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The Unexpected

By acceleratedstudynotes (Notes Contributor)

The Unexpected Kate Chopin
Main Themes:
*Male/Female Relationships *Love *Freedom/Restriction
*Betrayal *Guilt *Women Amongst Men
Characters: Dorothea, Randall.
Author: Kate Chopin


Randall has to leave his fiance, Dorothea, because of his illness.

o The good bye dragged with lingering kisses

Their parting is difficult. They stay in close contact, but Randall does not get better as he
is expected to, this was torture to Dorothea.
o All this was torture to the impatient Dorothea

He tells her that he will look different and she thinks she has prepared herself for this.
o She expected to see him wasted; she would not seemed shock; she would not let
him see astonishment or pain in her face

When she does see him, she is indeed shocked and loses her love for him, while he still
loves her. He wants to marry her quickly so if he dies then she would get all of his
possessions, showing his nobility.
o This was not the man who had gone away from her; the man she loved and had
promised to marry
o If the worst should come i want you to have all I possess

However, she, secretly, vows to never see him again and eventually fled. She travels for
miles and feeds her desires and again vows to not marry him, not for millions!

o Dorothea had changed her house gown, had mounted her wheel, and was
fleeing as if Death himself pursued her

Important points to remember:

Physical love, young puppy love, passion The story shows the stage of maturity
Dorothea goes through. Beginning: when she was still young and loved someone because
of the appearance. Ending: she has learned to grown up, and face the reality.

Dorotheas fickleness and immaturity The fact that in the beginning, she was gazing
upon Randalls portrait, suggests that the ideal man is unreal. She only looks at the
appearance of Randall at the beginning of the story.

Feminism some people disagree that Dorothea is selfish. Instead, she is true to her
heart and decides to leave Randall for the benefit of them both. Is is argued that she is a

Freedom At the end, Dorothea flees to the hands of nature. This is symbolic as it
suggests that women in the 19th century were always under control and are expected to
stay with the husband for the rest of their lives. MARRIAGE is in fact a financial
transaction. Only when they are around nature they can be free; suggests that the society
is unnatural, nature is natural.

Structure of the story The whole story was only three pages long, suggests that the
Love between Randall and Dorothea is short-lived. Even if they did get together, they
would not last long.

This story can be split up into 3 sections: before Randalls return, after Randalls return and
Dorotheas escape.

Before Randalls Return: Randall is portrayed as an almost perfect specimen of youthful health,
strength and manly beauty in his portrait, the use of triplet here emphasises just how perfect he
is to Dorothea, in terms of physicality, before he falls ill. When the two parts, there are lingering
kisses, showing just how hard it is to separate them. At the beginning of the story, when
Randall has not returned yet, the language is sensual, describing how he had a craving for her
lips. When Randall returns, the amount of sensual language used by Chopin is reduced

! FOOD METAPHORS! often used of sexual passion in the 19th century.

CONTRAST the beginning is a contrast to the end of the story.

After Randalls Return: Randall is characterised in this section as being quite noble as he keeps
Dorotheas well being in mind at all times. He offers her what he thinks is best for her, which is
that if the worst should come, I [Randall] want you to have all I possess. On the other hand,
Dorothea is characterised here as being quite fickle and vain, simply because Randall now looks
withered and ill, her love for him is shuddering, shrinking, shriveling (Triplet Structure +
Sibilance Puts emphasis on how Dorotheas love for Randall is weakening). When Randall is
talking to Dorothea, he tells her his will and tells her that hes getting morbid. He implies that
Dorothea would stay with him until his death, and this gives a feeling of her being trapped in a
relationship that she does not want to be in. The trapped feeling is as if Death himself pursued
her, and this could be the cause of her need to break free and escape SYMBOLIC (fleeing
from the rules and control women have during the 19th century)

Dorotheas Escape: When Dorothea stops loving Randall, she is left with no way to release
these desires, until the end of the story. After fleeing Randall, Dorothea enters an unfamiliar
location and releases her built up passion, shown by the fact that Dorotheas every muscle,
nerve, fibre abandoned itself to the delicious sensation of rest that overtook her body. When
Dorothea escapes, the nature around her is throbbing with life as the air is quivering and trees
were flinging shadows onto the path. This personification brings life to the story as compared
to the house which was full of the sense of death. The lively characteristics given to objects of
nature can bring the reader closer to Dorothea as they can imagine the liberating feeling that
possessed Dorothea (Symbolic to FREEDOM). The writer ends the story with a powerful
exclamation, allowing the reader to have Dorotheas triumph imprinted in their minds. She says
Not for all his thousands! (Use of punctuation for emphasis, the exclamation mark helps bring
the plot to a climax) and this can show that the writer wants to convey a theme of FEMINISM,
showing that women are capable of surviving on their own and are not dependant on the men in
their lives.

