‘Growing up’ by Joyce Cary and ‘The Son’s Veto’ by Thomas Hardy have two very different story lines. The first difference that I noticed was that they were written in two very different times. ‘The Son’s Veto’ was written in 1901 and ‘Growing up’ is quite a modern contrast as it was written in the later half of the 20th century. One of the main differences is the language that is used in the two texts. ‘The Son’s Veto’ has a Victorian style of language which is sometimes quite hard to read and understand whereas ‘Growing up’ is quite easy to read as the author uses more modern and up to date language.
In ‘The Son’s Veto’ Thomas Hardy decided to use testing vocabulary and write very long sentences. For instance “She told him the particulars of the late event, and they stood silent, these two young people, in that elevated, calmly philosophic mind which is engendered when a tragedy has happened close to hand, and has not happened to the philosophers themselves. ” Some words used in this story are not used today and people have edited the story and made some complicated words in bold with their modern definition in the margin.
I think that this story was definitely written for the more intellectual reader. Although ‘Growing up’ is not hard to read, Joyce Cary sometimes writes quite long and descriptive sentences. For instance “It had come to seem, for him, a triumph of imagination: and this afternoon, once more, he found it charming in its wilderness, an original master piece among gardens. ” Nevertheless, both stories are written in the third person, yet we get much more insight into what Robert Quick in ‘Growing up’ is thinking than we do with Sophy Twycott in ‘The Son’s Veto’.
When I read through the stories for the first time, I immediately knew that the most common element and main theme of both stories was about the relationship between parents and their children and who is in control. Yet, both these stories are open for readers to make their own interpretation of the theme. I think that the main event of each story is that both parents have been made very upset by their children and neither of them are able to speak out, as they are too scared to hurt their children, even though they are hurt inside themselves.
Even though both stories have the same theme, they portray the subject matter in very different ways. ‘The Son’s Veto’ is about a lady called Sophy Twycott who is in a wheel chair. The story travels back and forth through two sections of different time periods. The story starts at the present time and then switches into the past to tell the readers about how and why she is in a wheelchair. This section of the past properly introduces all the characters of the story. It then goes back to the present and tells the story from there up to the point where Sophy Twycott dies.
This technique has been used effectively to help the reader to understand and enables readers to guess and ending to the predictable beginning. I thought that Sophy would marry Sam and live happily ever after. I was quite shocked to find that this was not at all the case. It is a very emotional story that follows Sophy through emotions of happiness, romance, sadness, disappointment, compromising love for security, hurt and lust. ‘Growing up’ is a much shorter story. It has fewer characters brought into the story than ‘The Son’s Veto’ so, in consequence, there are not as many emotions.
On the other hand, other emotions, like surprise, anger, confusion and possibly loneliness, are included into this story. An example of this is “He did not utter any reproaches. He avoided even looking at the girls in case they could see his anger and surprise. ” This story is about a man called ‘Robert Quick’ who comes home from a business trip to find that his children have turned quite savage and were not the loving and affectionate children that they were before. My first impression of the family was that Mr. Quick cared a lot for his children. I also thought that Mr Quick and his wife didn’t have a close relationship.
I know this from the extract “… found a note from his wife. She would be back at four. ” At the beginning of the story I thought that the children had a close relationship with their father due to Mr Quick hoping that they would meet him at the corner. I also thought that the mother may not have been close to the children as she had left them by themselves. The beginning ‘The Sons Veto’ is quite different from the start of ‘Growing up’. Before the author told us about her face, my first impression of Sophy Twycott was that she was going to be very pretty and everyone would feel sorry for her because she was in a wheel chair.
We were told “Such expectations are not infrequently disappointed as soon as the disclosure comes: and in the present case, when the lady by a turn of the head, at length revealed herself, she was not so handsome as the people behind her had supposed, and even hoped. ” Once told this I feel sorry for her myself and think that she is only good or doing her hair. The first time Randolph is introduced, I already knew that they did not have a close relationship. This is because of the sentence “Has, dear mother – not have! ” exclaimed the public school boy, with an impatient fastidiousness that was almost harsh.
I think that both authors are trying to get the readers to think about their own relationships with their parents/children. This is because this is such a major aspect in both of the stories. When I first read ‘Growing up’ I first thought about if I have ever hurt my parents inside like Kate and Jenny did to Robert Quick. It made me think about any incidences I have ever had with my parents. On the other hand, ‘the Sons Veto’ made me think in a very different way. I didn’t ever think about if I had ever treated my parents the way that Randolph did to Sophy Twycott before reading this story.
I think this could be because ‘the Sons Veto’ is a much longer story than ‘Growing up’ so I got more into the storyline. There are many more events in ‘the Sons Veto’ and although parenthood maybe one of the main themes, there are many more aspects to think about. The two storylines are quite different, as are the main characters of each story. For starters, Sophy Twycott and Robert Quick lived in two different centuries. Sophy lives in the 19th century when Queen Victoria was on the throne. Quick lives in the 20th century.
It is quite hard to compare the characters as ‘The Sons Veto’ is set over twenty years whereas ‘Growing up’ is set in three hours. They are also in two different circumstances. Robert Quick has come home, surprised to find that his children are not who he remembered them to be whereas Sophy Twycott has watched Randolph grow up to be more and more disgusted by her. The resolution that Quick decided to go by was to keep his emotions inside and go to the club. Sophy on the other hand, keeps her emotions to herself until a major feature appears like when Sam asks her to marry him again.
Because the circumstances are so different, they may have acted in different ways if the circumstances where switched around. The situation in ‘The Sons Veto’ is much more important than the situation that Quick is in. the decision that Sophy makes could change her life. If she accepts his hand, she would be with the one she loves but will loose her son, who to Sophy is her life. If she declines the offer of marriage, she would be with Randolph but forever long for the only person she has ever had feelings for. I don’t think that Sophy realises how ungrateful and un-loving Randolph is to her.
