Perhaps the best way of analysing the treatment of the theme of love in ‘Tony Kytes’ is by examining how ‘Hardy’ represents his characters and their relationships. Milly Richards is very considerate and loving towards Tony. She portrays this in her first prologue.
“My dear Tony” cries Milly, looking up with a little pout acting as he came near. “How long you’ve been coming home! Just as if I didn’t live at Upper Long Puddle at all! And I’ve come to meet you as you asked me to do, and ride back with you, and talk over our future home – since you asked me”
This prologue also show that she is quite angry with Tony for being late, as the writer uses exclamation marks to express her frustration, sarcasm is also used to portray her anger. Although this is all going on in this prologue it is still apparent she has strong feeling for Tony. As she says they need to talk about their future. We know that Milly is a considerate person because after all that had happened she still agreed to marry Tony. I believe this was the correct choice that she made because, Hanna and Unity forced themselves onto Tony and he was only trying to please everyone but his heart belonged to Milly from the start.
“Unity Sallet, a handsome girl, one of the young women he’d been very tender towards before he’d got engaged to Milly.”
Unity is a very pushy person who appears to always get what she wants and is also very charming. We know this because as soon as Tony arrives in this wagon she asked him straight away “Will you give me a lift home?”
Then she goes on to say “Why did ye desert me for the other one?”
This shows that she is annoyed that he is engaged to Milly and not her. She is also charming as when he said yes to confirm her ride she gave him a pleasant smile. She is dangerously manipulative as she asks question he finds difficult to refuse.
“And you never seen anything in me to complain of, have ye, Tony? Now tell the truth to me!”
“I never have, upon my life” says Tony.
This is part of her plan to convince Tony that she is the one for him. Hanna Jolliver was a little disdainful and smiled off-hand. Hanna is a persuasive person as she uses actions and words to convince Tony she is the one for him.
“So they sat a little closer and closer feet upon the foot board and their shoulder touching.”
She makes a few moves with word that follow then Tony reacts and says something that perhaps he shouldn’t.
“I haven’t quite promised her, and I think I can get out of it, and ask you the question that you speak of.”
She then discovers all the other women hidden in the back of the wagon. Her father then comes to persuade her to refuse him.
Tony Kytes face was described as ’twas a little, round, firm, tight face, with a seam here and there left by smallpox.’
He was a serious looking character. Tony is too much of a gentleman he found it difficult to refuse woman and will do anything to make them happy. Saying this he was indeed manipulative spinning each woman a tale in order to spend time with the other. He was not aware of what he wanted until destiny set his path. Mr Kyte’s knew that the perfect girl for Tony (his son) was one that did not seek anything from him because this one did not set out to manipulate Tony like the others she was genuine.
The narrator of ‘Tony Kytes’ is a cart driver who tells the story to someone who is returning to a local village after a 35 year absence. The reader is therefore placed in the position of the carts passenger. The story becomes funny rather than sad because the narrator had no involvement in the situation. Not being told about the wedding in detail makes the reader imagine how the wedding was and what went on.
Tony Kytes ended up with the person whom he was originally intending to marry. In modern times this could be seen as an early stag night or indeed having second thoughts (cold feet). There were two women that were left out of the enjoyment, Unity and Hanna who was deeply hurt by Tony.
‘Our Love Now’ was written by Martyn Lowery. It is about a man’s and woman’s relationship that has been damaged, the man appears to have betrayed the woman in some way. The attitude of the two characters is different. The man wanted a reconciliation and is begging forgiveness, whilst the woman has no desire for this and accepts that it is over.
“I said, observe how the wound heals in time, how the skin slowly knits and once more becomes whole.”
“She said, although the wound heals and appears cured, it is not the same.”
The form of the poem represents a conversation between the man and the woman. The reader is positioned objectively between the man and the woman. In this poem the writer uses alliteration.
“Observe the scab of the scald.”
The poem also uses metaphor’s and pacifying text as exampled by the following respectively.
“The tree is forever dead”
“The breach in us can be mended”
The man is in hope that he will persuade the woman to into taking him back and is full of regret for what he has done. Whilst she is determined to stick to her opinion about the love they had. The writer portrays love in this poem as being sad and potentially damaging.
‘One Flesh’ was written by Elizabeth Jennings. This poem is about the narrator’s parents and how their love had died (gone cold). The narrator is put across as a small child. The poem uses imagery,
“Her eyes fixed on the shadows overhead.”
This gives a picture in the readers’ mind of a girl looking on the shadows overhead which suggests a troubled childhood.
“And time itself’s a feather touching them gently.”
This imagery gives us a realistic theme a real feel for the poem. The mood of the poem is very sad, as a child is going through the break-up of her parents. The similarities between ‘Our Love Now’ and ‘One Flesh’ are that both poems are about a love that had died. The differences are that in ‘One Flesh’ there is a child involved. Also ‘Our Love Now’ the break-up is because of the fault of the man but in ‘One Flesh’ no one is to blame the love just died.
After reading all three texts it’s obvious they are all three types of what may be categorised as love sagas. The similarity between them all is someone in the texts is getting hurt. For example the narrator of ‘One Flesh’ as a child, the man and woman in ‘Our Love Now’ and Unity and Hanna in ‘Tony Kytes.’ They differ as in the end Tony Kytes finds his true love but in ‘Our Love Now’ and ‘One Flesh’ the love is forever dead.
As Tony Kytes is told by a narrator who is not involved in the story it becomes comical whereas ‘One Flesh’ is told by the narrator who is directly involved and this makes the poem more real and have a sombre mood. Then with ‘Our Love Now’ which has a tense a regretful mood as this is a conversation between two individuals. The love in Tony Kytes is young love and is just beginning and I would not call what Tony did love but pure lust. In ‘Our Love Now’ and ‘One Flesh’ the love was a mature one but has come to an end, this is perhaps why it is sad.
The idea being portrayed about love is that it is very painful and this is demonstrated in all of the three passages.
I conclude that ‘Our Love Now’ was my favourite text as it used metaphors, alliteration and pacifying speech which I found particularly enjoyable because it stretched my imagination. I believe that the only true love shown in these passages comes from the love shown in ‘One Flesh’ not from the parent but from the narrator (the child) towards her parents.