‘The unexpected’ by Kate Choplin, ‘A suitable boy’ and ‘Tony Kytes the arch deceiver’ by Thomas Hardy

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Everybody has diverse outlooks on the terms love and marriage. This is because both terms depend on a number of aspects such as background, personal attributes, religion, and personal experiences etc all of which are unique to each person. Love is a very controversial thing and there are numerous forms of it. There is perhaps the most obvious love for a partner (sexual love) this is the most common outlook of love. This type of love is one all consuming and sometimes can bring heartache it is a love completely of another person both in mind and body.

Love can also be in the paternal sense a love of a parent to a child or from one member of a family to another, this is a perhaps more trustworthy love then that in the sexual sense as there will always be this family relationship between the two members whereas sexual love may come and go. This is steadfast love and perhaps in some senses the strongest love as most parents would die before having their children hurt but may easily look over their partners dismay. There can be other figures of love to like patriotism for example-a strong compassion for your country, place of origin.

This comes into play little in today’s society and when it does can be somewhat trivialised in forms of individuals patriotism cropping up when their country’s football team is playing for example. Love is open to interpretation as is marriage. People may marry for many different reasons such as love money comfort or arrangement. Marriage is not always in today’s society a matter of love or eternity as it should indeed be in a constitution where you swear on the holy bible to love and honour another person for eternity. In modern society it has become more of a thing for comfort, having someone to grow old with.

In eastern countries it is still a matter of arrangement by families in order to join two families or gain dowry. Also there are indeed still many people who marry purely for the monetary possession they will gain when their partner passes away. Cold as it may seem marriage isn’t the constitution of eternal love anymore and indeed situations exist where lovers may not marry due to social class or standing. As we can see both love and marriage can be abused in context and have indeed widen in their descriptions since previous years.

For the purposes of this essay I will be examining three short texts in the hope of examining further theses themes. ‘The unexpected’ by Kate Choplin, ‘A suitable boy’ and ‘Tony Kytes the arch deceiver’ by Thomas Hardy all show us different aspects of the themes love and marriage at completely diverse periods in history. In ‘The unexpected’ love and marriage are both widely trivialised as the main characters seemingly don’t know what either truly are as when an obstacle such as illness and altered appearance comes into play the love and in turn the impending marriage are both ended as Dorothea says ‘Never!

Not for all his thousands! Never, never! Not for millions! ‘ (She will never marry Randall not for anything-even his millions). However originally it would seem that the love between the two was undoubtedly passionate, strong and real as their good bye accentuates -‘ clinging till the last wrench came’ so what we must come to realise from this is that the couple indeed did think themselves to be in love but what the realise near the closing of the text is that unfortunately the love wasn’t deep or true enough to withstand physically change- the foundation was too shallow.

This shallowness of character is indeed more a mannerism of Dorothea than Randall as this extract shows to full – ‘daily sat gazing at his handsome portrait for hours’. The sheer fact that she sat staring at his portrait was a good suggestion as to where her real adoration for Randall truly lay-his appearance. This poses questions such as do any of us really know that what we are really experiencing is ‘true’ love? Or is it based on shallow grounds?

Examining our themes here it would also seem as although love seems to be used in a shallow context Dorothea is trying to maintain the importance of marriage and keep that theme in its proper perspective (i. e. she refuses to marry Randall as she doesn’t love him and marriage is an intention of true love). What we have to realise here is that at the time the text is set declining to marry such a wealthy bachelor, as Randall would lead to Dorothea’s communal exile -therefore it is implicit that maybe this decision of Dorotheas wasn’t made solely on shallow grounds.

Infact it may not be that she never truly loved Randall but maybe that exactly what she loved about him had disappeared due to his illness- she could have loved him for his strength and independence etc all of these would’ve vanished with this illness. Dorothea then was making a hard decision as she would now be exiled but her principles were in the end stronger than this threat. This certainly rings true to twentieth century outlooks on love and marriage as in our western worlds we would not think about marrying if the love was in defect and I doubt we could truly love someone whom was totally dependent on us.

Maybe this shows us that love is fickle as it wavers with dependency. It definitely shows us that love is an important aspect needed for marriage however as this story depicts in showing someone more willing to give up life as they know it then their hand to someone they don’t love. ‘The unexpected’ certainly in the aspect of loves involvement with marriage fails to mirror either of the other two stories. In ‘a suitable boy’ the setting is on an arranged marriage and here it shows how caste and social status is important with lines such as ‘Pran was indeed…………. and of the right caste’.