Editors note: Does Dorothea stop loving Randall?

How can you pretend to like someone when you dont anymore?

Is it fair for the both of them to marry each other, but not have a happy marriage? or end
up divorcing each other at the end anyway?

Was she suppose to lie?

Is Dorothea selfish and irresponsible? Or honest and brave?

Some notes on Nature vs Society:

Escaping liberation MORE NATURAL for women to do so.

To marry someone because of their wealth is unnatural (Dorothea refuses to marry

Randall, instead she follows her heart, and flees to NATURE)

The description of nature: SETTING; it shows the FEMALE IDENTITY; FEMALE


Setting: The setting is crucial in this story to convey a sense of freedom and liberation at the end.
The house is a confined space that shows how she was trapped in a relationship that she did not
want. The items in the house were not particularly described; just an ordinary sofa, clock and
household sundries. Nature, when she escapes, however, was delicious and sensuous, showing
the contrast when she had broken free from the grasp of Randall.

Possible Links (Stories):

Similar to Country Living, the ending of this story also leaves the reader with a sense of
moral ambiguity; IRONIC ENDING.

In this case, it is as to whether or not Dorothea is right to leave Randall. This is because, while
she no longer loves him, she has a responsibility to stay with him and look after him through his
illness. She is very insincere to him, letting him believe that they might get married, while to
herself she was saying never, never, never!. However, the repetition of the word never here
emphasises her unwillingness to stay with Randall, as does the simile of her fleeing him as if
Death himself pursued her and if she has this level of unwillingness to stay with Randall, one
might think that she does have the right to leave him.

Links to the Author:

The story also shows a slight resemblance to Kate Chopins life as she is considered one of the
earlier feminist writers of her time. Towards the end of the end of the story, Dorothea describes
her body as supple, conveying her freedom when she could perceive no human habitation. An
old fallow field, emphasises the sensual and joyful feeling she is experiencing, contrasting to
when she was feeling

Additional Points
At the beginning, we see the quotation She was reaching the limit of her endurance. In the end,
she was fleeing as if death was pursuing here. Both are at the end of the stick, hence emphasizing
the significant transformation Dorothea goes through.

Her pulses beating in unisonSymbolizes something harmonious, which shows that she is
finally in the natural world with peace.

Literature Analysis: Tony Kytes

By acceleratedstudynotes (Notes Contributor)
Tony Kytes, the Arch-Deceiver Thomas Hardy
Main Themes:
*Male/Female Relationships *Betrayal *Love
Characters: Tony Kytes, Unity Sallet, Milly Richards, Hannah Jolliver, Mr. Kytes, Mr. Jolliver
Important Points to Remember:

The title itself, Tony Kytes, the Arch-Deceiveris ironic. Tony Kytes doesnfool anyone
apart from Milly.

The horse is personified, as if even ANIMALS are mocking the women.

o the horse looked round and stood still

Melodramatic and cartoon-like

o crying in watery streams
o Tony looking like a tree struck by lightning

Misogynistic in some ways:

o Women have no INDIVIDUALITY, NO UNIQUE CHARACTER the fact that
the three girls always obey what Tony Kytes tell them to do i.e. hide under the
o Women in the stories all have intention to secure themselves as Tonys wife
suggests that women in the 19th century depend upon a lot of men Women all
go after men.
o Women have NO DIGNITY Hannah and Unity, they know that Tony is
engaged, but they still flirt with him, and try to get Tony to like them back. The
women should not be doing that.
o Women are referred to objects. It suggests that women are not regarded as people.
They are insignificant to men, and they are all groups of the same thing.

loved them in shoals

and out rolled the three maidens into the road in a heap. The horse
looked round and stood still

o Women are weak. They cannot control the wagon. Again, suggests a point that
they are always chained to MEN for SUPPORT.
o Women have to wait to be chosen. Women in fact have no right to choose they
want to marry.The final decision is up to men.

