Women in Thomas Hardy's Tony Kytes The Arch Deceiver and D.H Lawrence's Tickets Please

Women in Thomas Hardy's Tony Kytes The Arch Deceiver and D.H Lawrence's Tickets Please

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Explore the Presentation of women in Thomas Hardy's Tony Kytes - the
arch deceiver and D.H Lawrence's Tickets Please

At the beginning of "Tony Kytes - the arch deceiver" ,by Thomas Hardy,
we first meet the character of Tony Kytes. Hardy uses a full character
description to build up a mental image of Tony Kytes before we hear of
the story. In contrast to this, the story "Tickets Please" by D. H
Lawrence begins with a setting description.

The two stories have many similar characteristics. Although they were
written with 25 years difference in them, there are many things which
are the same.

Both stories show the position of men and women at the time of
setting. In "Tony Kytes - the arch deceiver" we can tell from
descriptive sentences like "and looked at the trees, and beasts, and
birds, and insects, and at the ploughman at work in the fields" that
this is a rural community not yet hit by the industrial revolution.
The members of this village are relaxed, and a sense of tranquillity
surrounds the story, even with the defamation at the end. We can tell
this by the way Tony rides around in a cart, rather than a bicycle or
on a train. Furthermore in "Tony Kytes - the arch deceiver" the women
in the village are very leisurely, which is a big contrast to the
women in "Tickets Please".

"Tickets Please", which is set 25 years later, has much more of an
urban setting, with a tougher, faster lifestyle. The use of the trams
in this story also conveys this image. At the beginning of "Tickets
Please" D.H Lawrence uses many descriptive words to build up an image
of the city where the story is set. Words like "industrial
countryside" and "Stark, grimy cold little market places" convey this
image.

The women in "Tickets please" are definitely more confident in the
ways than the women in "Tony Kytes - The arch deceiver". This of
course has a lot to do with the changes in attitudes towards women.
Women like Annie in "Tickets Please" were probably inspired by the
suffragettes; giving them confidence and making them examine their own
lives and ambitions. The idea that women were equal to men was just
starting to become acceptable, and women for their part were not
acting as "soft" and "gentle" as they did twenty or so years
beforehand.

Around the turn of the twentieth century, England was mainly still a
"mans country" and this is reflected in both stories, although more so
in "Tony Kytes - The arch deceiver" Both stories tell us that it was
incredibly important for women to get married and settle down and they

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also both tell us that that men in the stories like to have the
prettiest girl, and modern views on personality over looks did not
matter greatly. In "Tony Kytes - The Arch deceiver" it appears very
important for women to be good-looking and Hardy conveys this by
telling the audience that all three women were described as "dashing"
or "handsome". The women in this story are aware that looks are
important and think that this alone will be the thing to find them a
husband. Unity says "Can you say I am not pretty, Tony?" trying to
pursuade Tony that she is the one for him. Although at first
impression the women seem naïve and weak, they are more knowing than
given credit for. They manipulate Tony, trying to win his admiration,
giving him the impression that he is in control speaking in a "tender
sort of chide".

Similarly, in "Tickets Please", John Thomas also likes having the
advantage of choosing his pick from the women. In this story the women
no longer wear flowing dresses, but "skirts up to their knees" and
"ugly blue uniforms" Lawrence shows that the girls don't need to rely
on their charms to get a man and they are more at ease with
themselves. Their behaviour in this story is a strong contrast to the
behaviour of the girls in "Tony Kytes - The arch deceiver" Their
attitude is undisciplined and wayward. Annie in particular is
described of having a "Sharp tongue" which tells us of her cheeky
attitude. D. H Lawrence describes the girls as "fearless young
hussies" and he tells the readers that "they fear no-one". This tells
us that the roles of women have changed dramatically in the
twenty-five years in-between the setting of the two books as the women
are now very unruly, in control and most of all, they own their own
mind and won't be told what to do by the male characters.

