Female characters in DH Lawrence’s ‘Tickets Please’ and Thomas Hardy’s ‘Tony Kytes the Arch-Deceiver’

Topics: CharacterLaw

Both DH Lawrence’s ‘Tickets, Please’ and ‘Tony Kytes, the Arch-Deceiver’ deal with relationships between men and women and the rejection of women by men. At the beginning of ‘Tickets, Please’, Annie is ‘peremptory’ and ‘one of the fearless young hussies’ that controls the tramcars. At the end after Annie and John Thomas’ roller coaster-like relationship, it is clear that something has ‘broken’ in her. Annie tried very hard to keep John Thomas at ‘arm’s length’, which is emphasised by its repetition, whereas, in ‘Tony Kytes’, the women are almost desperate to marry Tony Kytes.

But in the end, after Hannah Jolliver had refused Tony Kytes, Unity Sallet will not take Hannah’s ‘leavings’ and walks away but looks back to see if Tony is ‘following her’. In the end, Tony ends up with Milly, after-all as she doesn’t believe that Tony ‘didn’t really mean’ what he had said to them. In ‘Tickets, Please’, the women cope with their rejection by attacking him, and in ‘Tony Kytes’ the women cope with rejection by secretly wishing to marry him.

In ‘Tony Kytes’, the man gets the girl at the end, but the man in ‘Tickets, Please’ gets nothing.

Throughout history, the relationship between men and women has changed significantly due to the social and historical climate. In the Victorian era, women were treated as objects that were owned by the young suitors that were found for them. Their main aim in life was to find a young man and settle down.

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As time progressed and the First World War began, men had to leave to fight a common enemy. This meant that women had acquired a new role as they started to work in factories, in the jobs the men had left behind. This set a new agenda for women as they took back control of their lives.

This means that although the stories deal with the same subject, the time difference sets them apart. This fact also alters the way the women in the stories act. Annie, from ‘Tickets, Please’ stays ‘sharp’ all the way through the story, even when rejected by John Thomas. The women in ‘Tony Kytes’, on the other hand, are more concerned with looking for a husband, and so they are more willing to forgive Tony’s deceit.

In the opening paragraph of ‘Tickets, Please’, DH Lawrence describes a single-line tramway system that ‘boldly’ makes its way through the ‘black industrial countryside… up hill and down dale… hrough the long, ugly villages’ of the Midlands. Repetition of ‘ugly’ and ‘again’ conveys just how boring dull and ‘ugly’ the countryside is and how tedious the journey becomes. The way that DH Lawrence opens the story is effective. He describes the journey of the rickety, old tram that ‘plunges’ itself into darkness as it races through ‘stark, grimy, cold little market places’. It conveys metaphorically the roller coaster-like relationship that Annie has with the ‘slithering snail’, John Thomas. The short phrases in the first sentence linked with commas, also gives the impression of a dangerous tram journey.

The train speeds through the Midlands and the speed is conveyed by the use of word like ‘up’ and ‘down’, ‘high’, ’tilting’, ‘rush’, ‘down’ and ‘up again’. We feel as if we are travelling by tram as it gathers momentum before reaching a climax. The reader is held on tenterhooks at a ‘precipitous drop’. Lawrence uses personification to describe the tram, city-cars and the ‘gloomy Midlands’. The tram is described as ‘reckless’, ‘breathless’ and as ‘patient’ suggesting that something is wrong with it. It also referred to as ‘bold’.

He uses alliteration in ‘pause’ and ‘purr’ as the tram observes with ‘curious satisfaction’. This animal imagery, suggests that the tramcar is cat-like. The movement in the first sentence suggests the darting and movements of a cat. The city cars are ‘great crimson and cream coloured’, which makes the tramcar feel somewhat ‘abashed’, but it is still ‘perky’, ‘jaunty’ and ‘daredevil’ like Annie. The simile ‘green as a jaunty sprig of parsley out of a black colliery garden’ acts as a medium to draw contrast between the colourful ‘reckless’ tram and it’s bleak surroundings.

