The relationship between Randall and Dorothea was loving at first, they were extremely close and seemed to love each other a great deal: "The parting was bitter; the enforced separation .
.. too cruel an ordeal to bear. " The story shows that Dorothea is not a conventional Victorian woman. The first example is, "the good-bye dragged with lingering kisses..
. " This would usually have been forbidden for a conventional Victorian woman, as parents usually forbade kissing, or even the couple being alone together, before marriage. Randall and Dorothea shared a loving relationship, but they seemed to love each other in different ways.In my opinion, Randall's love for Dorothea was sincere, and he cared deeply about her happiness and well-being: "If the worst should come I want you to have all I possess; what fortune I have must be yours. " In contrast, Dorothea's love for Randall seems to be based entirely on his good looks; "She had sat daily gazing for hours upon his portrait".
The fact that convinces me of the insincerity of her love for him is that she stopped loving him when he lost his good looks; "At the sight and touch of him something within her seemed to be shuddering, shrinking... She felt as if it was her heart, but it was only her love.The fact that she actually left Randall demonstrates that Dorothea was not a conventional Victorian woman.
It shows that she was not prepared to stay with him, as any other Victorian women would have been expected to do in that situation. This, and Dorothea's phrase: "Never, never! Not for millions! " suggest that she wanted to be independent. This aspect of the story was probably influenced by the Suffragette movement of the same time period. The Suffragettes fought for women's right to vote, so Dorothea's wish for independence mirrors the Suffragettes' wishes for independence.My second story is "Tony Kytes, The Arch Deceiver", by Thomas Hardy. Tony Kytes' relationships with women seemed to be brief and uncommitted, and he could not decide which woman to marry.
Tony's love was insincere. This was shown by the number of times he changed his mind when talking to girls who wished to marry him. Even though he had decided already to marry Milly Richards, he considered marrying Unity: "Perhaps I shall put a loving question to you instead of Milly". He then had a change of heart when he saw Milly: "..
. my coming wife, as I may call 'ee,"His third change of heart occurred when he saw Hannah Jolliver, and told her he would marry her instead of Milly. Milly, Unity and Hannah could be likened to Randall, as they all played a similar role in their relationships (with Tony and Dorothea). Milly, Unity and Hannah all loved Tony, as Randall loved Dorothea, but they were all rejected at some point when they were considered 'not good enough'. In 'Tony Kytes, The Arch Deceiver' the girls were rejected simply because he found another more appealing girl and forsook his previous 'fiance ', but in 'The Unexpected', Randall was rejected because his looks were not good enough.
Milly, Unity, Hannah and Randall were rejected because of similar reasons, illustrating both Tony and Dorothea's superficiality. This made them alike. The next story is "The News of the Engagement", by Arnold Bennett. This story focused on the relationship between Mother and Son, and how Phillip's view of his Mother was altered when he discovered her engagement to Mr Nixon. Phillip automatically saw himself as the most important aspect of his Mother's life. The phrases: "she was 'preparing' for me", and "I was the only son of a widow; I was all my mother had", show this to be true.
This point of view was also shown when he immediately assumed his Mother's excitement was about him, instead of her. These male tendencies and selfish attitudes were probably brought to Bennett's attention while he was editor and magazine journalist of Woman magazine. Bennett made a point of describing, from Phillip's point of view, the error of Phillip's ways: " I had never realized..
. that her lonely existence in that house was not all that she had the right to demand from life.This statement, about realizing women's rights, was written around the time when the Suffragettes fought for the women's right to vote, so in this story, Bennett may have been subtly expressing his support. "The News of The Engagement" is unlike "The Unexpected", as the main relationship was between Mother and Son, while "The Unexpected" involved a romantic relationship.
However, there are still some similarities. Both stories were centred on a change of opinion, by one member of the relationship, about the other member of the relationship.The news of the Engagement" is dissimilar to "The Unexpected" and "Tony Kytes, the Arch Deceiver", because the son put his mother's feelings first, while the main characters in the first two stories thought only of themselves. The fact that in "The Unexpected", Dorothea left a man who loved her just because he wasn't good-looking proves that she was selfish, and Tony Kytes' selfishness was shown as he repeatedly proposed to different girls without considering the last girl's feelings beforehand.
The fact that made Tony even more selfish is that all women he rejected had no fault to cause their rejection, because after he was turned down by his new fiance(s), he was still willing to marry the previous girl(s)! I will now study the relationships in "The Half Brothers", by Elizabeth Gaskell. This is a typical 'relationship' story, about sibling rivalry, and parents favouring one child over the other. It also illustrates how hard it was in those days for a woman alone with a child to survive without a man to support her. If she had not married William Preston her child may have had to work in factories or mines to live.