o Tony has no facial hair not reached adulthood yet
o Fickle
o Childish act of Hannah

Hannah had seen her father, and had run to him, crying worse than ever


There are many themes that are addressed in Tony Kytes, the Arch Deceiver. One of them is
love. The author suggests that love is fickle. Tony Kytes easily forgets about his engagement
with Milly Richards after seeing Unity and Hannah and he couldnt for the life of him recall
why he offered to marry Milly after meeting Unity and Hannah. This shows how love changes
from one person to another easily and there is no lasting love in life. Furthermore, the author
suggests that love is superficial. This can be seen through how the women within the story are
never given deeper qualities except that they were pretty, dashing or handsome. This shows
that the author believes that we base everything on looks and that personalities are irrelevant in
love and attraction.Betrayal is another evident theme. Tony Kytes betrays Milly and thinks of
marrying other women when she is betrothed to he. Milly, however, stays faithful and says I
dont mind to oblige you (Tony) and ultimately agrees to marry him despite everything. The
contrast shows how differently men and women treat each other and view love. Also, there is
betrayal amongst the women. Hannah and Unity attempt to take Tony away from Milly, despite
the fact that he is already betrothed. They fight at the end of the story and seem to be constantly
comparing themselves to each other, seen through the question that Unity asks Tony, Prettier
than she (Milly)?. The comparative used emphasises the constant struggle that the women have
to try and grab Tonys attention.
The author also makes interesting suggestions about gender. He suggests that men are dominant.
Tony offers marriage to all three women and shows how the women are interchangeable and that
none of them have any individuality. Also, Tony Kytes is said to have loved em (women) in

shoals. The simile shows how the author feels women are submissive and are not unique in any
Techniques used:




He was quite the womens

favourite, and in return, for
their likings he lovedem in

Humour is used to draw the attention of the

reader into the story. This helps build up the
characterization of Tony Kytes, suggesting
hes a ladys man.


Who should we see waiting

for him at the top of the hill but Throughout the story, it is set in a playful
Unity Sallet / Milly Richards, mockery tone of voice, which makes the
a nice, light, small, tender little story more interesting.

Sarcastic Tone

You dont suppose I could

refuse ee?

Tripling / Rule of

she smiled a smile, and up she

hopped, and on drove Tony /
The tripling helps set the sense of comedy,
The whole story is also set in a
again through sarcasm and irony
tripling because there are all
together 3 women


Repetition of the 3 women

climbing into the carriage

And there was no help for it

Situational Humour but to take her up beside


The humour is portrayed through sarcasm

and Irony

The use of repetition rein-forces the theme

of love is fickle but can also be used as a
technique of humour

Humour is presented by the irony of the

situation where Milly is sitting next to
Kytes, and Unity is in the back of the

She was a much more dashing Tony Kytes is presented as insincere and
girl than Milly Richards
capricious when it comes to love or

respecting women




Pauses (effective
use of commas)

He spoke tenderer and

tenderer, and called her dear
Hannah in a whisper at last

This is ironic as Hannah thinks Tony is

being tender and sweet although he is just
whispering so that Milly and Unity dont
hear them, Irony is effective by the way it
emphasizes language rhetorically

My sweet Hannah! He bursts

out, taking her hand, not being
In this sense, commas are used to help the
really able to help it, and
reader read the text in a humorous way
forgetting Milly and Unity, and
all the world besides

Significant use of setting:

The writer mentioned that Tony had to walk up the hill to find Unity Sallet , which
conveys a sense that he was always the one who makes an effort. There is irony because
the writer made Tony sound like he attracts all the girls but instead it was him who made
it happen.

The writer engaged the readers by having Milly on one end of the waggon and Unity
being snug at the other end. Theres a dramatic irony here, and this symbolises that there
will be a big problem when they both meet each other.

Milly lives at Upper Longpuddle. This is ironic because upper gives a sense of high
class yet a puddle could only be found low on the ground.

Links to other stories:

The theme of fickle love can also be seen in the story Nightingale and the Rose, where
the girl rejects the students advances simply because the chamberlains nephew has
given her jewels instead, much like how Tony Kytes decides to marry Hannah instead
because she is the prettiest of them all.