The opening paragraph in ‘Tickets, Please’ prepares the reader for Annie’s character by metaphorically comparing the tram’s journey to her ‘brave’ and ‘courageous’ nature. This prepares us for Annie’s entrance because Annie and the tram display the ‘bold’ and ‘reckless’ ‘spirit’. Verbs like ‘plunges’, ’tilting’ prepare the reader for Annie’s ‘reckless’, ‘breathless’ ‘adventure’ with John Thomas. The most important adjective that links Annie and the tram is ‘bold’, because it suggests the danger involved in the tram journey and the danger in Annie’s relationship with John Thomas.

Animal imagery is used when Annie is introduced. Words like ‘wild’, ‘alive little creature’ and ‘swift’ depict Annie’s quick nature. In ‘Tony Kytes’ the surroundings are very different from ‘Tickets, Please’. It is set in Dorset countryside in the 1890’s and portrays an idyllic picture of fields and carts, whereas in ‘Tickets, Please’ the industrial countryside sets the tone for a bleak landscape. In ‘Tony Kytes’ there is very little description but from the tone and mood of the characters’ conversation it can be constructed as warm and bright where everyone is jolly.

Both John Thomas and Tony Kytes are popular with the ladies and have had many different partners. Tony Kytes has a weak character, as he is indecisive on who to marry, whereas, John Thomas, ‘a fine cock-of-the-walk’, is in complete control of the relationships he has. Tony Kytes is ‘very serious looking and unsmiling’ young man. He had many scars from Smallpox on his face, which gave him a rugged yet handsome appearance. He was the women’s favourite and he ‘loved ’em in shoals’. On the other hand, John Thomas is very ‘good looking’ with an ‘impudent’ smile which draws the ladies to him.

In ‘Tickets, Please’ John Thomas is portrayed as a confident dominant character who is always in charge of the relationship whereas Tony Kytes also controls the women who are eager to please him. They hide in the cart when told to do so. John Thomas does not want a serious relationship while Tony Kytes is ready for commitment. Unlike John Thomas who resented women who took an ‘intelligent interest in him’, Tony Kytes is not intentionally deceptive as he lies to them in order to save their feelings.

In the opening paragraph of ‘Tickets, Please’, DH Lawrence prepares the reader for Annie’s character by describing the tramcars that are driven by ‘men unfit for active service: cripples and hunchbacks’. As a result of the war there was gender balance as men and women were ‘companions in peril’. The strong ‘hussies’ were a contrast to the ‘delicate’ young men. The semantic field of animals is used in describing the ‘fearless young hussies’ that ‘pounce on youths who try to evade their ticket-machine’. Annie is ‘peremptory’ and ‘suspicious’; she guards her ‘Thermopylae’ with her ‘heart of stone’.

In contrast, her vulnerability shown by her ‘wild romance’ which beats in her ‘sturdy bosom’. She is something of a ‘Tartar’ and has kept John Thomas at ‘arm’s length’ with her ‘sharp tongue’ for many months. Annie and John Thomas are ‘companions in peril’, brief equality brought about by the war. As the men were away at war, all the jobs that were previously done by men had to be done by women. This brought on a ‘very good feeling between the girls and drivers’. On the other hand, Milly Richards in ‘Tony Kytes’ is a ‘nice, light, tender, little thing’.

She epitomises the ideal, weak, submissive Victorian woman. Unity Sallet is a ‘handsome girl’ who Tony had been very ‘tender toward’ before he had been engaged to Milly. Unity like Annie is blunt and forward and flirts with Tony, she repeats his name in a ‘tender chide’ to flatter him. Unity takes control of him by asking him by asking him if she is ‘prettier than she? ‘ When Tony speaks to Milly, she repeats ‘you’, which emphasises that Tony had requested her presence; she suggests that she had been keeping a promise like any reliable person would do.