There are numerous relationships in this story; however, in my opinion, the relationship between the half-brothers' Mother and William Preston was the most important, as it influenced every other relationship in the story to some extent. Mr Preston loved 'Mother', but his love was unrequited, as 'Mother' only loved Gregory: "She loved Gregory, and she did not love him. " "... He wanted her to love him more.
.. to love her child less". This was the source of bitter jealousy for Mr Preston, and caused his cruelty and hatred towards the boy until his death.It also caused Mr Preston to be unkind to 'Mother', as he hated the fact that she was more loving towards Gregory but only had ".
.. gentle words as cold as ice... " for him.
The phrase: "He got to taunt her" illustrates this, as does the fact that he argued with her after swearing at Gregory, causing her to give birth prematurely, which brought about her death. He blamed Gregory: "... owed him an additional grudge for having hastened my birth", while suppressing his own feelings of guilt for his part in it: "..
. think how his angry words had brought it on. " As he grew up, Gregory's half brother witnessed other people deriding Gregory, and unwittingly followed suit, although he did not hate him. "I am ashamed.
.. to think how I fell into the fashion of the family and slighted my poor orphan step-brother". Gregory was upset by this "...
he used to turn silent and quiet, sullen and sulky my father thought it" This illustrates the fact that his brother didn't hate him, because he describes his silence kindly, while his step-father thought the worst of him.At the end of the story, each half-brother discovered that the other did not hate him, and they were united by their dead mother's love. "... how we lay together thus by our dying mother.
.. I reckon she sees us now..
. we shall soon be with her" William Preston had a change of heart towards Gregory; the fact that Gregory saved his son's life made him come to his senses, and realise how harshly he had treated him. "My father's last words were, 'God forgive me my hardness of heart towards the fatherless child! The first two stories, "The Unexpected", and "Tony Kytes, The Arch Deceiver" were tales of people being selfish and shallow, as I have previously mentioned. However "News of The Engagement" and "The Half Brothers" are stories about love and unselfishness. In "News of The Engagement", Phillip eventually decided not to tell his mother and Mr Nixon of his engagement so "that I would not intrude my joy on hers", as he wanted his mother to enjoy her happiness, instead of being distracted by his.
He also was not annoyed to discover that someone else was important to his mother apart from him: "'I'm delighted. '" In "The Half Brothers", Mother was unselfish, because she married a man she didn't love just to ensure her child's happiness, and was nice to him, in spite of this: "A more dutiful wife... could never have been.
" Aunt Fanny was also unselfish: "She... thought more of her sister's welfare than she did of her own" The next story I will analyse is "Country Living" by Guy de Maupassant.
This story is about sense of duty; the importance of good reputation in a small country community; the relationship between two neighbouring families; and the gulf between the rich and poor at that time. The Tuvache family insisted that they loved their children, but the feelings were more of duty than love. "...
none too sure which of the heaving brood were theirs... quite incapable of telling them apart. " When a rich couple offered to adopt their son, they were outraged that people with money were able to just come and offer to buy their child.Wanting to take away a baby just like that! " The two families had been very close.
However when the Tuvauches learned that their neighbours had 'sold' their son, they were jealous of the Vallins' newfound prosperity, but tried to cover this up by self-righteousness, telling everyone: "I haven't got a lot of money, but I don't go round selling my children! " When the son of the Tuvauches (Charlot) was older, he resented the fact that his parents had not let him be adopted by the rich people, and so have a better life."Parents like you is the reason why children get held back! He felt that he couldn't forgive them for denying him this chance. "It'd be best if I didn't stay around the place...
I'd only be throwing it in your faces... I'll never forgive you...
" The rejection of the Tuvaches by their son corresponds with Randall's rejection in "The Unexpected" because the Tuvaches were rejected because Charlot felt held beck by them: "Parents like you is the reason why children get held back. " Similarly, Dorothea felt held back in her relationship with Randall.This was illustrated by her running away, and her phrase "Never, never! Not for millions! Tony Kytes, The Arch Deceiver" is similar to "Country Living", in that he selfishly rejected the girls in pursuit of someone better for himself. Charlot rejected his parents to find something better. "News of the Engagement" is also similar because it involved a change of opinion by a son, about his parent.
Phillip was unselfish, because he put his Mother's feelings before his own by not telling her of his engagement, but Charlot put his own feelings before his parents, by leaving them in search of a better future for himself, instead of staying to look after them in their old age.The Half Brothers" is similar to "Country Living" because it involves a change of opinion about a family member. In "The Half brothers", Mr Preston begins to like Gregory after he saved his son's life, and in "Country Living", Charlot begins to dislike his parents after he realises they made the wrong decision about his upbringing. The last story of my selection is "26 Men and a Girl", by Maxim Gorky. "26 Men and a Girl" is a story about the relationship between 26 men and the girl they worship, and what happens to that relationship when their perfect image of Tanya (the girl) is shattered.The men all shared a miserable existence, living in cramped, dirty conditions making pretzels from five in the morning until ten 'o' clock at night.