Humour The Stolen Bacillus

Contrasting Portrayals of women The womans rose, The yellow wallpaper

News of the Engagement Arnold Bennett

Main Themes:

Love *Family Relationships *Childhood

Characters: Philip, Mother, Mr Nixon, (Agnes)

Important Points to Remember:

The story illustrates the process of Philip growing up. From being egocentric, thinking
that he should be the only thing that his mother cares about, to being considerate and
mature at the end of the story.

Woman portrayed in the society:

The narrator, Philip, expects his mother to be a normal housewife. As a mother, the child is
supposed to be the ultimate reality of life yet, she expects Mr. Nixon to arrive at the door as they
are engaged. How weak and delicate a mother is represented- Mothers are kittle cattle
*The fact that Philips Mother is already 45 years old, Philip assumes that his mother would no
longer have any love affairs of her own. He stereo-types her as a women at the house, fulfilling
the expectations of society in the 19th century of the role of a woman to be a good housewife.
o I was the only son of a widow shows that the son assumes that his mother is
solely dependent on him, and he is her everything. That explains why he is not
aware that his mother needs to find a partner. SELF-CENTRED
o The world revolves around him, so he expects his mother would be able to feel it.
OBLIVIOUS to his mothers life or needs or feelings.


The story is set in first person from the narrators perspective, which manipulates how the
readers think and leads to the twist in the story. He puts himself before everything and expects
the world to revolve around him I was all that my mother had A simile is used to describe how
his mother hovered around him like a seagull hovering around a steamer. He thinks he is
more superior to his little plump mother. He never thought of my mother as a woman with a

future as his mind was full of Agnes. Also, his self-centered attitude causes him shame as he
then realizes that the world does not only revolve around him. He also pigeon-holes his mother
as a mother with no future.


They are portrayed to be very close despite the fact that they both think that it was not a suitable
time to reveal the secret that theyre getting engaged ( Ironic She couldnt well have written,
my dear Philip, an old friend, Mr Nixon, is falling in love with me and I believe Im falling in
love with him) Mr. Nixon is showed to be a fatherly figure and is also called an uncle by the
narrator, which shows irony, as Mr. Nixon will take on the role of being a father. The time to
reveal the secret suggests that they both have similar mindsets, hence mother and son.

Philip and his mother:

Humour and irony is suggested as he cannot confess his true feelings even to his mother. But
you cant write even to your mother and say in cold blood: I think I am beginning to fall in love
with Agnes. They are too embarrassed to talk about their love affairs with each other, despite
the close relationship.
o I wrote to my mother regularly every week
o she had always other things to do; she was preparing for me
o and she said, as usual, kissing me

Philip and Mr. Nixon:

The narrator considers him as his mothers trustee and nothing further. It is least expected that
he will become Philips father therefore jokes about him being Uncle Nixon. In the end, he is
willing to accept the relationship and shake hands symbolizing the bond between them.

Philips Mother and Mr. Nixon:

They are very close and aided her in troublous times. It is presented that his mother constantly
waits for him behind the door and rushes the door with tears in her smiling eyes, and she was as
nervous as a young girl when she is waiting for his arrival. This gives the idea that being in
Love rejuvenates her.( Love can rejuvenate the spirit of a forty-five year old woman, also

suggested that even an aged widow can experience Love as well) This also shows the
immediacy and eagerness which changes Mr. Nixon as the subject rather than Philip.
Philip: A self-centered person who often pigeon-holes people, such as his mother, and Mr.
Nixon, which of course he names uncle Nixon as a joke; engaged to AGNES. .
Philips Mother: A widow, that is thought to have no future, but finds out that she falls in
love with Mr. Nixon in the later stages of the story.
Mr. Nixon: A person with a well established background, nice and is falling in love with
Philips mother.

The setting The mothers home

o This also shows the safety zone (house) noted in the story which can show how
Philips mother does not really want to face the reality and is uncomfortable if she
is out of her safety zone.
o The drawing room has new incandescent light, and postcards, which suggest that
the mother has renewed her life, and is being welcomed to a life with a
complete family.
o Dinner table

the supper is set for three this suggests that there may be a surprise this
also relates back to the self-centered attitude of the protagonist, which
shows how he only thinks of himself, and not his mother.

