Compare and Contrast: “The Story of an Hour” vs. “The Hand”

Topics: Woman, Wife, Marriage Pages: 3 (1131 words) Published: November 12, 2013

Compare and Contrast: “The Story of an Hour” vs. “The Hand” Women in the 19th century were repressed by their husbands. Society was male dominated. Women were likely to stay at home to manage household and raise the children. Not many women had jobs at that time, and even the ones who did were paid salaries lower than men were. The two short stories "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin's and “The Hand” by Colette both characterize the nature of marriage and womanhood by examining the worries of their female characters, but mostly shows one main theme, which is dysfunctional marriage. In fact, in both cases, the women are totally affected by the men in their lives: their personalities and lifestyles have been imposed and molded predominantly by men. However, Mrs. Mallard and the young woman cope in a different ways. The two short stories discussed about two radically different women both with repressive men in their lives. In “The Story of an Hour”, Mrs. Mallard recognizes she wished to be free from her marriage; she has a heart condition, which means that if she's startled, she could die, So she must be informed carefully about her husband’s death. Her sister, Josephine, tells her the news. Louise begins sobbing when Josephine tells her of Brently’s death and goes upstairs to be alone in her room; she sits down and looks out an open window. She sees trees and hears a peddler screaming out what he’s selling. She hears someone singing as well as the sounds of sparrows, and there are downy white clouds in the sky. She is young, with lines around her eyes. Still crying, she looks into the distance. She feels anxious and tries to defeat the building emotions within her, but can’t. She begins repeating the word Free! to herself over and over again. Her heart beats quickly, and she feels very warm. She fantasizes about all the days and years ahead and hopes that she lives a long life. This is an ironic story. In my point of view, I think there are two ironies....
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