Gorky emphasizes their misery by describing in great detail the terrible conditions in which they lived: " life in this stone box ... was stifling and cramped.
" Gorky takes six whole paragraphs to describe the conditions, using powerful descriptive words and phrases.This gives the reader an idea of the extent of the suffering, in order to provide a contrast to the happiness that Tanya brought. Phrases like: "... one box.
.. dirt-stained walls, rotten with mildew... wretched and miserable existence," are immediately followed by the phrases: ".
.. brought joy into our lives..
. we had come to love ...
took the place of the sun in our hearts. " The terrible conditions at the bakery might have been derived from the author's own personal experience, as he worked in a bakery in Kazan. Alexei Maximovich Peshkov wrote this story under the pen name of Gorky, which means 'wretched' and 'bitter' in Russian. He used the name as his work focused on pain and suffering.Gorky mentioned that the men held the opinion that Tanya was perfect, but also that this view was unjustified, and only existed because she was the only person to be kind to them. ".
.. one of us would... ask: 'What do we pay this girl so much attention for? '" "But anybody.
.. to say such things we cut quickly and sharply to size, for we needed an object to love. " "Perhaps we loved something that was not truly good" When the soldier bet them that he could 'get' Tanya, the men were immediately anxious to find out whether she would live up to their expectations, and turn him down.
However, they were more worried because they knew, deep down, that Tanya's perfection was just a fantasy, and they did not want their image of her to be shattered. As the whole relationship was based on the belief that she was perfect, they turned on her when she took that away from them: "We... reviled her maliciously.
.. " "... she had robbed us" Tanya's relationship with the men had been of casual friendliness, she did not seem to love them as they loved her.
She listened to their vile and crude remarks to her, and saw them as they really were: " 'Ah, you miserable little convicts'...You pigs..
. you brutes! '" It was for this reason that she ended the relationship, and she ended it triumphantly, showing that she was superior: "And upright, beautiful, proud, she walked away... Tanya never came to us again.
" "26 Men and a Girl" is similar to "The Unexpected" as they both involve one member of a relation ship rejecting another. In "The Unexpected", Dorothea rejected Randall because of a superficial reason - his looks. Similarly, the 26 men rejected Tanya because she didn't live up to their expectations; a thing that she neither promised to do, or knew about in the first place.However, the story differs from "The Unexpected" in that the rejected member of the relationship turned her back on her rejecters, showing that she would not succumb to their nasty comments, leaving them feeling ashamed. In "The Unexpected", the story ends with Dorothea's successful escape, and Randall didn't emerge triumphant as Tanya did. The relationship vaguely resembles the one between Tony Kytes and his fiances in "Tony Kytes, The Arch Deceiver", as it involves a person being considered "not good enough", after first being considered "ideal".
Tony initially deemed each woman the ideal person to marry, but then discarded her for someone who seemed better. In "26 Men and a Girl", it is not that the men have found someone better, but that in their eyes, Tanya has fallen short of their expectations. "News of the Engagement" focuses on a totally different subject than "26 Men and a Girl" does; the preconceptions of son about his Mother. Nevertheless, the relationship between Mother and Mr Nixon does conform to Gorky's claim; "People always need someone to love".
The story shows that, even though she is a widowed old woman with a son, Sarah (Mother) still needs somebody to love. "The Half Brothers" is similar to "26 Men and a Girl", as both stories loosely describe a change of opinion about a character, which causes that person to be treated completely differently. This comes up when Mr Preston regrets treating Gregory badly after he saves his only (real) son, and the 26 men hurling abuse at the girl who was once their idol, after she failed to live up to their expectations. "Country Living" and "26 Men and a Girl" both end with the rejection of a member of the relationship.In "Country Living" it is because Charlot realised that he would have been better off if he had been 'sold', and Tanya realises that the 26 men had not been as kind as she thought. So both relationships ended with the realisation of a fact that had been true all along.
Most of the relationships in this selection seem to focus on love. Although some of the relationships are not based on love, the characters always seem to love something or someone. For example, William Preston's relationship with Gregory was based on hatred and jealousy, but he truly loved Gregory's mother.In "26 Men and a Girl", Maxim Gorky explains this: "Like all human beings, we were unable to exist without worshipping at least something..
. People always need somebody to love. " The relationships in all six stories, and even real-life relationships, all show this to be true. Randall's love for Dorothea, Milly, Unity and Hannah's love for Tony, the Mother's love for Mr Nixon, and the love that 26 bakery workers have for a girl who they barely know, exist because all people need to love something, or someone. For some this love is insincere, and for some it is true, but for everyone it exists.