A table is shown where a whole family settles down to share and

communicate within the family, it is ironic that Mr. Nixons seat is also
prepared although Mr. Nixon is not known as a father or part of the family
in the eyes of Philip yet.

The Half Brothers Elizabeth Gaskell

Main Themes:
*Family *Guilt *Childhood *Sacrifice
Characters: narrator (second son), Gregory (first son), Helen (mother), Aunt Fanny,
William Preston (step-father of Gregory)
*Relates to Author
*Relates to 19th Century
Important Points to Remember:

The reason why Helen re-married in need of money; in hope that William Preston
would able to give her first son, Gregory, good education. THERE IS NO LOVE.

William Preston is JEALOUS of Gregory, because he got all the love from HELEN. After
Helens death, he is able to put all his positive dislike onto him by treating him bad.

After second marriage, Helen was never happy.

o Helen did not wish to live, and so just let herself die away without trying to take
hold on life Not just physically, but mentally as well. Her spirit has already

William Preston: he is also a victim of an unhappy marriage. He fell in love with a

woman who never loves him. Marriage was short. The love melted his hatred towards
Gregory. Unity in spirit was resumed in the family.
o a quiet smile (he had hardly ever smiled in life) upon his still, cold face

Feeling of REPENTANCE and REGRET William Preston and narrator. As they never
treated Gregory well, but he was still so nice to them. He even sacrificed himself to save
the narrator fulfilled the role of being a brother.

Gaskell Unitarian religion (like Christianity) emphasizes the tolerance and reason.

Not once did the father tried to reason with Gregory and understand his problems.

o He did not tolerate with Gregory and Lassie.

o In the end ends up regretting what he has done.

o Jesus sacrifices his life for humanity like Gregory.

In the story of The Half Brothers, the narrators mother (Helen) was married twice, due to the
early death of her first husband. They lived in the bleak and remote area of Cumberland, and also
due to poverty, Helens first baby girl died out of illness. The early death of her husband left
Helen in a state of emotional and financial breakdown. The desperate need of money led her to
remarry a man called William Preston, as he promised her to give Gregory, her eldest son,
education. This marriage reflects upon the resilient love that was shared between the mother and
Gregory as she marries William Preston for the sake of Gregory, not herself. Soon, the third child
(the narrator) was born but unfortunately, not too long after this child survived his childbirth, his
mother Helen died in despair. This left the two half-brothers in the hands of their Aunt Fanny and
the stepfather. As a child, Gaskells mother died when she was one years old. Similarly, in the
Half brothers, the protagonists are brought up by the aunt as well. The narrator tells his own
story of his complicated relationship with his half-brother and also the reconciliation of the
family that finally comes in the end.
The significance of the setting is important to reflect the life of people during the Victorian era.
Cumberland, a relatively poor location in the north of England, is a great piece of evidence
implying how the people who live there receive no education, and women need to rely heavily
on men to survive. Once a marriage is wrecked by the death of the husband, the wife would lose
all support and their fate will turn miserable. It is exactly what happens to Helen and Aunt Fanny
at the beginning of the story with the death of Helens husband, the two women need to
struggle hard in order to combat poverty and to raise the young children. Through these two
characters, the author, Elizabeth Gaskell, portrays how poverty remains a dominant social and
economic problem in the north of England at that time. Throughout the whole story, Helen is
silenced. This is conveyed through the structure of the story as Helen does not get to a lot of
chances to speak. This deliberate silencing is how of the author suggests that women at that time
have no say in their lives and fate, adding to the sense of misery women experienced. The
repetition of She cried day and night, day and night, till my aunt and the other watcher looked at
each other in dismay shows how distressed Helens life is. Furthermore, the imagery Aunt
Fanny heard her cry as if her heart was breaking conveys the idea of utter despair.
With a desperate need to survive, Helen has to marry a man whom she never loves. In fact,
between Helen and William Preston, there has been only been a single-sided love ever since the
moment they are married. The line, She love Gregory but not him, shows that Helens
relationship with Gregory is much closer than with him (the second husband). It demonstrates
how the marriage was a mere exchange based on monetary gains rather than genuine love and
affection. Again this description reflects on the effort, decisions and sacrifices that the mother
made for Gregory which also places emphasis on the bond between them.
The burden of Helens death triggers conflicts between Gregory and his stepfather and kindles
the many complicated relationships within the family. The stepfather is strongly biased, for he
puts the sole blame of Helens death on Gregory. If Preston does love Helen, he would also love
Gregory, but Gaskell writes as though Prestons jealousy towards Gregory is greater than his love

