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How does Thomas Hardy present Men, Women and their relationships in the three 'WessexTales'?

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Introduction

How does Thomas Hardy present Men, Women and their relationships in the three `Wessex Tales'? During the nineteenth century, Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), born in Wessex, wrote several intriguing short stories. Hardy is best known for his beautiful but often harsh portrayal of rural England set in and around his beloved Wessex. I am going to discuss the ways in which he portrays men, women and their relationships referring to three of his stories. `Tony Kytes-The Arch Deceiver', `The Sons Veto' and `To Please His Wife'. The main character of `Tony Kytes-The Arch Deceiver' is Tony Kytes himself. He was a young, working class boy and was quite an indecisive person, who desired not one, but three women. All of which he had dated in the past. He was very sweet and charming. "He was quite the women's favourite, and in return he loved `em in shoals." Tony was also patronizing and had quite a shallow regard for women. Eventually he decided to settle with one, Milly Richards. "But in course of time Tony got fixed down to one in particular, Milly Richards, she was a nice, light, small, tender little thing;" They were engaged and set to be married, but she was not his favourite. ...read more.

Middle

Mr. Twycott lost his reputation, soon after they had a son, Randolph, who went to public school and was very well educated. Mr. Twycott became very dependent on Sophy as the years passed by, even though she was disabled in a wheelchair and was not very aristocratic like him and their son. He soon passed away and Sophy was left alone. She hardly ever saw her son, as he was always away at school, but she remained to keep her house open for when he rarely visited during the holidays. Since her husband's death they had lost their mother-son bond. "Her boy, with his aristocratic knowledge, his grammars, and his aversions, was losing those wide infantine sympathies." Perhaps she felt guilty for the death of her husband, and now thought she had to live up to her sons expectations. He looked down on his mother and was very rude to her, his attitude throughout his mother's life remained, controlling her and being very demanding. Sophy wasn't extremely intelligent and she didn't exceed her son's expectations! "HAS, dear mother--not have!' exclaimed the public-school boy, with an impatient fastidiousness that was almost harsh." Sophy was presented as feeling intimidated by her son and her husband. ...read more.

Conclusion

The sailor was portrayed as gullible, and innocent. "Joanna contrived to wean him away from her gentler and younger rival." But Joanna was not marrying because she loved him, but because she wanted revenge on Emily. Joanna wasn't a loving person, and she also had a shallow regard for Shadrach. "She had never been deeply in love with Jolliffe. For one thing she was ambitious, and socially his position was hardly so good as her own." Shadrach became aware of her attitude over time and he decides he wants to try again with Emily. He regrets marrying Joanna "and now I see the one I ought to have asked to be my wife." He is also shallow, "beautiful creatures and he takes the first that comes easy, without thinking if she loves him, or he might not soon love another better than her." He says this to Emily, and at first she isn't interested, she still likes him but he is about to marry Joanna. He asks her to marry him, knowing Joanna wants better and hoping she will let him go. Emily is quite dubious of him "I wonder - are you sure - Joanna is going to break off with you? O, are you sure? Because -" ...read more.

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