Milly fits in with the Victorian view of women in that she is subservient. She expects men to make decisions and makes little complaint about Tony’s flirtation with Unity and Hannah but her grief at Tony’s deceit is shown when she lets out a ‘long moan’. It is significant that she is metaphorically compared to a mouse when she emits ‘an angry, spiteful squeak’. Milly unlike Annie is weak. She respects his name to make him feel big and important. She greets him with ‘My dear Tony’, which shows that she feels graced by his presence. Certainly dearest Tony’, she emphasises agreeing to all his suggestions and comments. This shows that Milly is humbled to do whatever Tony wants her to do. For Annie, John Thomas represents ‘power, danger and excitement’, like the fairground rides, but like the rides, he is an ‘artificial wartime substitute’- showy on the outside but lacking substance. Lawrence warns the reader that their relationship is doomed as he has been involved in ‘scandal’. He is always ‘walking out’ with new girls who ‘quit the service frequently’ when he leaves them.

The reader gets the impression that Annie will get the same treatment. Lawrence writes that ‘there was a sad decline in brilliance and luxury’; the coconut shies were ‘artificial wartime substitutes’ which is a warning of the decline and artificial nature of the couple’s relationship. Nouns like ‘Dragons’ and the adjective ‘grim-toothed’ suggest the excitement and fascination John Thomas has for Annie. The electrical metaphor shows the power and force pulling them apart and like electricity, which is quick like their relationship.

The ‘dark’, ‘damp’ and ‘drizzly’ fields show that their relationship is dark and dying which is emphasised by the alliteration. The repetition of ‘after-all’ suggests that Annie is making excuses for being with John Thomas. She is attracted to him having ‘held him at arm’s length’ in the past knowing his character. D H Lawrence repeats ‘after-all’ to emphasise the fact that deep down Annie knows that she should not succumb to John Thomas and show her struggle with feeling. Her helplessness and vulnerability is highlighted as she makes justifications for her behaviour.

In Milly’s relationship with Tony Kytes, neither is in control, others make their decisions for them. Tony Kytes’ father wants him to marry Milly, so he initially he decides against her, then Hannah and Unity’s rejection pushes Tony Kytes into marriage with Milly. Milly is a traditional Victorian girl, which means that she is very loyal and will do whatever Tony wants her to because she reflects values of the Victorian era. At the end of the story, Tony loses control of the cart, which is a metaphor for him, losing control of the three women he was controlling earlier.

Annie believes that she can control John Thomas as ‘she prided herself that he could not leave her’. ‘The possessive female was aroused in Annie’ and ‘she wanted to take an intelligent interest in him’. John Thomas is in control and ‘so he left her’. The short sentence conveys the finality and brutality of the break-up. She is ‘startled’, ‘staggered’ and ‘uncertain’ and feels ‘fury’, ‘indignation’, ‘desolation’, ‘misery’ and a ‘spasm of despair’, while John Thomas is like an animal, ‘enjoying pastures new’. She missed the ‘warm glow’ she felt inside whenever she was near him.

She exacts revenge because he steps on her car ‘impudently’, letting her see by the moment of his that the had gone away to somebody else. D H Lawrence uses the repetition of ‘then’ to show the stages in Annie’s grief. It breaks down the paragraph like punctuation and it gives her emotions and reactions a monotonous feel. It gives you the impression that Annie has gone through various stages in her feelings almost like a tidal wave. Annie exacts her revenge on John Thomas by organising the other girls to attack John Thomas. Annie’s movement is metaphorically described as a ‘cat’.

The girls are in control, but see their action as ‘fun’ whereas John Thomas sees ‘red’ and he ‘butted’ through the girls and ‘wrenched’ at the door. He is violent but also afraid. The girls’ brutality and savagery is conveyed as they act like animals, ‘wild creatures’. They rain blows in a ‘wild frenzy’ and ‘mad terror’ and strike him with ‘wild blows’. John Thomas is at the ‘mercy of the captor’ and is like a ‘defeated’ animal while the girls metaphorically gain control. The animal imagery vividly conveys the women’s anger, pain and frustration.