for Helen. The hatred and coldness between Gregory and his stepfather influence the narrator to
justify his dislike towards his half brother as well. Immediately after Helens death, Preston is
able to transpose all his positive dislike onto Gregory, claiming that he was the reason why his
wife passed away. Life is unfair for Gregory, as Prestons promise of taking good charge of her
boy and giving him education did not happen. Instead, he was made to work as a shepherd with
Old Adams in the farms. Gaskell cleverly uses contrasts to make readers sympathize for the
poor Gregory.
The conflicts between the two half brothers are somehow brought about by the sense of
superiority that the narrator felt over Gregory. The fact that At home I [he] was the darling of
my [his] aunt, the tenderly beloved of my [his] father, the pet and plaything of the old domestic,
the young master of the farm-labourers shows that everyone in the family adores the narrator.
Because of this over-pampering by his father and aunt, subconsciously, this makes the narrator
vain and arrogant. Even though in the story, the narrator does not show a very conspicuous
hatred towards Gregory, his mistreating of the dog Lassie may subtly suggest that. Lassie, in
many senses, can be viewed as a symbol of Gregory, for he is always receiving maltreatment
from both the narrator and his father. For example, Preston always kicked whenever he saw
Lassie shows that he is very violent and brutal and vents his anger on the poor dog. Luckily,
despite the mistreatment by his stepfather and half-brother, Gregory remains a young man who is
patient and good-natured. The huge contrast between the beginning and the end exaggerates
his feeling of deep remorse, and this helps to convey Gaskells message to the readers.
The pathetic fallacy, it seemed so weird and strange in that noiseless expanse of black darkness
foreshadows that something ominous is going to occur. As the narrator is sent to an errand by his
father, he is forced to leave his support and walk independently. Again, the use of pathetic
fallacy, Suddenly the air filled thick with dusky flakes, my face and hands were wet with
snow, shows that the narrators vision is blocked, and portrays an idea as if the narrators future
is uncertain. The metaphor, Only the noiseless, pitiless snow kept falling thick, thicker faster,
faster!, suggests that even nature is going against him. It is ironic to the beginning as the
narrator would greet her [Lassie] with a blow, and now he is relying on her to save his life. The
line, Gregory might have noticed the coming storm, and gone out silently to meet the narrator
further supports the point that he does not have a grudge on any of his family members. Instead,
he shows his responsibility as a brother by sending Lassie to rescue the narrator. The imagery,
Lassie came home, with my handkerchief tied round her neck, parallels to the idea of Gregory
saving the narrators life in exchange for his. The handkerchief is significant as well as it tells the
worrying Preston and Aunt Fanny that he is safe (Symbolic!). This incident again, highlights the
fact that Gregory is a courageous, forgiving and self-sacrificing young lad.
At the end, both the narrator and the stepfather show a sign of reconciliation and repentance
towards Gregory. The line, I felt that I was tenderly covered up by my brother, suggests that
the narrator finally feels the brotherly love they have between them. The diction, my brother, is
never used at the beginning of the story. The fact that the narrator calls Gregory his brother
now suggests that he has accepted the fact that he is part of the family. Furthermore, the
description, my fathers stern old face strove in vain to keep its sternness his mouth quivered,
his eyes filled slowly with unwonted tears, suggests that Preston is beginning to show his inner
emotions, which contrasts to the beginning when he is described as a stern and hard man. He

says, God forgive me my hardness of heart towards the fatherless child, and this suggests that
Preston regrets for being so harsh to Gregory. He realizes that he has done wrong in the past, and
his hatred towards Gregory melted away. The imagery, he [Preston] desired that he might lie at
the foot of the grave, in which, by his desire, poor Gregory had been laid with our mother,
suggests that in the end, they are reunited after death.
To add on, Gaskells Unitarian religion influenced her to writing this story, which emphasized
the importance of tolerance and reason. These ideas are explored throughout the text as she
writes that Preston does not try to reason with Gregory and understand his problems. He did not
tolerate with his stepson or Lassie.

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