Essay The Story Of An Hour

Essay The Story Of An Hour

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The story “Eveline” by James Joyce and the story “The Story of An Hour” by Kate Chopin touch upon the timeless themes of love and death. “Eveline”, a story about a woman who is about to marry a man named Frank, discusses the struggle that women in the early 1900s felt between holding onto the difficult past and moving forward toward a bright future. “The Story of An Hour” is a story about an ill woman who discovers that her husband passed away, and feels a great sense of freedom from his passing. The stories are in contrast with one another in both themes, as death was symbolic of freedom in “The Story of An Hour” while it was restrictive in “Eveline”; and love was restrictive in “The Story of An Hour” while it was freeing in “Eveline”. The two stories also discuss the difficulties of being a woman in the early 1900s, and the trials and desires that these women feel.
In “Eveline”, the character Eveline is a 19-year old female who is about to leave home and marry the man that she has fallen in love with. Frank, her fiancé, had courted her for some time before the story began. Frank would escort Eveline home from her job every night that he was able to, and would serenade her with sweet songs and nicknames. In “Eveline”, Frank is associated with freedom. Joyce states, “Escape! She must escape! Frank would save her. He would give her life, perhaps love, too. But she wanted to live. Why should she be unhappy? She had a right to happiness. Frank would take her in his arms, fold her in his arms. He would save her” (24). By extension, the story associates love with freedom, and the wonderful life that can exist when one is freed by love.
Despite the freedom being offered by Frank, “Eveline” begins with Eveline feeling nostalgic about h...


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...f her husband’s death and is filled with joy. She sees the freedom that his death has given her, and understands the restrictions that were placed upon her life by his love. She is so happy about this freedom, that when it is taken away from her, it actually kills her. The two stories are able to examine the complex nature of death and love, and how they can mean very different things depending upon the situation and the people who are involved in the situation. The striking similarity found within the two stories is that love is not strong enough to outweigh other factors such as freedom and guilt. The notion that love conquers all is completely lost in these stories, and thoughts of personal freedom, happiness, and responsibility take a more important role to the female characters involved. This take on love reveals the complexity of female life in the early 1900s.

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