In Tickets Please by DH Lawrence and Tony Kytes the Arch-Deceiver by Thomas Hardy we are faced by two men who have the power to manipulate women to get what they want from them. Both John Thomas and Tony Kytes initially seem to be manipulative. In a sharp role reversal, the women are able to gain control of the situation; however, they lose this at the end of the stories to the men. Many factors such as the time period in which the stories were written in and the writer’s point of view cause an unexpected ending to the stories. It is questionable as the two male characters try to manipulate women and whether they succeed or not.Order now
Tickets Please written by D H Lawrence was set in the industrial environment of Nottingham during wartime. Tony Kytes written by Thomas Hardy was set in pre 20th century in the rural area of Wessex. DH Lawrence was obsessed with honesty, particularly with regard to sexual matters. By writing about sex he was breaking social taboos as well as the then laws on decency. DH Lawrence (1885-1930) was one of five children born to a miner and ex-schoolteacher near Nottingham.
He managed to avoid working in the mines and became a teacher. Soon he left this job because of ill health and began his career as a writer, travelling widely and writing extensively, producing novels and poems as well as short stories. His work reveals a passionate and intense nature with an accurate eye for detail. Often autobiographical, his writings also show his close relationship with his mother and sensitivity about his poor working-class background.
Thomas Hardy was an influence to 20th Century writers, and as recognition of his work his ashes were buried in Poet’s corner in Westminster Abbey, and his heart buried in his wife’s grave – Emma. Thomas Hardy was born in 1840 in Dorset. Before His death in 1928, he had written fifteen novels, four collections of short stories and eight collections of poetry. Hardy is a strong storyteller and his works often deal with the problems caused by human passion and desire.
Tony Kytes the arch deceiver is a hilarious story of an afternoon when Tony was driving home from the market in his wagon. On his journey he met a pretty girl called Unity fianc Milly. As they were riding he sees Milly fearing his displeasure on seeing Unity riding with him on the wagon, he manages to persuade Unity to hide at the back of the wagon. Later on in the journey he manages to persuade Milly to do the same thing when he sees yet another young lady, this time called Hannah. Inevitably, at the end of the journey the three young ladies discover each other’s presence. After a brief period of mayhem, Milly and Tony are alone again planning their wedding.
Tickets Please tells us the story of John Thomas (an inspector on the trams) finally seducing Annie (a conductor on the trams). He wanted to be only a ‘natural presence’, so when Annie wants more he leaves her. To get her revenge Annie persuades his five previous lovers to join her laying a trap for john Thomas. They lock him in waiting room and attack him violently. He is forced to choose one of them. Once he makes his decision he leaves because Annie doesn’t want him and neither do the rest of them. The way in which Tony Kytes is different to john Thomas is the way in which he treats the women. Tony Kytes generally likes all the women.
Would have kissed all three of them…’ Whereas John Thomas uses them for his own pleasure. Tony Kytes wasn’t a philanderer but he was still the ‘woman’s favourite’. He is more boyish looking and doesn’t have the manly features like the moustache, which John Thomas has. There was no more sign of a whisker or beard on Tony Kytes face than on the palm of my hand…’ Another thing the both of the men have very much in difference is that John Thomas is only interested in short-term relationships whereas Tony Kytes wants commitment and marriage. Overall both men enjoy their success with women.
Women find Tony very attractive, despite his scars from smallpox – which he had as a boy. He was a very serious youngster, though you wouldn’t know it by reading the story. Tony, as a man, is very scandalous and facetious, in the way that there is more humour rather than deceit when he shifts between women. He is an unfaithful, indecisive man whose “shaven-face and charms will get him anywhere.
Hardy begins with a description of Tony Kytes: ‘Twas a little, round, firm, tight face, with a seam here and there left by the smallpox, but not enough to hurt his looks in a woman’s eye, though he’d had it badish when he was a boy. He looked very hard at a small speck in your eye when talking to ‘ee’ He quickly establishes that Tony is a womaniser. ‘He was quite the women’s favourite and in return for their liking he loved them in shoals’
John Thomas Raynor is an inspector on the trams during wartime along with the ‘comely’ women conductors and the ‘delicate young men’ who could not go to war. (There is no mention of why John Thomas didn’t go war, and his description mentions no physical flaws.) He is an egotistical, uncaring tram inspector, who is very much a coward under the tough exterior. Lawrence is just as skilful in showing his readers that John Thomas is also a womaniser. ‘He flirts with the girl conductors in the morning and walks out with them in the dark night … He flirts and walks out with the newcomers’
Although, neither man is ever ‘in love’ with any of the women. Tony Kytes ‘loved em in shoals’, which meant there wasn’t any true love on his part. He knew that he was quite the woman’s favourite and used this to his advantage. Tony was very easily led, and his feelings for the women tend to change faster than the wind. Likewise John Thomas like meaningful relationships with women, and liked to remain a ‘nocturnal presence’. Both men manipulate the women to their advantage, leaving a trail of broken hearts behind them, as, unfortunately for the women, for them it is true love- although for the men they were just an afterthought, the women hate being rejected or even rejecting.
Tony is cautious when it comes to the women- he shows concern for their feelings, or perhaps, just his own, when he hides them from view so as not to upset other people: ‘…Now dearest Unity, will ye, to avoid all unpleasantness, which I know ye can’t bear any more than I…’ He is just manipulating Unity’s feelings, and using it to get his own way by telling her things that he knows she wants to hear: ‘…Will ye lie down in the back part of the wagon and let me cover you over with the tarpaulin…and perhaps I shall put a loving question to you after all…’
Victorian women are meant to be reserved, for example, it would be scandalous for them to ask for a lift: ‘…My dear Tony, will you give me a lift home?…’ Unity is a very up-front women, who has no trouble at all in complaining to Tony about Milly, to whom he is engaged, or persuading him that she is prettier than Milly: ‘…In fact, I never knowed you was so pretty before!…’ When Milly arrives, Tony tries to stall time to think up an excuse as to why she shouldn’t ride with him: ‘…I was thinking that you might be going into town to meet your mother. I saw her there- and she looked as if she might be expecting ‘ee…’