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Tony Kytes The Arch Deceiver and Spiv In Love

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Compare and Contrast "Tony Kytes The Arch Deceiver" by Thomas Hardy and "Spiv In Love" by Bill Naughton "Tony Kytes The Arch Deceiver" and "Spiv In Love" and stories of a man being 'spoilt for choice' with women. The stories detail how the main character takes a liking to a number of different women at the same time, and end up in a situation they wouldn't want to be in. The general idea of these stories is "what goes around comes around", with the men getting their 'just desserts' at the end. The plot of both stories is similar. The main characters, both men, take a liking to several women. Both were into something serious with one woman, in "Tony Kytes" the main character is engaged to someone, and in "Spiv In Love" the main character is going "steady" with someone. In "Tony Kytes" we see the main character on his way home offering lifts to three different women and hiding them from one another, one of them, Milly, is the one he is engaged to. At the end of the story the three women emerge from hiding in the carriage and find out about each other. ...read more.


In "Spiv" the main character deals on the Black Market, and also appears to be a 'classy' dresser so he owns some amount of money. The way the characters and presented in each story is radically different. Tony Kytes is presented as someone who is looking for a wife and is engaged to Milly, so we expect to find Tony settling down with Milly. The "Spiv" is presented as someone who takes a small amount of liking to himself. He opens with "She was a bit of a drip was old Myra, but absolutely gone on me". Immediately we may think that he's popular with women. He cares a lot about his appearance, and the women's appearance aswell, saying, "I can't turn my back on a woman who looks up to me...even if I can't bear the sight of her otherwise". He also enjoys "a bit of the old flannel", which is flattery, and likes being complimented on his dress sense. Tony Kytes' appearance isn't described in as much detail, but he "was quite the women's favourite", so we understand he is popular with women. The female characters aren't described in as much detail as the main characters, but the females in both stories appear to be "lead on" by the main characters. ...read more.


This technique places a sense of realism in the story, bringing us closer to the story than if the narrative was written in standard English. During the times these stories were set, a woman's career was to marry and look after the home. A man leading women on or taking on a couple of women wasn't too uncommon, because the man was, without being too sexist, the "dominant" sex, and needed to find a good woman to settle down with. Times have changed since then, and so by reading this I find that the behaviour of the main characters is not strictly unacceptable, but immoral. Over the last century, women have become more independent and have earned more respect, and will not be lead on by a man as easily as in the stories. During the times in which they were set it wouldn't have been seen as wrong as such, but still during both settings a woman might have taken offence to either Tony's or the spiv's actions. I think that placing the stories into different social and historical contexts would bring out different reactions, but the idea of a woman not being a "slave" to a male is the issue raised in both stories. Shaun Collier 7/2/2001 ...read more.

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