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A comparison of themes between "A story of an Hour" and "The Storm"
This is a story of love and hate. Every couple must go through some tough times in their life in order to be stronger. In order to understand the concept of being free and not being able to do what you want at any given moment; I would like to take a look at two stories. "The Story of an Hour" and "The Storm", they are similar in some ways but in most ways they are very much opposite and their themes of freedom v. oppression.
When a person decides to get married they take on all the responsibilities of the other person. As with every thing else there can be different forms of love. You work hard to find your one true love and when you find him/her you feel blessed. For some people they have to find a few wrong people before finding the right one, the one they want to be with for the rest of their life.
Such is the case for Mrs. Mallard in "The Story of an Hour"; she fell in love with her husband and for what ever reason she falls back out. She feels trapped in her relationship with him and is relieved when she receives the news of his death. She feels a tremendous weight lifted up off her shoulders she says she feels "free, body and soul, free" (Kate Chopin 88).
I felt completely uneasy while reading this story, how could a wife hate her husband so much that she would practically jump with glee at the news of his death? Was there something that the author did not tell us? Was there some form of abuse going on in that house, be it mental or physical? So many things went through my head while sat and read this story. But the one thing that I could never understand is how she could marry someone she did not love? Back in the day women didn't have a choice in that, they married who they were told to and their only way out was through death either of them self or of the husband. In this case she got lucky and it was her husband; so she would get another chance at love and at marriage.
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"Love the Price You Pay for Freedom." 123HelpMe.com. 21 Jan 2020
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Love can be seen in a variety of forms, there is an undying love like that of Calixta and her husband, and she was concerned for his safety during the storm and was uneasy about him being gone from her side. Yet there is another form of love that no amount of trying could save like that of Mrs. Mallard and her husband, "she had loved him, sometimes" (Chopin 88).
When Mrs. Mallard hears of her husbands death she feels a sense of well-being flow through her body when she thinks of the days to come, "there would be no one to live for during those coming years; she would live for herself" (Chopin 88). She would be able to live her life and do as she wished for the rest of her life, or until she remarried.
I really enjoyed reading "The Storm"; it was extremely interesting and kept my attention during the whole thing. To begin with who was Alcee and why did he know Calixta's name? I kept reading and came to understand now how they new each other. I also realized that "somber clouds that were rolling with sinister intentions from the west, accompanied by sullen, threatening roar" (Chopin 88), was speaking of the arrival of Alcee, it was a type of foreshadowing telling us that someone was on their way into town.
In her concern of her husband and her son she finds herself looking out the window waiting for some kind of sign that they are ok, but all there was "rain coming down in sheets, obscuring the view of far-off cabins and enveloping the distant wood in a gray mist", (Chopin 177). This is when she found herself in the arms of another man, gazing into his eyes.
Their bodies where calling to each other, she made him feel like he has never felt before, not even with his wife. "the generous abundance of her passion, without guile or trickery, was like a white flame which penetrated and found response in depths of his own sensuous nature that had never yet been reached" (Chopin 178). Nothing could make him turn away from her now.
I have to say that I did not find any thing in the two stories that were the same except that they were married. When Mrs. Mallard finds out her husband is dead she weeps, then by the grace of god he walks through the door to announce that he is ok, and with that she dies. Be it from the excitement of her husband coming home or was it from the fear of having to live with him again?
Now Calixta who had just let herself be drawn into another mans arms, is awaiting the arrival of her husband. Alcee rides off and storms if gone, "the growl of the thunder was distant and passing away" (Chopin 178). Just as quickly as he had ridden into town he was gone.
Calixta was relieved to see her husband and her son coming down the drive, she had been preparing dinner when she heard them come in to the house. She went on about welcoming home her husband as if nothing had happened, she let the thought and actions of the day just drift from her head and focused on what lay ahead.
I felt that the couple in "The Story of an Hour" had a kind of love-hate relationship, and in the end it was the husband who really lost.
Chopin, Kate. "The Story of an Hour", Literature: Reading, Reacting, and Writing. Laurie Kirszner and Stephen Mandell, Ed. Aron Keesbury 5th edition, Canada, 2004 pages 86-89
Chopin, Kate, "The Storm", Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing Laurie Kirszner and Stephen Mandell, Ed, Aron Keesbury 5th edition, Canada, 2004 pages 175-180