Marriage is about two persons placing themselves in a relationship they are truly committed to. Jenny Franchot claims that, “Compromise in a marriage is essential to maintain a happy relationship. Without compromise, one spouse will generally feel subjugated and may grow increasingly bitter of his or her partner.” Compromise from both spouses is extremely important for a marriage to work. “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin and “Like a Bad Dream” by Henrich Boll both deal with marriage and commitment. Both stories take their own course, but they are effective examples that illustrate the claim about marriage made by Franchot. “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin proves that marriage, without compromise, will make one spouse feel enslaved to his or her partner. This story is about Mrs. Mallard finding out her husband died, and figuring out she has repressed feeling for her husband. That is why Once Ms. Mallard is told by her sister, about her husband’s death, she whispers, “Free! Body and soul free!” (8). Here we can see that she hated how her compromise and obligations made her feel enslaved to her husband. When Mrs. Mallard is in her room contemplating her future, she thinks, “There would be no one to live for her during those coming years: she would live for herself” (8). This passage indicates that Ms. Mallard was feeling liberated from her psychological subjugation, and compromise to her husband. Chopin wrote, “What could love … count for in face of this possession of self assertion which she [Mrs. Mallard] suddenly recognized as the strongest impulse of her being!” (8). This description directs the reader to Mrs. Mallards self assertiveness since the love for her husband, was less of value than her own happiness. This story is an effective example of the claim made by Jenny Franchot because it shows how there was no compromise from Ms. Mallard’s side because she felt subjugated in her relationship, plus she was self assertive since she only cared about her sacrifices in her marriage and not her husband’s. That is why her marriage ends up an unhealthy disaster and she ends up dying from disappointment when she sees her husband is not dead. “Like a Bad Dream” by Henrich Boll proves that if both spouses in a relationship compromise they will have a happy and healthy relationship. This story is about a married couple trying to get a work contract. When the couple is in the car, Bertha says, “All we had to do was call up Father …, but I want you to get the contract on your own” (129). This statement confirms that the couple’s marriage is strong and that their compromise to each other influences how they try to help each other improve. After Mr. Zumpen calls and lets the husband know that Bertha made a mistake on the contract, he says, “That wasn’t a mistake, she did it with my consent” (130). By this act we can see that both spouses compromised on their decisions and that their marriage was healthy. After getting the contract the husband knew his wife was thinking that, “He has to get over it, and I have to leave him alone; this is something he has to understand” (131). Here we can see that both spouses had a strong compromise, and that they understood each other’s needs. This story is an effective example of the claim made by Jenny Franchot because it shows that if both spouse compromise, then their marriage and relationship will be happy and healthy. Both, “The Story of an Hour” and “Like a Bad Dream” illustrate the claim made about marriage by Jenny Franchot. One story shows that without compromise, one spouse will grow to hate his or her spouse. The other shows how if both spouses compromise, there is nothing that can break the health and happiness of their marriage. Both stories are effective examples that illustrate Franchot’s claim about marriage; one covers the negative side and the other covers the positive side of Franchot’s claim. Both stories show how important compromise is in marriage and that without it the relationship will suffer. There might be some exceptions of marriages that work without compromise, but most won’t make it in the long run. Jenny Franchot’s claim about marriage is perfectly put and both stories proved her claim about marriage to be correct. In my experience, I can tell that my parents have compromised on many things and that is why their marriage is as healthy as it is now. Compromising is essential to marriage. Without it both spouses will suffer and never be happy. To Franchot, if one does not compromise with one’s spouse, then do not waste each other’s time in a relationship that will never be healthy or happy.
Böll, Heinrich. “Like a Bad Dream.” Spack 126 – 31.
Chopin, Kate. “The Story of an Hour.” Spack 6 – 8.
Spack, Ruth, ed. The International Story: An Anthology with Guidelines for Reading and Writing about Fiction. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998. Print.