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Tony and Brenda are a married couple who have completely opposing goals and desires for their futures. But their differing desires (Tony wishing for the quiet life on their enormous country estate, Brenda wishing for a more lively social existence in London) are also a metaphorical representation of changing ways of life in England at the time. The life of the aristocrats in the countryside is beginning to be seen as archaic and old-fashioned, and Brenda's grudging affection towards Tony is portrayed as a kind of boredom.
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