Arch Deceiver', Gaskell and Hardy portray female characters in many ways. The two stories are both set in the 1800s. 'The Half Brothers' is set in the 1800s. It shows how an exposed young widow had to survive by herself and support her child. Helen, the mother was so needy that her last resort was to marry a prosperous man twice her age who she did not feel any affection for. The reason behind this was simply to look after her child. 'Tony Kytes, the Arch Deceiver' is a similar story that shows women's roles in the 19th century. The story entails women were na�ve, incapable and desperate to marry. This story implies how men can easily mislead women but the women do not be bothered. ...read more.

Middle

A shortage of money crippled her. It was completely natural for Helen to feel suicidal. She was 'A young widow of twenty', with 'more pressing debts and no money'. The story shows that Helen was altruistic. She was 'pinched' and had 'not much to eat' and little with which to feed the baby. She cared for her child more than she did for herself. Helen had a few choices. Marrying William Preston was only so she could 'take could charge of her boy'. She could not give the 'ready love' Preston demanded so badly. The child came first; she wanted the best for it. Helens husband was unable to support her adequately. Overall marrying William Preston was not all bad, it was a sensible choice as Helen only had a few prospects. The story shows that there were many lonely women in the 1800s. Aunt Fanny, Helen's older sister was a spinster. She was stigmatised as such because she had no defined role. Helen was isolated as she was married to a man she did not love. Fanny was isolated because she had no husband of her own. ...read more.

Conclusion

Hardy portrays women as na�ve and inexperienced. The women show desperation, they were keen on doing anything for men. They were gullible. Lack of pride and dignity is what Hardy shows that women lacked. Tony is left with his last choice to marry Milly near the end of the story. However, Tony manipulates Milly into believing he was lying to Hannah and Unity. He starts to talk on fatalism - 'it do seem as if fate had ordained that it should be you and I'. He handles the situation by persuading her to confide in him. Milly being imprudent agrees to marry Tony. This shows that women were portrayed as unwise and lacked in self-respect. The women in 'Tony Kytes, the Arch Deceiver' seem to be jealous of rivals. Milly asks Tony 'in what way is she better than me (Unity)?' They had low self-esteem and self-confidence. Milly is demarcated as very supple. Even though she was Tony's third choice, she still surprisingly decides to marry him. Overall, women in the 1800s were portrayed as ignorant, na�ve and subservient. They were submissive in the case of the women in 'Tony Kytes, the Arch Deceiver'. 'The Half Brothers' implies women were not public creatures. They were lonely, dependent and self-sacrificing. By Nayyar Ali ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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