A Chip in the Sugar by Alan Bennett and A Sons Veto by Thomas Hardy

A Chip in the Sugar by Alan Bennett and A Sons Veto by Thomas Hardy

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This essay compares two stories one twentieth century A Chip in the
Sugar by Alan Bennett. And the other story is pre twentieth century
A Sons Veto by Thomas Hardy

This essay compares two stories one twentieth century 'A Chip in the
Sugar' by Alan Bennett. And the other story is pre twentieth century
'A Sons Veto' by Thomas Hardy, At first glance at both the stories the
two stories don't seem to have that much in common, A son veto is
quite a tragic whereas a chip in the sugar has a happy ending but the
two stories have there similarities both center on mother son
relationships and both mothers have a disability of some sort in a
sons veto Sophie cannot walk due to an ankle injury, and Vera has bad
memory and weak senses in both stories a suitor appears from the
mothers past the two sons in the stories prevent marriage for two
different reasons.

Hardy's story 'A Sons Veto' is set in a time when people where to
marry within their own class Hardy not only shows that is wrong to
create barriers in society but not marrying people in your own class
can cause unhappiness to those involved. It is set in the fictional
county of Wessex in Victorian England.

The main character in 'A Sons Veto' is a girl named Sophie who Is a
parlor maid for Reverend Tywcott, whose wife passes away while she
works for him but Sophie is engaged to Sam Hobson a gardener. But a
fall out leads to the break up of their relationship. Sophie then
starts to take care of reverend tywcott until she has a nasty fall
which leads her not be able to walk again the reverend is not been
able to live without her and proposes which she accepts.

In the story Hardy Reverend Tywcott is considered to have committed
'social suicide' by marrying out of his class Tywcott realises this
and moves to London to stop the gossip about the marriage because they
no nothing about them but they also lose there pretty quite country
home to live in some narrow dark street.

After years of marriage they have a child called Randolph which adds
further misery to her life later on she never really adjusts to life
as the vicars wife which means being a middle class citizen from a
working class background. When Randolph is of an adolescent age he
corrects his mother for her wrong use of words 'has mother not have'
he is ashamed of her and never shows any respect towards soon after.

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Reverend Tywcott dies Randolph is at a public school so Sophie is left
home a lone she has no friends as Tywcott was to ashamed to go out
with her she starts to think about moving back to Gaymead.

Sophie is looking out at the fruit and vegetables carts, One day she
is looking out and sees Sam Hobson her Fiancee from her younger days
they decide to go out for a trip to Covent Garden and rebuild their
friendship and make up for lost time eventually there relationship
progresses and Sam asks for her hand in marriage for the second time
Sophie accepts but says she must talk it over with Randolph who
prohibits the marriage to protect the name of himself as he expects
Sophie to marry a gentleman Randolph starts to insult his own mother
'I'm ashamed of you! You'll ruin me' 'It will degrade me in the eyes
of the gentleman of England'.

For Years Sophie pleads for Randolph to accept that she wants to marry
Sam but Randolph is suspicious that she might marry with out his
permission he forces her to swear on a the crucifix that she will not
marry Sam that he is doing it to protect his fathers memory.

In the closing lines Sophie passes away and her lasts words are 'why
maynt I say to Sam tat ill marry him why maynt I' It is obvious Sophie
has died lonely without one shred of happiness in her life the fact
that Sam the one person that loves her for what she really is not even
invited to her funereal and Randolph has so little respect for his
mother or cannot even forgive Sam even tough he plans to be a priest
who cannot prejudge anyone.

It is such a tragic end to the story and someone who couldn't be any
kinder ends up paying a large price for one mistake she makes when she
young. Who ends up being like a second class citizen by her Husband
and son when there is the possibility that she could have had
happiness if she was to have to married Sam from the start.

In 'A Chip in the sugar' Graham is telling this story in a monologue
Graham is a middle aged man with some kind to have some kind of mental
illness he has a very liberal view and shares his opinions with his
mum who he lives with, Vera Grahams mum suffers from memory problems
and the two of them are dependent on each other there life is pretty
stable.

Vera sees an old friend Frank Turnball on a day out with Graham he
comes up and makes one short statement 'Filey 1934 no sand in the
bedrooms!' they both start to burst laughing. Graham already feels
threatened by him and the more involved the two of them become the
worse it becomes. With Frank around he starts taking out to new places
puts a bit of adventure back into Veras life and the relationship has
changed from 'thinking the world of each of other' Graham starts
complaining 'that doctor says I need a stable environment its not with
your fancy men popping around every 5 minutes' Vera thinks Graham is
overreacting and replies with 'you think you have got one over me
Graham Whitteker'she knows the truth about Grahams sexuality but does
want to say anything either because she believes it is wrong or she
feels it is none of he buisness.

Grahams mental problems means he has to visit the local community
center reguarly to vent out all his problems which Graham has a
problem with opening up his feelings so spends many sessions pretty
quite but this time he calls out as soon as the seesion begins Graham
feels this is a very serious problem that his mum is not as dedicated
to Graham as he would like and feels he is no competition to Frank
Graham opens up and is looking for support from the group and ends
being criticised and he is told he shouldn't be so over protective of
his mum and be happy for her Janice (a women at the group) asks if
they are having sexual intercourse Graham understanbly replys 'I don't
even want to think about it', then the rest of the group accuse him of
being scared of sex which is a bit unfair cosidering he wouldn't pass
judgement on someone, it is possible they don't know about Frank his
views on society are extreme compared to grahams and feels that this
may influience his mother.

One night Franks daughter appears at Grahams doorstep and tells him
about her dad and his habbit of leading vunrable women on false hopes,
news which will come as a relief to Graham as it will be the end of
his relationship with Grahams mum but knows it will be hard to tell
his mum about Frank but when he does Vera lifts the lid on 'getting
one over graham whitteker she says I know about the gay pornography in
his room Graham just goes upstairs saying nothing as usual and that is
as far as they clashed but don't want to make a big deal out of it.

The next morning Vera says to Graham 'I do love you Graham' and the
two of them plan on going to Ripon for the day Vera says 'we like old
buildings don't we', and life for Graham and Vera is back to normal.

The two stories have their simularities the biggest one is the both
the mothers marriages coolapse for two different reasons in the sons
veto Randolph phrobited the marriage of Sam had done nothing to offend
Randolph, Sophie despratly wanted to marry sam but he kept vetoing the
marriage in case it dented his reputations. Whilst in the 'chip in the
sugar' Graham doesn't stop the marriage he don't like the fact his mum
is seeing some one but it turns out Frank has a reputation of leading
women astray and unlike a sons veto Vera still has someone in Graham
whereas Sophie ends up dying a very lonely old women.
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