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With references to the selection of short stories you have read, compare and contrast how relationships between men and women are explored

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Introduction

With references to the selection of short stories you have read, compare and contrast how relationships between men and women are explored The theme that connects all three short stories that we have looked at is marriage. In 'Tony Kytes the Arch - Deceiver by Thomas Hardy' we come across three very different women who are more than willing to unite themselves in marriage to 'Tony Kytes' the protagonist of this short story. Whereas in ' Jane Austen's, The Three Sisters' we find that the protagonist is a very strong willed woman named Mary Stanhope, and we gain knowledge of her developing relationship with Mr Watts. Austen shows in a series of very descriptive letters a woman's role and views on marriage, and the advantages of a woman in Mary's upper class, family marrying. On the other hand 'Elizabeth Gaskell's The Half-Brothers' concentrates on the marriage between William Preston, and the narrator's mother, Helen. This shows that if a woman in this time period had a poor economic status they could be forced into marriage to survive and in Helen's case to support her son, Gregory. The relationships between men and women are explored in each of the stories that we have read, and we have noticed how these are influenced by the time period of each story. ...read more.

Middle

The passengers onboard have all taken it in turns to tell a story about someone they know to a man named John Lackland, who is returning to the village after a 35 year absence. Mr Burton tells his tale of Tony Kytes, which is told in lively Wessex dialect. Whereas 'Elizabeth Gaskell's The Half-Brothers' which is written in 1858, 37 years before 'Tony Kytes', has very strong morals and shows in unswerving detail the difficulties of ordinary families. All three short stories that we have looked at were written between 108 and 211 years ago, and this comes across as very obvious in the texts. In 'Tony Kytes' Mr Burton mentions that Tony's face has 'a seam here and there left by the small-pox'. Also, Tony's mode of transport is a wagon; both these details help us to indicate the time period in which this was set and written, because small-pox is no longer found and a wagon is now an unused mode of transport. In 'Three Sisters' we are aware of the time period mainly due to the language used, as a lot of it is archaic, 'Pray Sophy have you any mind to be married?' ...read more.

Conclusion

I think that Thomas Hardy intended us to like Tony Kytes because he is such an amusing character to read and review. Jane Austen intended us to enjoy reading Mary Stanhope but not like her as a person, die to her shallow and materialistic tendencies. Elizabeth Gaskell I think intended us to connect and relate to the narrator and pity Gregory, and Helen. I didn't enjoy the ending to 'Hardy's, Tony Kytes the Arch-Deceiver' as I found it predictable, and boring. I would have preferred a twist in Milly Richards, it would have been interesting if she had refused Tony, and shown some independence. I found the ending to 'Austen's, Three Sister' amusing to say the least. Mary shows a strong willed and at times very modern woman, but her true colours shine through in the way she makes decisions. I enjoyed that we finally met the Dutton's who had been mentioned on more than one occasion. The ending on an argument with Mr Watts was amusing and seemed to fit in with the mental image painted of Mary Stanhope and Mr Watts. 'Gaskell's The Half-Brothers' has an extremely sentimental and touching ending. That I didn't predict at all which was a welcome change from the previous stories that I found had quite predictable though amusing endings. Anna Reilly ...read more.

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