Critical Essay

Topics: Short story, John Updike, Family Pages: 3 (1243 words) Published: October 16, 2014
Driven to Succeed
Follow These Brave Hearts through a Lifetime of Interesting Experiences
As we live on and continue to read, we realize the stories of our past and the stories of our present have many similarities and differences between them. We start to see the different conflicts, tones, and themes within them and have a new respect for the authors behind all these masterpieces. Comparing Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” and John Updike’s “My Father on the Verge of Disgrace” entertained me very much and I enjoyed this process with these two stories tremendously. Just looking at them you can see that they have many differences, but in this case the bigger picture holds the significance of them. It shows that the differences are compelling although they were constructed in two contrasting generations. They showcase the talent and ambition in our authors through time.

The tone in these two stories are very divergent. In “The Story of an Hour” the tone has a sufficient amount of melancholy in it. The unrecognizable unhappiness Mrs. Mallard had hidden deep within herself and let rule over her life finally surfaces when she finds out her husband is dead. She rejoiced at a new beginning and a chance to be happy and free. As swiftly as her happiness came when she found out about her husband’s death it left just the same when she found out he was alive. “My Father on the Verge of Disgrace” had so much depth within the tone because of the concern the boy had for his family. Their economic situation really took a toll on the father and ultimately the family as a whole. The stories have more differences than similarities when focusing on tone.

As conflict arises in these two stories we begin to see more of the characters personalities and view the situation as we feel necessary. “The Story of an Hour” has such an interesting conflict. There’s so much oppression that Mrs. Mallard feels towards her marriage. Instead of grieving after her husband's death she...
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