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THOMAS HARDY THERESA TOMLINSON RAISE SIMILAR ISSUES BUT IN DIFFERENT WAYS A study of Tony Kytes the Arch Deceiver by Thomas Hardy and The Oakum Room by Theresa Tomlinson The Oakum Room by Theresa Tomlinson is clearly a feminist story where the female characters stand up for themselves and unite in protest At first reading Tony Kytes the Arch Deceiver instead seems to mock women portraying them as weak desperate and gullible Although upon re-examining we see that Tony does not have a flattering description either giving us the impression that Hardy may not have been as chauvinistic as he first appeared Both short stories are about a man choosing a wife and the power he has over the women when doing this In each the man attempts to choose a woman from a selection and the women have no say in the matter However the women in Tony Kytes the Arch Deceiver appear to be quite manipulative as they are in competition and it is often difficult to decide who is being more devious Tony or the girls Tony seems to be less in command of the situation than any of the women as he is continually acting on impulse The girls on the other hand are acting with the clear intention of securing Tony for a husband Throw over Milly - All to marry me How delightful This must mean that Thomas Hardy gave his story an ironic title because Tony Kytes is more of an arch wimp than an Arch Deceiver However because of the nature of a womans place in society at the time Tony ultimately has the upper hand The women must wait to be chosen The same is true in The Oakum Room although the women have more cause to strive to gain a husband as their current circumstances are horrendous no money for medicine no money even for food Theresa Tomlinson varied the standard
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