Story of an Hour Literary Analysis

Topics: Marriage, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Wife, Husband, Secret Life / Pages: 8 (2000 words) / Published: Nov 8th, 2011
Bettina Golden
ENG125 – Introduction to Literature
Professor Joan Golding
10-16-2011

“The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin and “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” by James Thurber both captured my interest from the very beginning. These short stories represent gender roles and marriage. They both are about married couples with controlling mates. “The Story of an Hour” is about a young married woman and how she reacts to the news of her husband dying in a train accident. The story takes place in the home of the young woman, Mrs. Mallard. Several things took place within an hour but “the joy that kills” (Clugston, 2010) made me more interest to find out what was happening to Mrs. Mallard. Mrs. Mallard died of “joy that kills” (Clugston, 2010) because she was happy after finding out about her husband and he coming home was the hour of her life. I believe she chose to die happy than live miserably with her husband because she was so happy thinking she had her life back only to go downstairs and see Brently walk in. “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” was about a husband who continuously daydreamed about the life he wanted. Both of these stories have symbolism of the unhappy mates whose being dominated by their spouse and the desire to escape it. The difference in the stories is in “The Story of an Hour”, Mrs. Mallard is dominated by her husband and she sees an escape through his death. In “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, has a controlling wife and escapes from her through his daydreams. In this paper I would like to discuss the elements of setting, plot, characters, and conflict found in these stories that will bring out the theme of the will to escape. “The Story of an Hour” takes place in a single hour in the home of Mrs. Mallard. The very beginning explained that she had heart trouble and the news of her husband’s death would be given to her as gently as possible. Mrs. Mallard’s heart condition may have come partly from stress caused by her

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