A Comprehensive Analysis of “A Wagner Matinee” and “The Story of an Hour”
On the surface, “A Wagner Matinee” and “The Story of an Hour” seem like completely different stories, with a dissimilar plot and unlike settings. “A Wagner Matinee” is a story about the effects and hardships of living on the Great Plains, and the sustaining power of music on the human spirit, while “The Story of an Hour” expresses the constraints of marriage in the 19th century. However, after thoroughly reading both stories, one can observe several similarities between them in addition to the many differences.
First off, in both stories, there is a character who has given up something important and significant in their lives. In “A Wagner Matinee”, Aunt Georgiana gave up a life of music and culture, for a life of hardship on the prairie. Likewise, Mrs. Mallard, from “The Story of an Hour”, gave up her freedom with marriage. For both characters, these sacrifices came with great costs. For Aunt Georgiana, a life without music is painful enough. After the matinee is finished and the guests have all left, she out cries and pleads "I don't want to go, Clark, I don't want to go!" After hearing this beautiful music for the first time in thirty years, she realizes she loves it too much to be without it again. The pain of leaving her passion and love is too overwhelming for her to take. For Mrs. Mallard, marriage forfeited her freedom, forcing her to live a life of oppression. Louise’s desire for freedom far exceeds her love for her husband; she would rather live freely than be in a marriage that subjects her to domesticity. Although Mrs. Mallard was initially sad after hearing the news of her husband’s death, those feelings faded away quickly, and were replaced with a sense of joy and happiness. This moment in the story was similar to the scene when Aunt Georgiana hears the matinee, as she also becomes very emotional and happy, just like Mrs. Mallard when she gets the taste of freedom and...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document