Comparison of Kate Chopin's The Unexpected, Thomas Hardy's The Arch Deceiver and Arnold Bennett's News of the Engagement
The titles of the three stories I am comparing are: 'The Unexpected'
by Kate Chopin, 'The Arch Deceiver' by Thomas Hardy and 'News of the
Engagement' by Arnold Bennett. All these stories were written in the
19th century, the time of the Victorians where women were not supposed
to care about the male sexual attractions and would marry a man for
their money, financial security and for raising children.
I will now describe the stories briefly and tell you what they are
about. 'The Unexpected' is about a man called Randall and his fiancée,
Dorothea, someone who is apparently madly in love with Randall.
Randall becomes ill and deformed, which shocks Dorothea so much she
runs away, refusing to marry him, even though he is quite wealthy.
'The Arch Deceiver' is about a man called Tony Kytes who is loved by 3
women, whom he loves in return. He is already engagement but meets his
old girlfriends and has second thoughts. In the end each of his old
girlfriends refuse his proposal of marriage apart from the woman he
was supposed to be engaged to in the first place who still accepts
him. 'News of the Engagement' is about a man who is engaged but has
not told his mother. When he goes to see her he thinks she knows and
is preparing something for him, but it turns out she is also engaged
but had not told him.
Now I will compare how each of the main characters are described at
the start of each of the stories. At the start of 'The Unexpected' the
narrator doesn't describe the characters but their separation as
Randall had to leave. We learn they love each other very much because
there is a lengthy goodbye filled with kisses but there is no
reference to either character's physical appearance or status in
society at the start although later we learn Randall is quite handsome
because it says: "She sat daily gazing for hours upon his portrait,
which showed him to be an almost perfect specimen of youthful health,
strength and manly beauty." 'The Arch Deceiver' begins by giving us an
unknown persons view of Tony Kytes: "Twas a little, round firm, tight
face, with a seam here and there left by the smallpox, but not enough
to hurt his looks in a woman's eye". A little later we learn he works
for his father and is a bit of a flirt. 'News of the Engagement'
begins by describing the area the main character is in visiting his
mother. We learn he lives in London and his mother lives in Bursley.
There are hints that the mother is quite wealthy because it says she
has a servant, silverware in a drawing room in a cabinet showing that
her house is fairly big and she is fairly affluent. The only hint to
the sons' status is the line where it says - " for I could easily
afford to keep my mother and...