Some modern men would have seen Tony as lucky – having three women in a ‘waggon,’ although they would probably prefer a car! It is almost predictable that the women will ‘dislike’ Tony, as he is misleading all of the women in the story. The same response can be found to John Thomas, who although isn’t interested in marriage, or an intellectual relationship of any sort, is still very disrespectful towards the women – treating them as objects. The women decide to make John Thomas ‘pay’ for treating them this way. They trick him into their waiting room, by falsely flirting with him. He takes the bait, and steps inside while they lock the door behind him.Order now
They ‘play’ with him for a while before they become less hospitable, and John Thomas becomes mistrusting. The women try to make him choose one of them, and are somewhat ironic in the process: “Nay, how can I take one, ” he said, laughing uneasily. “I don’t want to make enemies.” (He has already made enemies, but will make a greater one as Annie points out…) “You’d only make one!” said Annie. “The chosen one,” added Laura. As he decides that he can’t choose, the women make him face the wall and say which one of them touches him – only nobody does. Instead, Annie hits him around the head and at her signal “they all flew at him, slapping him, pinching him, pulling him, pulling his hair, though more in fun than in spite or anger.” For now they are just having fun, but when John Thomas turns ‘inspector,’ they lose control and the fighting begins:
Tthe other girls rushed upon him, pulling and tearing and beating him. Their blood was thoroughly up. He was their sport now.” DH Lawrence mentions that John Thomas is “their sport now,” and he does this to show that they were his sport at one time, and now they are taking revenge. The next few sentences mimic the introductory sentence: it starts to speed up showing the lack of control that was hinted about at the beginning: there’s repetition – making John Thomas the focal point, and more of the dangerous words: “The girls rushed at him, clenched their hands on him and pulled at him: or they rushed at him and pushed him, butted him with all their might: or they struck him wild blows. He ducked and cringed and struck sideways. They became more intense.”
“Wild blows” – the women are like wild animals who are hunting their prey, and will stop at nothing to trap him. John Thomas soon realises what he has done, and the animal theme is carried on when he “winced away from those eyes.” DH Lawrence tries to enhance the suspense: “You ought to be killed, that’s what you ought,” said Annie tensely. “You ought to be killed.” And there was a terrifying lust in her voice. “…said Laura, with vindictive decision.” (She has an eagerness/lust for revenge.)
John Thomas shocks everyone by finally choosing: “All right, then,” he said, “I choose Annie.” His voice was strange and full of malice. Annie is the main female character in ‘Tickets, Please’ and has her heart broken along with the other women that John Thomas has duped: “I won’t touch him,” she said. But her face quivered with a kind of agony, she seemed as if she would fall.” Despite the fact that John Thomas is an uncaring, self-centred man, the women still want him. “Yet each of them waited for him to look at her, hoped he would look at her. All except Annie, and something was broken in her.”
As they women come to realise what he has said they, especially Annie, start to calm down. They feel ashamed about what they have done, and won’t touch him as he leaves. They only stop to give him some advice, or one might call it an ‘order.’ “Tit for tat, old man,” she said. ” Show yourself a man, and don’t bear a grudge.” (This is a very sexist comment, and is ironic that the women wanted to be rid of sexism, and are employing it themselves!)
John Thomas thinks that he has failed, but in reality, it was the women who failed, as they lost their self-control. Initially they thought that they’d won, but by using male tactics of aggression, they stopped down to John Thomas’s level/men’s level in general by trying to be in control. They are amazed at what they’ve done – they are no better then the men: “They were tidying themselves hurriedly, with mute, stupefied faces.” Whereas John Thomas was left with no one, Tony somehow ends up with Milly. The other women in the Tony Kytes story rejected Tony at the end so as to keep their dignity – but they still wanted him: “Never – I would sooner marry no-nobody at all!” she gasped out, though with her heart in her throat, for she would not have refused Tony if had asked her quietly, and her father had not been there…”
By the way that Tony talks beforehand, he is shocked that Hannah won’t have him: “What, you won’t have me Hannah” said Tony, his jaw hanging down like a dead man’s. After being rejected, Tony decides that the will ignore his father’s advice, along with Milly’s continual sobbing, and asks Unity to be his: “Take her leavings? Not I!” says Unity. “I’d scorn it!” And away walked Unity Sallet likewise, though she looked back when she’d gone some way to see if he was following her.” Unity, like Hannah, wants Tony, but refuses him, partially to keep the etiquette, and to see if he will still want her after being rejected.
Finally he turns to mIlly, though unwillingly, and contrives some tale about fate bringing them together! Milly belives what he says and agrees to be his wife, after being assured that she was the only one he wanted. Tony doesn’t really want Milly. The author puts this idea across by making her the first and yet last person that Tony asks to marry, but as the times suggested that women should marry, Milly took the opportunity and married him. Their wedding was to be very soon after this point, so that Milly would not leave him, or Tony be tempted by any other woman.
Nowadays, women are much more assertive than the women of either story. If Tony had been a modern day man, then he would have been left alone, and John Thomas would have had more to show for his deceit. Both men thrive on the fact that they know the women want them, and both are astounded at the end when they are rejected.
The writers have very similar yet contrasting endings. Although the women reject both men, ‘John ThomAas’s women’ use aggression and violence to have victory over him. ‘Tony’s women’ are much less impetuous, and want him much more than the other women want John Thomas. The eras have a great effect on the thoughts and freedom of the women, and both eras have contrasting features to today’s society. There are many successful career women in the modern day world who don’t need a man to support them, but if it wasn’t for people such as Emmeline Pankhurst, and such other people in both the Victorian and the wartime, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Equal – Almost.