Hour

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Final Paper

ENG125 Introduction To Literature
October 8, 2012

The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin and “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” by James Thurber both captured my interest from the very beginning. These short stories represents gender roles and marriage. They both are about married couples with controlling mates. “The Story of an Hour” is about a young married woman and how she reacts to the news of her husband dying in a tragic train accident. The story takes place in the home of the young woman, Mrs. Mallard. Several things took place within an hour but “the joy that kills” (Clugston, 2010) made me more interested to find out what was happening to Mrs. Mallard. Mrs. Mallard died from “the joy that kills” (Clugston, 2010) because she was happy after finding out about her husband and him coming home was the hour of her life. I believe she choose to die happy rather than live miserably with her husband because she was so happy thinking she had her life back only to go downstairs and see Brently walk in.

“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” was about a self-conscience husband who continuously daydreamed about a life he wanted. Both of these stories have symbolism of unhappy relationships that were being dominated by their spouse and the desire to escape it and get away. The difference in the stories is in “The Story of an Hour”, Mrs. Mallard is dominated by her husband and she sees an escape through his death. In “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, has a controlling wife and escapes from her through his daydreams. In this paper I would like to discuss the elements of setting, plot, characters, and conflict found in these stories that will bring out the theme of the will to escape.

“The Story of an Hour” takes place in a single hour in the home of Mrs. Mallard. The very beginning of the story explained how she had heart trouble and the news of her husband’s death would be given to her as gently as possible. Mrs. Mallard’s heart condition may have come partly from stress caused by the tragic passing of her loving husband whom she cared about and loved unconditionally.

Setting in stories help people understand where the event or story took place. There are many important elements in literature different circumstances helps to make it a good poem. The setting in a poem or story is very critical to get the importance of the story. The setting in a story or poem describes the geographical location and time period when the story happened. It also describes the daily lifestyle of the character and the climate of the story. The setting of a story can take place in many different places in a car, in a house, in a school, or in an empty field. Besides the place it happens at it can also describe the time of the story like the hour, year or century the story takes place.

In “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin describes the setting as in the main characters house. This is not described right off hand in the story. You can tell it was from years ago by the line “He had only taken the time to assure himself of its truth by a second telegram and had hastened to forestall any less careful less tender friend in bearing the sad message.”(Clugston, 2010) Telegrams haven’t been used for decades now people are using emails and...
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