3 April 2015
It Takes More than Commitment and Sacrifice to Make a Happy Marriage
Commitment and sacrifice in a marriage are not always enough to keep a marriage happy and healthy. “Compromise in marriage is essential to maintain a happy and healthy relationship. Without compromise, one spouse will generally feel subjugated, and may grow bitter of his or her partner.” Jenny Franchot. Her quotation states that a good marriage only works, if the spouse compromises with each other. To illustrate this claim, we use the short stories of Heinrich Boll “Like a Bad Dream” which tells the story of a unnamed character who narrates how the actions of his wife change the way he feels about her. And the short story of Kate Chopin “The Story of an Hour” which tells the story of Ms. Mallard, who receives the news that her husband was probably dead. “Like a Bad Dream” is the best short story that proves Franchot’s quotation against the short story “The Story of an Hour”. The character of Boll’s short story is the one that shows more commitment to his marriage, but in Chopin’s short story, the narrator does not describe the marriage of the main character of Mrs. Mallard. The story of Heinrich Boll “Like a Bad Dream” is narrated by an unnamed character that makes commitments to his wife Bertha, in order to keep her happy. The story takes place in Germany after World War II, and it begins when the narrator and his wife are waiting for the Zumpens to come for dinner at their house and discuss a contract offer. As the narrator tells how tense he was, he states, “Bertha had decided what I was to wear: a dark jacket, trousers a shade lighter, and a conservative tie” (127). We can see from this detail that he and his wife are showing commitment to each other. But as the story goes on, we begin to see he is the only one making commitments on his marriage. After the Zumpens finished dinner and left, his wife begins to ask him why he didn’t talk about the contract to Mr. Zumpen and she forces him to go to the Zumpens house, “’What’s up?’ I asked. ‘We have to go to over there, of course’ she said.”(128). with this, we see that the narrator is forced commit to follow his wife order. As he begins to follow his wife’s order, He begins to dislike her. As he describes, “When she tightened the knot of my tie I could have kissed her, the way I always used to when she fixed my tie, but I didn’t.”(128). He is starting to grow bitter of her, as she is making him doing things against his will. Evidence of his unhappiness and bitterness can be found elsewhere in the story. After they finally went to the Zumpens house and he got the contract the way Bertha wanted, she was happy, but he wasn’t. As he states, “As we went down the elevator, Bertha said she was happy, but I said nothing” (130).In conclusion this short story shows that both spouses are making commitments and sacrifices, but only one is happy. The short story of Kate Chopin “The Story of an Hour” tells the story of Mrs. Mallard and the way she reacts to the news that her husband was probably killed in a train accident, and how she was not happy in her marriage. All this takes place in the nineteenth century in Louisiana, where at the time the women rights were basically inexistent. At the beginning of the story, the narrator describes the way her sister tries to give her the bad news gently, because of her hearth affliction and the unusual way she reacted. As the narrator states, “She did not hear the story as many women have heard the same, with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance.”(7). She was clearly in shock by the magnitude of the news. But as the narrator keep going on, we begin to see how she reacts. She went alone to her room and sat on a chair facing a window and stood motionless. The narrator describes, “She was young with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression and even a certain...
Cited: Boll, Heinrich. “Like a Bad Dream” Silverman and Spack 126-131.
Silverman, Naomi and Spack, Ruth, eds. The International Story: An Anthology with Guidelines for Reading and Writing about Fiction. Cambridge: University Press, 1998. Print
Chopin, Kate. “The Story of an Hour” Silverman and Spack 6-8.
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