Friday, March 23, 2007

Toryism in Ford Madox Ford’s “Some Do Not”

I would like to elaborate on Toryism as illustrated in Ford’s “Some Do Not”, and look closer at some of the key examples we discussed in class. Firstly, on page 79, Ford Madox Ford writes, “He accepted with gratitude several of Tietjens’ emendations in the actuarial schedules….And over their port they agreed on two fundamental legislative ideals: every working man to have a minimum of four hundred a year and every beastly manufacture who wanted to pay less to be hung. That, it appeared, was the High Toryism of Tietjens as it was the extreme Radicalism of the extreme Left to Left” (Ford 79). Toryism as we understand it was in favor of local agrarianism, and landed aristocracy; it ensured economic stability for the working class. By producing a legislative ideal that paid working class people a minimum of four hundred a year, though it seems quite insignificant, illustrates this idea of local agrarianism. It ensures that the working class people are benefiting from their labor.

Secondly, on page 163, Ford writes, “Our Minister for Water-closets won’t keep two and a half million men in any base in order to get the votes of their of their women at a General Election – that’s been the first evil effects of giving women the vote!” (163). Ford is illustrating the disgust he had with England’s involvement in the war which is another clear illustration of Toryism within Ford’s work. He is claiming that the Minister had ulterior motives within England’s involvement in the war. He is stating that by shipping two and a half million men off to war, the Minister was “forced” to give women the vote; this was of course self-beneficial as the women who received the vote would be easily persuaded to side with the current Minister as he was the one who had given them this right. Tories were opposed to involvement in international affairs. As a result, Ford exemplifies his opinion of giving women the vote. Unfortunately, it is quite biased as he feels that it is a result of something that he already disagrees with (i.e.: England’s involvement in international affairs). On the other hand, this quote demonstrates the effect the war had on feminism at this time. The roles of women drastically changed as a result of WWI, and one key element that proved to benefit women quite substantially was the fact that they achieved the vote.

This is only two of the many examples throughout Book one of Parade’s End, “Some Do Not”. I utilized these two examples because I felt that they provided the best understanding of Toryism as we have studied it this semester. As a result of the examples provided, it is fair to come to the conclusion that Ford was in fact a true Tory. He believed in local agrarianism and was opposed to involvement in international affairs. In consideration to this, it almost seems that his morals are quite twisted. Firstly, he believes that working class people should benefit from their labor (i.e. the upper class shouldn’t benefit from the labor of the working class). However, he also illustrates his disgust with women achieving the vote. This is clearly a result of the society Ford lived in at the time. This is another subject that I will discuss further in a later post.

Rob Shearar


Anonymous said...

I'm just a little confused when I was reading this post. Both my parents call themselves "Tories" and from what I've heard their political views vary greatly from those of Tietjens. But aren't they all Tories?


Anonymous said...

It's interesting that you brought this up Britney. It allows me to enlighten the class on the differences between an English Tory and a Canadian Conservative.

Aspects of English Toryism:
-Local agrarianism
-Landed aristocracy
-Noblesse Oblige
-Anti-globalization (protectionism and isolationsim for England)

Aspects of Canadian Conservatives:
-focus on national and international beurocracy
-small government size
-emphasis on capitalism
-heavy industrialization

As we can see, and as you've already pointed out, English Tories and Canadian "Tories" are not synonymous. This is because the English Tory party was based on the conservation of the aristocracy and this idea of "noblesse oblige." In Canada we do not have a class system so this sense of Toryism cannot survive. The names may be the same but they mean different things. As you've probably noticed, English Toryism is more closely related to the New Democratic Party and the Canadian Conservative party is very similair to the Liberal (Whig) party in England.
I hope this helps you better understand these political systems.

Miss Blondé