Comparing and Contrasting “The Story
of an Hour” and “How I Met My Husband”.
Ashford University ENG125
In this essay I will be comparing and contrasting two great short stories. One being “The Story of
an Hour” written by Kate Chopin in 1854 and the other being “How I Met my Husband” written by
Alice Munro in 1974. The two short stories share the theme of gender roles/marriage. That being said,,
I will be going over plot, point of view and tone. Sometimes women feel like they are
trapped in their marriage, and sometimes women cannot wait to become married.
Kate Chopin's “The Story of an Hour represents a negative view of marriage. Every individual
takes a different approach when enduring the loss of a loved one. Whether it is bursting into tears or
being miserable. When a wife loses a husband, she typically tends to be in a state of depression. The
feeling of losing your significant other is a piercing agony going through one's heart, but in this case
the feeling of loss can turn into someone's freedom. For Louise Mallard she had an erratic reaction
when she was informed that her husband had been allegedly killed in a train accident. She locks
herself in her room and sits in front of the window in desolation. She begins to ponder how her life
will be without her husband. The sorrow that Mrs. Mallard felt in the beginning slowly turns into joy.
“Free body and soul free!” (Chopin 40). She knew that she would grieve over her husband like a wife
is supposed to, but internally her new found independence takes over. Finally she gets to live for
herself and do the things she had longed to accomplish. It is safe to say that she does not see this as a
misfortune, but as an opportunity, as if she were given another chance at life. Louise Mallard had been
so close to being finally free but as it turned out Brently Mallard had not died. Ironically, her sequence
of emotions ultimately led to her death. The fact that she dies at the end of a simple heart disease
shows that her misery stem from internally oppose to external emotions, The freedom that she nearly
could've tasted was gone. “For one climactic hour of her life, Louise does truly taste joy. For one hour
of emotion, Louise does glimpse meaning and fulfillment.” (Jamil,2009).
The story “How I Met my Husband” is about a young girl named Edie who is hired help for Dr.
Peebles and his family. One afternoon, while the family is away in town, she meets Chris Watters, a
pilot who travels from town to town giving rides in his plane for a fee. Edie falls in love with him but
soon learns that he is engaged to another woman, Alice Kelling. Alice is crazy and has been following
Chris everywhere in hopes of sex. One day while Alice, Mrs. Peebles, and the children were away on a
picnic, Edie goes to Chris's campsite to talk to him. He reveals to her his plans on leaving, but
promises to write her. They kiss and he leaves town. When the other women are told by the local
gossip, Loretta Bird that Chris has left, Alice Kelling verbally abuses Edie under the mistaken
impression that Edie and Chris had sex. Mrs. Peebles protects Edie and Alice leaves too. Edie waits
day after day at the mailbox for Chris's letter, which never comes. Eventually, Edie realizes Chris will
never write and marries the mailman, who believes that she waited by the mailbox for him everyday.
Edie never tells him that she was waiting for Chris because she likes “for people to think what pleases
them and makes them happy.” It is a perfect conclusion to Munro's story, a story that exemplifies the
old saying,”what they don't know can't hurt 'em.”
Although the plots of these two...
Bibliography: Clugston, R. Wayne. (2014). Journey into Literature 2nd Edition: United States: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Jamil, Selina. S. (2009). Emotions in The Story of an Hour. The Explcator, 67(3) pp 215 5p.
Sutton, B. (2005) Munro 's How I Met my Husband. The Explicator, 63(2) pp 107 4 p.
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