The Story of an Hour and the Necklace

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RUNNING HEAD: THE STORY OF AN HOUR & THE NECKLACE 1

The Story of an Hour & The Necklace Cindy Rohwer ENG 125 Douglas Goss September 8, 2012

THE STORY OF AN HOUR & THE NECKLACE 2 How little a thing is needed for us to be saved? Both short stories, Maupassant’s “The Necklace” and Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” portray two different but alike women, who refuse to accept their destiny and deny the life of women of their class. They are both lost, looking to be saved and they find themselves in big trouble, when they think they have finally succeeded in their search. Nature plays a major role in both lives. They both struggle to find their independence and the ending of their stories end up being triumphant, tragic and ironic. “The Necklace” weaves a tale about Madame Loisel who has always dreamed of the finer things in life and is discontented with her middle class lifestyle. The price she pays for one single evening at the ball, turns into 10 years of drudgery and despair in her life. Most good stories start with a fundamental list of things that help in the working of the story such as the initial situation, conflict, complication, climax, suspense, denouement, and then the conclusion. At the beginning of “The Necklace”, not much happens. The narrator’s just interested in giving you a little information on the woman of the house, as we do not know her by name, as of yet. We hear how miserable she is with her meeker life. By knowing that Louise Mallard had heart trouble and that she should be told calmly and slowly as not to cause distress to her heart, by telling her that her husband has died in a railroad accident. Chopin makes Mr. Mallard look like he is a good man and a good husband, but it shows the deficiencies in society which allowed a system of unfairness to exist in the latter part of the nineteenth century. The heart trouble that Louise has is both a symbolic and physical malady, which represents her ambivalence towards her unhappiness in the marriage and the lack of freedom.

“Story of an Hour” with the use of symbolism, talks mostly about the protagonist alone and can be seen as solipsistic ( a theory holding that the self can know nothing but its own modifications and that self is only the existent thing), for it is written in such a way that the THE STORY OF AN HOUR & THE NECKLACE 3 reader must conclude that its protagonist(Louise) does not recognize a world outside of herself. To illustrate the nature of the protagonist,” this heart trouble is not so much a physical ailment, but as a sign of a woman who has unconsciously surrendered her heart” (Jamil, 2009). Rather than symbolizing something such as the vast world which Louise is being deprived of in her solipsism, this “open square” and it’s content “teaches her the sounds, scents and the color within her soul, but the particular combinations of her attributes within her soul that makes her such a unique individual (Jamil, 2009),

“There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow creature. A kind intention or a cruel intention made the act seem no less a crime, as she looked upon it in that brief moment of illumination” (Clugston, 2010). Louise Mallard is struggling with the death of her husband, although she sometimes hated him, if she even loved him at all and the feeling of finally being set free, to finally do as...
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