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Relationships between men and women are a perennial subject of interest.

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Introduction

English Wide Reading Task Relationships between men and women are a perennial subject of interest. Examine how this topic in treated in short stories of two different periods. For this task, I chose "Tony Kytes: Arch Deceiver" by Thomas Hardy, and "Tickets, Please" by D. H. Lawrence. These short stories are excellent for comparison, as "Tony Kytes" is pre-20th century, while "Tickets, Please" is from World War 1, when female empowerment came about. In the story "Tony Kytes: Arch Deceiver", the main male character is called Tony Kytes. His character is very likeable, being very human, reacting realistically to the situation at hand, for example, when the three maidens in the wagon tumble out as the horse walks into a ditch. He is very quick-witted, being able to invent stories to tell the three to keep them on good terms. He is described as being handsome, with a "little, round, firm, tight face", and being very popular with women, being "quite the women's favourite". As the story progresses, you can see Tony Kytes' character in more and more detail. At the beginning, you can see that he's a kind and gentle person, shown by his giving a ride to Unity even though he's engaged to be married. ...read more.

Middle

Unity also refuses, like Hannah, because she's "in a tantrum because of (their) discovery". Milly, who is last to be asked to marry Tony, accepts. This is a surprising reaction, as we would expect her to be outraged at the fact that even though they are engaged, he asked her to marry him last, first choosing to ask Hannah and Unity. She then asks him if he meant a word of what he said to the others. With an emphatic gesture, he denies it, and she believes him. Our first impression of this is that she is gullible. But then we realise that, in a way, Milly has won Tony. The other two walked off, hoping in vain that he would follow them, or propose later, in private. Milly is the only one who accepts him the first time, probably thinking that if she refused, he would ask one of the other two. And again, Tony is not completely frank, when he says that he didn't mean what he said to the others. He is desperate (I think) when his two main choices refuse, and will probably say anything to get Milly to marry him. ...read more.

Conclusion

made him "see red". John Thomas is then made to make a decision on which girl he wants to marry: "You've got to choose". This is very like "Tony Kytes", where Tony Kytes has to make a choice on whom to marry, and here a similar situation arises. But the difference is that the girls here are trying to genuinely hurt him, and one of the girls, Nora, strangling him. The sense of sadism on the part of the girls is further heightened when three of the girls, Polly, Emma and Muriel, start laughing at his prone form, with torn tunic and "torn wrists", and even though it isn't sinister laughter, what sort of person laughs at that kind of sight? John Thomas finally chooses Annie, probably thinking that, as she is the leader, the others will probably turn on her, as she organised this and is counting on their jealousy as none of them got to marry him, but Annie did. Annie refuses to touch him, and rejects his forced proposal. This is unlike "Tony Kytes", where at least Tony marries one of them, while John Thomas doesn't. Both stories throw a completely different light on the subject of men-women relations. "Tony Kytes: Arch Deceiver" shows the relationships in an amusing way, while "Tickets, Please" tackles the darker side of relationships. ...read more.

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