In this text it is important to the culture that mothers and fathers marry off their children to other members in the same social status in order to conjoin the two families. In our western culture this may seem a ludicrous thing but if we dig deeper we will see that this too is apparent in our society. Members of western society whom are of a high social status are infact promised already by their family members to someone else in an attempt to make the two families one. An example here would be Prince Charles and the late Lady Diana whom were both preordained to marry each other.

The basis for arranged marriages aren’t as ludicrous as they may seem as for two people to be in love a similar background will help but in my opinion I think it is a matter of self choice whom you marry. Also as my example of Prince Charles and Lady Diana depicts having the same background doesn’t always guarantee a perfect match. We see also in this text how modern society’s opinions are apparent in other cultures as when the mother speaks of her middle daughter Lata’s arranged marriage Lata answers in grunts and non direct speech. Hmm’ to be exact. This part of the text again shows the struggle in society to keep marriage in its exact context- an adjoining of two people in love. Lata would rather leave her country be independent and fall in love before marrying than marry someone purely out of her mothers choosing. Lata infact here does in some ways resemble Dorothea of ‘The unexpected’ as she would rather risk unsettling her family and shying away from her culture than marry someone whom she didn’t love.

In reference to our title-examining love and marriage-does this show us that marriage is perhaps more kept in perspective today then love is? ‘Tony kytes the arch deciever’ despite obvious fascicle nature does show us some very good examinations of the theme love and how it can be stretched to mean obsession and adoration rather than love. The sheer idea of having two or more girls shacked up in your cart as your wife to be is riding next to you is indeed a very humorous deliberation. Tony the main character in this story represents youth’s outlook on love it being very shallow and unloyal.

Tony no less than three times changes his opinion on whom he is in love with and this indeed reflects youth today as they often in their teens declare love for everyone ho even shows interest in them. Love is taken very out of context in these years. Another aspect of love that Tony depicts is the shallowness of young love. He does so by swapping each girl for the one whom in his opinion is better looking e. g. ‘She was a much more dashing girl then Milly Richards’ in reference to Hannah Jolliver. So upon examining love is it correct herby to say that our outlook on love differs with age?

Or is ‘The Unexpected’ a prime example when used in conjunction with ‘Tony Kytes…. ‘ That infact appearance and lust is always an aspect needed for love and marriage? The women in this story are there to depict humans willingness to do anything for love all it be depicted in a humorous situation where each in turn lower themselves to hiding in the back of a cart. This is depicted fully when even after Tony’s exhibition of shallowness to Milly she still agrees to marry him ‘they mounted together; and their banns were put up the very next Sunday’. Neither of the other two stories we have looked at has shown this.

As we can see Tony Kytes examines further the theme of love more than the theme of marriage, this being what both other texts look more closely at. However both ‘A suitable boy’ and ‘The unexpected’ do portray a far more grown up outlook on love as the main characters in both stories seem to know that true love cannot be forced or really be shown by appearance or attraction. ‘Tony Kytes… ‘ in effect show us the mot immature outlook on love and marriage as at one point Tony even asks his own Father to choose for him between his suitors ‘Which would you marry, father, if you was in my place? . Finally the last similarity we can see between the texts is that in this and ‘A suitable boy’to most characters concerned social hiatus is indeed far more important than either love or marriage. This we can see by ‘But don’t you go driving about the country with Jollivers daughter and making a scandal’ in Tony Kytes (Tony’s father in reference to Tony’s escapades) and how the mother in ‘A suitable boy’ struggles to distain her daughters grunts of disapproval over arranged marriages.

As we can see after examining these themes further there are indeed abundant elucidations of the themes love and marriage and indeed they are dependant on factors such as origin, religion and personal qualities. However what we have discovered from these texts is that too love may grow in honesty over the years (‘Tony Kytes’ in comparison to ‘The unexpected’). We too have exposed that marriage is less often drawn out of context then love (Real love in all three texts is open for interpretation but certainly in ‘A suitable boy’ and ‘the unexpected’ at least one character strives to not enter marriage until they are truly in love) .

Finally we have also revealed that most people do eventually strive for true love in whatever form it may take (shown in all 3 women in ‘Tony kytes…. ‘ Lowering themselves to try and obtain love and in ‘A suitable boy’ and ‘The unexpected’ characters being willing to wait and put themselves through social dismay so they will be free when true love really does show itself).

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