One of the most important elements for a reader is understanding the meaning behind a symbolic figure. Some might be difficult to catch, but in Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” and D.H. Laurence’s “The Rocking-Horse Winner,” both are quite clear. The stories have opposite symbols, but both are about the loved ones that influence their lives. For Mrs. Mallard, it’s her husband.
In “The Story of an Hour,” Louise Mallard received news that her loving husband died in a railroad disaster; which made Louise weep and run up to her room, shutting the door behind her. As she dwelled on the thought of no longer having a husband, she stared out an open window which symbolized how she really felt. Seeing the “tops of trees that all aquiver with the new spring life…[and] blue sky (246)” showed the reader that although a horrific death occurred, Louise did not only feel at peace, but feel the open freedom she desired for so long. As a window can open freedom and sunlight, it can easily be shut to reality without fresh air. In “The Rocking-Horse Winner,” the opposite affects a boy about his home.
A child should have more freedom than anyone else in the world, for what do they have to worry about? In “The Rocking-Horse Winner” however, the young boy named Paul received more pressure than the rest of the family. Paul lived “in a pleasant house with a garden (267),” and with other rich items to feel superior, but his mother never had the right heart; she always wanted more money. To this, the very house that they all lived in “came to be hunted by the unspoken phrase: There must be more money (267)!” The house itself symbolized the restrictions and bond that the mother had on her son. All Paul really wanted was to see his mother happy, and because wanting more money seems to be the only thing on her mind; he was determined to grant her that wish. A supernatural rocking-horse gave Paul the winner of the next horse-race winner, which he could bet and earn some serious cash....
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