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Thomas Hardy, 'Tony Kytes, the Arch Deceiver' and Charlotte Perkins Gilman 'Turned' In what contrasting ways, and by what means, are relationships between men and women portrayed in the two short stories you have studied?

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Introduction

Yr 10 English Literature Pre-1914 PROSE Coursework Assignment Thomas Hardy, 'Tony Kytes, the Arch Deceiver' and Charlotte Perkins Gilman 'Turned' In what contrasting ways, and by what means, are relationships between men and women portrayed in the two short stories you have studied? The two short stories, 'Tony Kytes' written by Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) and 'Turned' by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) have similar themes, but different messages. In 'Tony Kytes', the people are young and love makes fools of them, but 'Turned' is being biased against men, who in the story are evil towards the women who are good. This is the main difference between the two stories. This however, is not the only thing which differentiates the two stories because they are different in structure. 'Turned' begins with parallel openings and uses many flashbacks. For example, Mrs. Marroner and Gerta are crying in different rooms and then there is a flashback, and the story moves forward to the point, showing why the two were crying and the setting takes places in a couple of different places such as Boston and the town where Mrs. Marroner goes to live after she leaves her husband. ...read more.

Middle

Marroner who is a rich women, lives in a luxurious house in Boston and Gerta is a poor servant. Of course, power was in money, and who ever had it, that person had control over someone else like Mr. Marroner who sleeps with Gerta a sends her $50 and she is an immigrant like many thousands of others who has a hopeless future. However, the two stories are both concerned with the relationships between men and women. For example Tony, a young country man, who is "unsmiling" and is called "the arch deceiver". Is he or not the arch deceiver? No, he is not and this is very ironic, because he is weak-willed, cannot resist a woman and gets easily manipulated and deceived by them. Tony hasn't got a respectful attitude to women, as he makes them look humiliated by hiding in the wagon under the sacks and tarpaulin and promises that he will marry one of them very soon if he breaks up with Milly. Tony also loves women in "shoals", this word suggests that Tony thinks women are like fish because if one leaves him he has another one, and he also calls them "ferrets", as if they are very dangerous to control. ...read more.

Conclusion

She is also highly educated and has a Ph.D. Simply put it like this, Mrs. Marroner is a perfect woman. When she was hurt by Mr. Marroner, she goes against him and convincing herself that he is an enemy who cannot be trusted. She also goes against society and tries to help Gerta by leaving her house, filthy pointless husband and goes living in a small town later on in the story and helps Gerta with the upbringing of the child. In conclusion, Hardy is being objective about the relationships between men and women. However, Gilman who is a feminist will always argue with men and whose story shows that women can gain freedom and equality, if they put their mind to it. 'Turned' will be more effective then 'Tony Kytes' because it is didactic and people can learn from it. The ending of 'Turned' is open, but ends with "what have you got to say to us"? This might show if Mr. Marroner has learnt his lesson. However, 'Tony Kytes' has an ambiguous ending because the people don't know whether Tony learnt his lesson or is he still deceiving Milly after they got married because Hardy describes it as a "rare party" at the end of the story and it can be predictable and can looked at with a optimistic or pessimistic perspective. ...read more.

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