Lawrence writes ‘outside was the darkness and lawlessness of wartime’ which is comparing the cosy interior of the waiting room to the ‘lawlessness’ of the women’s behaviour. It is an ironic metaphor to trick the reader into thinking it is pleasant in the room until the violence breaks out. In ‘Tony Kytes’, Hardy does not concentrate unlike Lawrence. John Thomas gives into pressure and chooses Annie but with ‘malice’. She refuses to have him but with ‘bitter hopelessness’ as if she would have liked to have had him under different circumstances. But in the end ‘nobody’ wants him.

In ‘Tony Kytes’, Tony gives into pressure when they talk to him on the cart. Both Unity and Hannah flirt with him and put him under pressure to choose one of them instead of Milly. He persuades then to get under the tarpaulin by saying he’ll reconsider his decision to marry Milly, ‘I’ll put a loving question to you instead of Milly’. The anger of the girls is directed at each other because they are jealous of Tony’s interest in each other. Tony gives in to pressure from the girls but seems content to have Milly in the end, although she is not his original choice. ‘Tickets, Please’ is written in the third person.

It is objective and formal and it creates distance between the writer and the reader. It evokes the seriousness of the tale and sets a dark scene starting with a long descriptive opening paragraph. The reader feels as if something bad might happen to Annie after keeping John Thomas at ‘arm’s length’ when she finally gives in to him. It contains a serious message about relationships and what men and women are capable of doing to each other. In ‘Tony Kytes’ there is little description: it is told in the first person narrative, as a fictional character reminisces about events in the story.

It’s written in an informal style as much of the tale unfolds through dialogue. The characters are humorous and their actions are more like something you might read in a fairy tale. The introduction is conversational and informal which suggests the light-hearted nature of the story. The narrator does not place a lot of emphasis on the tale. He is slightly scornful of the women and their ridiculous behaviour. The landscape in ‘Tickets, Please’ hints at different traits of the characters and is symbolic of Annie and John Thomas’ relationship. Tony Kytes is timid and meek, with his idyllic and romanticised notions.

The title ‘Tony Kytes, the Arch-Deceiver’ is ironic because he’s not really an ‘arch-deceiver’. He’s just weak and pathetic which is shown in his indecisive behaviour. It mocks Tony because his deceit finally rebounds on him. The title ‘Tickets, Please’ refers to the girls’ job on the tramcars, but also suggests that the story is about them. Both stories are written by men, which makes the women portrayed to be the men’s ideal. It is significant that at the end of the stories the women want the men in spite of their treatment, which suggests that ultimately the men are the winners.

In ‘Tony Kytes’, the girls seem frivolous, they don’t seem like real people with emotions, unlike ‘Tickets, Please’, where the girls’ emotions seem real, like many women, Annie ‘prided herself that he could not leave her’. Words of the period have been used but the writers to make the stories feel more authentic. The dialect used is relative to both stories in the way it is written. Words such as ’twas’, ‘ee’ and ‘baddish’ are used to give flavour of the period and reflect the West Country mode of speech.

In ‘Tickets, Please’ the words like ‘hussies’ and ‘lasses’ suggests the working class environment of the countryside. Lawrence gives the impression that women are on the same as footing as men. They are capable of deciding what they want and how they get it, even if in the end they’re dissatisfied at the outcome. Hardy gives the impression that women want to get married and that marriage is not about love, but about whom the man would like to marry. In conclusion, human nature is very powerful and the plots make the reader reflect on the human experience.

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Female characters in DH Lawrence’s ‘Tickets Please’ and Thomas Hardy’s ‘Tony Kytes the Arch-Deceiver’. (2017, Oct 20). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/paper-on-compare-the-female-characters-in-dh-lawrences-tickets-please-and-thomas-hardys-tony-kytes-the-arch-deceiver/

Female characters in DH Lawrence’s ‘Tickets Please’ and Thomas Hardy’s ‘Tony Kytes the Arch-Deceiver’
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