Comaprison Of Tony Kytes Essay, Research Paper
Comparison between Tony Kytes, the Arch Deceiver by Thomas Hardy and Turned by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
The first story, Tony Kytes, the Arch Deceiver , by Thomas Hardy, is a pre 19th century piece of literature. The story features Mr. Tony Kytes, a young, eligible and attractive gentleman. Who has, after a long string of relationships and attractions to various women of his town, has decided to settle down, and is currently engaged to Milly Richards. However, he has a reputation for being a bit of a ladies man, and his promiscuous past has left him with rather a large group of female admirers, to which he is not completely detached from.
The story opens with Tony Kytes driving along in his wagon one Saturday, and he happens to come across Unity Sallet, a young woman to whom he was previously involved with. Unity approaches him, asking for a lift, this proposal leaves him in quite a quandary, which gives the reader the first sign of the etiquette and customs of that time, and how they differ from our own in the present day. His problem was weather or not to give Unity a lift, now, to us in present day, the obvious choice would of course be to offer the lady a lift. However, in the times when this story was written, it would be seen as improper for a young man to be seen with a young lady un-chaperoned, especially when the man in question was engaged to be married. However, it would also be impolite to refuse this lady a lift, and consign her to making the same journey as him, on foot. In the end he decides to give her a lift, and she joins him in the wagon. As they are travelling, talk turns to their previous relationship, and Tony begins to think about weather he made the right decision in choosing Milly, his current fianc . This is very revealing about Tony, as it shows to the reader that Tony is not at all mature enough and emotionally developed enough to actually settle down , it becomes apparent that Tony quite enjoyed his promiscuous lifestyle, constantly being chased by attractive young women.
Along the way, he spots his fianc , Milly Richards, on the road ahead of them. Knowing that she too will want a lift, and will probably be angry at the fact that he is keeping company with a previous girlfriend of his, he asks Unity to hide in the back of the wagon, so he can safely pull up alongside Milly. Although he tries to evade offering her a lift, he cannot refuse her, and she joins him in the wagon.
Finally, in keeping with the general theme of the story, they approach Hannah Jolliver, another woman Tony had previously been involved with. Tony requests that Milly hide herself in the front of the wagon, just whilst they pass Hannah. Milly dutifully agrees and obeys Tony, hiding herself away in the front of the wagon whilst the pass Hannah. However, as they are just passing her, Hannah requests a lift, a wish that Tony eventually grants, and Hannah joins Tony in the wagon, and the continue down the road, all three women completely oblivious to the others presence. Again, talk turns to their previous relationship, Hannah beings asking awkward questions, about things Tony does not wish to discuss within earshot of the two other women concealed in the wagon. However, although Tony does not wish to discuss these things in front of the other two women, it does not mean that he does not want to discuss them altogether, and he tries to lower his voice so he can continue his rather improper conversation with Hannah. Unfortunately, his tone is not quiet enough, and the other two women hear, and it is all they can do to avoid leaping out of their hiding places and confronting Tony, but they do not and the conversation continues. Tony s thoughts begin to wander as this point, and he beings to wonder why he even chose Milly in the first place, another sign to the reader of Tony s indecision and immaturity.
After a while, Tony has to get out of the wagon to speak to his father, who initially tells him off for being seen with Hannah Jolliver, another sign of the times this was written in. However, as Tony is explaining the situation, and his predicament to his father, the wagon overturns and the women discover each other. Which leads us to probably the most interesting part of the story, and the most revealing about Tony Kytes character.
After the women discover each other, Tony rushes back to the wagon to separate the women, who are by this time busy quarrelling amongst themselves after overhearing each other s conversations with Tony. After breaking them up, Tony then proposes to each one in turn, the first two refuse, but his current fianc agrees to his proposal. This is very revealing about the character of the other two women and that of his fianc , is shows how the other two women are much stronger and prouder than his fianc , which could also been seen as an indication to Tony character, as he chose to marry a weak women who was easy to push around.