This technique could be used as dramatic irony. The readers would know that Randolph does not think of her as a mother, only a carer, and they would know that the best thing to do would be to marry Sam and be happy for the rest of her life. Although the situation that Quick is in is not as significant, ‘Growing up’ does have sinister tones that appear in the afternoon that the story was set in. Quick arrived home to his family to find his children left alone with a simple note from the wife. The children acted very differently from their usual selves.
Quick would have been very surprised to be greeted with rudeness and violence from his own children. The relationships that they both have with other people are quite similar. Quick does not have a close relationship with his wife. He doesn’t know that many people and doesn’t have that many friends. The only people that he was close to were his children but this has now changes. This is the same with Sophy. Her only friend is Sam but her son is everything to her and would choose Randolph over Sam. Because of this choice, she has no other friends and only gets to see her son when he comes home on holidays.
I think that the two biggest similarities between the two main characters are that the are both very lonely. Apart from Sam, neither Quick or Sophy has anyone to talk to. The other similarity is that they both have children that do not love their parents as much as their parents love them. The other detail that I noticed about characters was the similarities and differences between Jenny and Kate compared with Randolph. They all have a similar relationship with their parents. Jenny and Kate are not close with their dad but are close to their mum. Randolph was close to his father, but not with his mother.
They all used to be loving to their parents but they have all grown up to have more feelings and to realise that they want to be more independent. They are also similar in the way that they over-react but they are different in the way that they regret it. Kate and Jenny behave in a violent way towards Robert Quick when they were only playing. Then when he gets hurt, they regret being so aggressive. Randolph on the other hand, over-reacts when Sophy announces that she wants to move in with Sam. But, when she dies, he shows no remorse when he sees Sam at her funeral. There are a lot of social issues, which appear in the two texts.
The most obvious is the role of men/women in ‘The Sons Veto’. This is probably the largest factor of the story. If the role of women were like they are now in the 19th century, Sophy never would of married Mr. Twycott but would of married Sam instead. She had no love for Mr. Twycott. She needed a house and a family to live in. As she was in a wheelchair, she couldn’t really do anything else as she couldn’t look after herself and if she married Mr. Twycott, she would have maids to help her. A moral dilemma that Sophy had to decide upon, was whether or not to marry Sam.
She wanted to but as Randolph, her son didn’t want her to she thought more into the matter. If she did marry Sam, she would loose all of her money and her house. She would loose the high place in society that her family is in and most importantly, she would loose her son. In the difference of time between the two texts, there has been an industrial revolution and re-distribution of population. We know this because we hear of Sophy sitting at her window early in the morning watching the carts go past with produce for the market aboard. It states “She saw them creeping along at this silent and dusky hour – waggon after waggon.
I also know that there has been a large change in the way that people were educated. From the way that Randolph dresses and from the fact that we know that he attends a public school, I think that he goes to Eaton. This is be very different now. Today, both girls and boys must be educated whereas in the 19th century, only the boys would go to school. In ‘Growing up’ Kate and Jenny would both go to school. It probably wouldn’t be a private school as I get the feeling that they are middle class people. One of the most important issues in ‘The Sons Veto’ is of class. At the beginning of the story, Sophy was a maid of poor, lower class.
Then it would have been a very big deal that a member of the parish would marry one of his maids. This is why they moved out of the picturesque little village and moved to London. This way, nobody found out about them. Randolph knows that his mother is not so upper class as her is always correcting her grammar. Throughout the story, he realises that he is clever and of higher class than his mother. At the beginning they are good enough together but toward the end, he is disgusted by her. Randolph would only be nice to people who mattered. These people did not include his own mother. He becomes quite as his power increases.
The way the authors have written the stories, makes the audience think in the way that they want them to think. For instance, Thomas Hardy has sympathy for Sophy Twycott as he writes about her waking up early to watch the carts go by. And in ‘Growing up’, Joyce Cary writes a lot about the way Robert Quick is thinking. It is as if we are Robert Quick as we are looking into his mind. I have thought a lot about these two stories and have decided that I prefer ‘The Sons Veto’. This is because it is a much longer story and it goes deeper into Sophy’s life than ‘Growing up’ does to Mr. Quick.
I prefer the way in which Thomas Hardy makes you think a lot about what she is thinking and what she has been through in her life. Although I do not dislike ‘Growing up’, I think that it is too short and it is about one incident in the Quick family. It could be that the next day, Kate and Jenny are back to their loving selves – they could have been in a bad mood on that day. I still think that they were only playing with their dog and then their father. I think children will be children and sometimes they show off and change moods quickly. I don’t think that they actually wanted to hurt their father, they just went a bit far.
As for Randolph, I think that he is very selfish, rude and quite immature. He doesn’t care about anyone but himself and his reputation. I think that Thomas Hardy is a superb writer in the way that he makes readers feel this way about a fictional character. Being a child myself, I know that the way Randolph acted when his mother asked him about Sam was very childish and he acted in a very spoilt way. I also know that Kate and Jenny did go over the top when they were playing in the garden. They are growing up and Robert Quick just has to live with it.
I don’t think that Quick is a bad parent for expecting love from his children but I don’t think he realises that they do change moods and they may be growing up. I also don’t think that Sophy Twycott is a bad parent for wanting to spend her life with someone she loves. If anything, Randolph is the bad person in the family. If he cant realise that Sophy is alone all day and all night with no one to talk to apart from when he comes back on holiday, then he is a very selfish boy. He should realise that all his mother wants to do is be with someone she loves, in the class that she belongs in and in place where she wants to be.