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Gender Roles In The Story Of An Hour And The Necklace

analytical Essay
1360 words
1360 words
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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.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that women were repressed from ancient times to the middle of the 20th century. they were considered only a half of human beings.
  • Analyzes how the roles of women were reflected in literature, but they were stuck in loveless marriages because they did not have any status and were not expected to work.
  • Analyzes how mathilde loisel and louise mallard's stories 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.
  • Analyzes how mathilde loisel and mrs. mallard dream of living different lives, but the only difference between them is that they dream about different treasures.
  • Compares mrs. mallard from "the story of an hour" to mathilde loisel, who doesn't suffer from her middle-class lifestyle.
  • Analyzes how mathilde and mrs. mallard have dreams and thoughts which appear selfish and self-involved, but their dreams are about to come true when their husband comes home from work and hands their wife the invitation to the ball.
  • Analyzes how mrs. mallard's dreams of freedom were formed on the unconscious level. she is enjoying her visions and finding them empowering.
  • Analyzes how mrs. mallard has her triumph while trying to mourn her husband's death. she needs freedom, the freedom she deserved and longed for all these years.
  • Analyzes how mathilde loisel and louise mallard had one thing in common - their caring husbands.
  • Analyzes how mrs. mallard loved her husband, but in her own way. she was sorry to learn of his death but it did not ruin her joy of being independent.
  • Analyzes the similarities between mathilde loisel and louise mallard. both had a desire for something that they lacked, both ended up tragically married, and both did not appreciate their husbands’ efforts.
  • Opines that they feel sorry for louise mallard rather than for mathilde loisel because she didn't care for nice dresses and jewels and died of heart failure at the end of the story.
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