Marital Relationships as Portrayed in the Short Stories I'm Going and The Story of an Hour

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Love As A Battlefield

Love has always been complicated. Whether you were married in 1700 or 2012, there are many things we'll just never understand. But what if you were married in the late 1800's to the early 1900's? I believe Mrs. Louise Mallard and Jeanne can both agree that it was not easy. The short story “The Story of An Hour” and the drama “I'm Going” will show that being a wife in that era was not all about passion and perfect families, but about control and dominance. Although the stories were written during two different time periods, the modern period and the Victorian period, there were still many similarities in both relationships. Each story centered itself around a woman taking a “backseat” to her husband. The difference between these pieces of literature were the styles used to convey the message. “I'm Going” by Tristan Bernard was written as a comedy, while “The Story of An Hour” by Kate Chopin was written as a tragedy. The plots of the stories were also different. “I'm Going” used a plot that grabbed the readers attention through what was happening, while “The Story of An Hour” developed the plot by what was being revealed.

The drama by Tristan Bernard, “I'm Going”, was about a man and wife who were having a disagreement about the man (Henri) who wanted to go out to the horse races but did not want to take his wife. Throughout the drama Henri and his wife Jeanne argued back and forth about who was going to go out and enjoy the day, even either of them, and essentially turned into a power struggle between man and wife. At first, Jeanne wanted to go to the races with her husband but he objected. After she finally realized that she was not invited, she then got upset and did not want Henri to go to the races at all. After some arguing and a lot of “tit for tat” Jeanne decides that Henri should go to the races and that she will go out to send a telegram to her friend Juliette. But no! Once she finally seems content with their separate agendas, Henri turns jealous and believes Jeanne has some sort of hidden agenda. He asks her to show him the telegram she plans to send to Juliette and she agrees. He then says “You let me have it very quickly! You're not usually so obedient when I ask you for something. You must have some reason! (Clugston, 2010.) He then goes on to tell her that he believes her telegram is a signal and that she is planning some sort of revenge on him with another man. Henri now seems very insecure, and he expresses the fact that he will now stay home with her, and that the two of them will go nowhere. In the end, after he convinces his wife Jeanne that neither of them should go anywhere, he turns it around again and proceeds to leave for the races! Henri shows his power and control over her when he manipulates her into thinking that she needs to stay at home alone, while he goes out, because she “loves” him.

“The Story of An Hour” is a short story based on a woman (Louise Mallard) who receives news that her husband has died in a train accident. In the beginning of the story, the author (Kate Chopin) tells us that Louise has a heart condition and is not in the greatest health. Louise's sister and a friend of her husband's shared the news with her once they knew it was true. When she first got the news, Louise seems upset, but she is soon overcome by another feeling, a feeling that may be strange in the case of such news. Louise goes to her room alone and begins to realize that the passing of her husband is not such bad news but instead she feels a sense of freedom from a man who has cast a shadow over her own being for all these years. As she reflects about her past life, and daydreams about the days ahead, thinking to herself how she will finally be freed from this man and this marriage and be able to become her own woman, her sister comes to her door to check on her. No sooner had she opened the door to speak to her...
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