Battle Of The Sexes In D.H Lawrence's Short Story, Tickets Please

1657 words - 7 pages

Battle of the Sexes in D.H Lawrence's Short Story, Tickets Please

Juvenal probably had D.H Lawrence's short story "Tickets Please" in mind when he said, "Revenge is sweeter than life itself," because revenge is exactly what Lawrence focuses on in this story (Quoteland). Lawrence writes about how a few women, after having gone through a similar experience, get together and avenge a common enemy, John Thomas Rayner and have fun doing that, because beating Rayner is their sport. By doing so, Lawrence makes it a game betweenn John Rayner, the man, and the opposite sex, comprised of the women. In fact after a certain point the story ceases to be a game between John Rayner and the ...view middle of the document...

The women in the story abide by Rayner's game willingly even after knowing his personality. The fact that "most girls are quite comely" only adds to Rayner's pleasure and makes it easy for him to 'play' with them (Lawrence, 36). The women play their part of the game by quitting their job after their short relationship with Rayner ends. This makes it easier for Rayner to start all over when a new girl starts working there. Up till now it is merely a game, where Rayner flirts with the women and the women cave in.

After a point, Lawrence decides to tilt the game towards the fairer sex, the women. He does this by introducing Annie Stone, a woman whose name reflects her personality. She is courageous and ready to stand up for herself. As he had done with all the women that worked at the station, Rayner charms Annie into loving him and Annie played his game and quickly falls in love with him. This continues until Annie sees Rayner with some other women and decides that it is time that Rayner got a taste of his own medicine. Annie decides that she had had enough of Rayner's games and got all of Rayner's 'victims' together and makes up a plan to get revenge on from Rayner. By doing so, Annie feels that she is in complete control of the game and she thought had achieved revenge and hence victory. The truth is that the game was far from over, but at least in Annie's mind she appears to have won. It was now a battle and J.P. Breen feels that in "assumption of male perogatives, she appears to win the battle of the sexes" while she still had a long way to go before achieving real victory (Breen, 71).

Annie lures Rayner into meeting her in an empty room at a certain time, where all the other girls are ready and waiting for Rayner to arrive. When Rayner goes to that room, hoping to meet Annie, he sees all the other girls there. The girls do not immediately attack him, but in fact, play the game, by first offering Rayner tea and bread and then asking him to pick one of the girls with whom he would go home that night. Said Muriel, one of Rayner's previous victims, "Don't' leave us all lonely, John Thomas. Take one!" Rayner decides to play the women's game by adding that he was ready to take them all with him and not just one (Lawrence, 41). The game continues when Rayner says that if he picks one girl then he will make enemies, as the other girls will be mad at him. In reply, Annie says that, "You'd only make one;" referring to the one person that he would actually choose (Lawrence, 42). Again Annie felt that she was in control of the situation and winning the battle of the sexes. But it was not to be, as Paul A. Wood describes the situation as "Lawrence's portrait of man triumphant only (Wood, 76)". Wood feels that the women might feel that they have won or that they will win, but there was no way that they will actually win.

The game becomes more fun for the women when they ask Rayner to select one of them...

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