Unlike the rough, cocky mannerisms of the women in "Tickets please"
the women in "Tony Kytes - The arch deceiver" behave in the way
"expected" of women in those times. They were expected to respect
their men and make him a good wife and look after his children and
they seem to accept this without argument. "I would make you a finer
wife" says Unity when she tries to persuade Tony to marry her. Women
in these times did not do much strenuous activity, and this is
reflected in "Tony Kytes - The arch deceiver" by the girls only
walking through the town. . Mr Kytes, Tony's father, also shows the
importance of society by asking Tony "not to go around causing a
scandal" when he rides with Hannah Jolliver. Also he says Tony should
marry Milly, because she was the only one who "did not ask to ride
with him". This was because women in those times were not meant to be
as forward as Unity and Hannah come across.

In both stories the women like to have a man. In "Tickets Please",
although it might seem like Annie and the rest of the bus
conductresses do not need a man, because of their independent nature,
it describes Annie as being "very glad to have a boy". Although when
John Thomas takes her out she appears to be having fun, it seems as
though she is trying to convince herself that it is acceptable to be
with him by saying "after all" before every positive remark about John
Thomas. Annie feels as though her stubborn exterior might slip and
John Thomas may see her real caring personality.

At the end of "Tickets Please" all the girls who have been "used" by
John Thomas knowing that he is only interested in one thing "John
Thomas intended to remain a nocturnal presence", and they decide to
take action. They catch him at a weak moment, and are very violent in
their revenge, "slapping him, pinching him and pulling at his hair"
The audience are horrified at their hatred towards him, and are
surprised at their aggression. It also appears that they are enjoying
it by "giggling wildly" at his embarrassment.

At the end of "Tony Kytes - The arch deceiver", it is the women who
are humiliated too and instead of ganging up on Tony as they do in
"Tickets Please" they adopt a far more "gentle" nature. Only refusing
to accept his proposal of marriage. First Hannah refuses him "I have
spirit and I do refuse him", but after this statement Hardy tells the
audience that Hannah only refuses Tony because her father was there.
She hopes that he will ask her again though, by the line "Hoping that
he would ask her again". Unity also displays this behaviour by
refusing Tony when he turns to her, but looking behind her as she
walks off, hoping that he would follow her. Finally Tony asks Milly
and she accepts. Milly knows that she is only Tony's third choice, but
to get a husband in that time is so necessary that she swallows her
good sense and agrees. In this story the women show a certain amount
of pride, although Hannah and Unity were hoping that Tony would ask
them again to marry them. Tony's father plays a great deal in this
story, as there was nothing as powerful as his fathers wisdom when he
recommends Milly.

In both stories, there is an irony in the fact that the women fall for
the charms of these two men who both lack personality. Tony is also
not terribly good-looking and John Thomas seems to have something
wrong with him as he is not at war with the rest of the younge elite
men. In "Tony Kytes - The arch deceiver" we see that it is a very
patriarchal society, and the women respect the men. Women were very
much seen as the "lower classes" and were called "maids". The women at
this time were ruled by the men, as shown by Hannah Jolliver's father
in "Tony Kytes - the arch deceiver" when he decides for her that she
will not marry Tony - "My daughter is not willing sir", without giving
his daughter a say in her life. Hannah obviously will do anything that
her father says, and we can see this by how she "ran to him, crying
worse than ever" and also in the fact that she refused to marry Tony
just because her father told her not to.

The men's power over women is also represented by Tony choosing the
most beautiful women and treating it as a game, hiding them in the
cart when someone prettier came along. The women happily obliged and
did not question his strange request.

In "Tickets please" the society is much more tolerant of women and it
is accepted that women will not always do as they are told. They
accept now that the women no longer will be told what to do, and are
in fact scared of them. "Everyone fears them".

The authors of both stories how that neither sex wins outright,
hinting at the equality that we have today and not where one sex is
more powerful than the other.
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