Gender Roles In The Story Of An Hour And The Necklace

Satisfactory Essays
From ancient years to the middle of 20th century being a woman meant being a housewife. Women were repressed. Not only they did not have any rights, except to stay home, do the housework and care for a husband or children, women were considered only a half of human being. As one Russian saying says: "It would be very funny, if it was not so sad." Nowadays, when there are so many feministic coalitions, it is hard to imagine that once upon a time, females were not considered a part of society.

Of course, the roles of women were reflected in the literature. However, because women did not have any status and were not expected to work, more often than not, they were stuck in loveless marriages. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened in the following stories: "The Necklace" by Guy de Maupassant and "The Story of An Hour" by Kate Chopin.

In both these stories, authors portray two very different yet alike women who have trouble accepting their fate and are trying to reject the life of women of their class. Mathilde Loisel and Louise Mallard are very alike because they dream of something they do not have, then their dreams come true, but destiny plays a fatal role in both stories, and ladies lose everything they had. In both stories, ladies have caring husbands, whom they do not appreciate .Unfortunately, the endings of both stories are tragic.

From the first lines of both stories, it is clear that Mathilde Loisel and Mrs. Mallard dream of living different lives. The only difference between them is that they dream of different treasures.

Mathilde Loisel suffers from her middle-class lifestyle. "She had no dresses, no jewels, nothing. And she loved nothing but that; she felt made for that. She would so have liked to please, to be envied, to be charming, to be sought after." (Maupassant, p. 36) It is clear that Mathilde is envious of her reach friend, Madame Forestier and would trade places with her if only she had the chance, but unfortunately she is stuck with her clerk husband in their middle-class apartment.

Unlike Mathilde Loisel, Mrs. Mallard from “The Story of An Hour” doesn’t suffer from her middle-class lifestyle. Mrs. Mallard, who is a fragile woman afflicted with heart trouble, suffers from being trapped in a marriage. She loves her husband, however she longs for freedom.
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