The second story is written in the 20th century present day by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The story is centred around Mr and Mrs. Marroner, and their young maid, Gerta. Mr and Mrs Marroner were a wealthy, well-to-do couple, who had a high social standing. However, they were obviously not completely happy in their marriage, as Mr. Marroner had had an affair with their maid, Gerta, leaver her pregnant with his child. Mr Marroner then went away on a business trip, and whilst he was gone, he wrote to Gerta frequently. It was through the interception of one of these letters that Mrs. Marroner came to know about her husbands affair with their maid, and also about the terrible burden he had left her with. At first Mrs. Marroners loyalties clearly lay with her husband, and she considered throwing out Gerta, but then after she thought about it, and about how vulnerable and young Gerta was, she realised that it wasn t her fault, it was her husbands. So in the end she decided to take Gerta, and move away from Mr. Marroner, he man that had hurt them both, and take care of the child themselves.
Both the stories, though written in completely different times, have some remarking similarities, especially in the way they portray the men. In both stories, the men are portrayed as lying deceitful, unfeeling people. In the first story we can see this by the way Tony Kytes tries to deceive all the women, playing them for fools and trying to get his own way, not thinking about how his actions may hurt his fianc . In the second story, Mr. Marroner is thinking only about himself when he takes advantage of Gerta. Who is clearly described as innocent and docile so the readers can clearly see that none of this is Gertas fault, and that she was an easy target for Mr. Marroners advances. Both men are also shown to be unrealistic, only thinking about themselves. For example in the first story, it is clear that Tony Kytes is not thinking about his current situation when he is engaged in romantic conversation with the two women who were not to be his wife, he was only thinking about himself. As was Mr. Marroner, when he sent Gerta a cheque for $50, a small sacrifice when compared to the life that was stolen away from Gerta the moment Mr Marroner impregnated her with his child. The $50 was also a very unrealistic sum. It is obvious to the reader that Mr. Marroner is not a realistic person. He seems to think that by sending a small amount of money, he has played his part, settled up with the girl, and also helped her out. It is obvious that this is not so.
Both the men in the stories played the women for fools, manipulating them and disregarding their feelings to their own ends.
Also the women in the two stories are portrayed rather stereotypically, each story features at least one weak woman, and one strong one, this provides an interesting contrast. In the first story there is Milly was a weak woman, agreeing to marry Tony after all he had done, whilst the other women, although besotted by Tony, refused his proposals because they were stronger, and prouder. In the second story. Gerta is the weak one, giving in to Mr Marroners’ advances, and allowing herself to be controlled by him. However, I do wonder weather it is the strength of the Millis’ character (or lack of it) which determined weather she should accept Tony s proposal or not, or weather it was the fact that she was already engaged to him, perhaps the other women were not stronger, but just had a strong sense of the etiquette and their status at that time, which dictated their actions for them.
Mrs Marroner is a very strong female character, and her actions are also a good sign of the times this was written in. Perhaps if Turned had been a 19th century story then Mrs. Marroner would have not acted the way she did, and perhaps she would have stayed with her husband, to avoid scandal, and because that was the way things were done back then. Likewise, as with Milly, I do not believe she would have acted the same way if she had been a woman from the 20th century, I believe she would have left Tony. Through these varying storylines, and the way the women reacted to situations it becomes very clear as to the roles of women in the 19th and 20th century. The women in Turned are much stronger, and more sure of themselves, and their rights than those in Tony Kytes, the Arch Deceiver they are more able to stand up for themselves and to separate themselves from the men. This is shown in the second story when Mrs. Marroner and Gerta move away to live by themselves, women would not have been able to do this, or rather, not felt able to do this in the 19th century. Women in the 19th century required a man to support them, they did not go out and make lives of their own, they were often chained to men for support, even if the men were like Tony Kytes.