The Story of an Hour and a Rose for Emily Essay

Topics: Short story, Woman, Marriage Pages: 6 (2219 words) Published: July 22, 2011
Compare Contrast The Story of an Hour and A Rose for Emily
Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour" and William Faulkner's "A Rosefor Emily" both characterize the nature of marriage and womanhood bydelving into the psyches of their female protagonists. Also, althoughChopin makes no clear reference to geographic locale in "The Story of anHour," both authors usually set their stories in the American South, whichimpacts these characterizations. These two tales share many other points ofreference in common. For instance, Mrs. Mallard in "The Story of an Hour"and Emily Grierson in "A Rose for Emily" die at the end of the story, andboth deaths are in some way related to how the women felt about their malepartners. In fact, in both cases, the women are deeply affected by the menin their lives: their personalities and lifestyles have been shaped andmolded chiefly by men. However, Mrs. Mallard and Emily Grierson developdifferently. Mallard is a relatively young woman, while GriersonWhen Brently Mallard is presumed dead,Mrs. Mallard and Grierson also exhibit different physical characteristics. Mallard grieves when she hears her husband is dead but embraces the "longprocession of years to come that would belong to her absolutely. In the end, both women die, but Mallard's death isprecipitated by "a monstrous joy," unlike Grierson, who simply left behinda legacy of sadness and pity. This aspect of her character isparalleled in the springtime setting of "A Rose for Emily," in which "topsof trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life. While Grierson holes up and hides from the world, Mallard has asupportive network of friends and family to which to turn. Mallard experiences an epiphanythat can potentially transform her life and which brings her immense joy;Grierson, on the other hand sank into madness and depression and killed theman she loved. Emily Grierson killed the man whospurned her, only to sleep next to his decaying corpse each night. " In stark contrastto this imagery and characterization is Faulkner's description of MissEmily's house, which "smelled of dust and disuse. Grierson, on the other hand, doesexhibit a "paralyzed inability to accept" death and pain. " Mallard,therefore, is adaptable whereas Grierson is stuck in the past; Grierson'srelationship with the townspeople reinforces her inability to accept changeand newness. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A compare and contrast Essay

In the short stories Story of an Hour and A Rose for Emily, the two main characters Louise Mallard and Emily Grierson are both similar and dissimilar. These two characters lived in similar ideological societies and they shared a similar pattern of development. But also they differed in their goals and how they thought they could achieve their goals.

First, Emily Grierson and Louise Mallard both shared a common shackle, the society in which they lived. Both Emily and Louise were women, and they both lived in times where society defined them by their male counterparts. The expectations of women in those days were cooking, cleaning, dining, other household chores. Women were also expected to be married in their middle ages. In a Rose for Emily, the narrator says that the town was not pleased when Emily turned thirty and she still wasn’t married. Louise was bonded in marriage, and Emile was bonded in solitude. Louise felt that her husband’s powerful will was bending her own. A man was seen traditionally as the provider of a household, and a woman was to be the housekeeper. This is evident in A Rose for Emily wherein a group of women who were observing the fact that Tobe was keeping the Grierson house made the comment “Just as if a man—any man—could keep a kitchen properly.” The comment was directed at men in general and it reinforced the idea that men had their place in society and women had theirs.

Second, in the way that the...
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