The Story of an Hour and The Necklace share many similarities and also many differences; both explore the feeling that both wives harbor towards their husbands and the lack of communication that both wives share. In this essay I will discuss the similarities and differences that the two short stories share with regards to communication.
In Guy de Maupassant’s “The Necklace” is the story of Mathilde Loisel, who resents her “station” in life. Mathilde Loisel is shown to be a vain and ungrateful person who believes that she was born to have a better life. She feels that she has married beneath her, in spite of the fact that her husband is a hard working and dependable man. Mathilde is unable to recognize and appreciate the good things in her life. “She had no fine clothes, no jewels, nothing; these were the only things she loved; she felt that she was made for them. ” The central conflict in this story is between Mathilde’s desire for a life of luxury and the reality of her humble lifestyle. “She suffered endlessly, feeling herself born for every delicacy and luxury.
Throughout out the story the husband is portrayed to be a man with ambition and vision, but even though he posses all these attributes its still not enough for his wife, she still wants more, she has even given up the friendship of an old schoolmate who happens to be wealthy. Monsieur Loisel expects his wife to be thrilled about being invited to such a formal affair, but she agrees to go only after he promises to buy her a dress. The conflict comes to a head when, after a glorious evening of dancing and socializing, Mathilde realizes with horror that she has lost the borrowed necklace.
Mathilde’s internal conflict, between fantasy and reality, leads her into a life of abject poverty. Kate Chopin’s “Story of an Hour” is the story of Louise Mallard, a weak, repressed housewife who is liberated in learning of her husband’s death in a train accident. The conflict in Chopin’s story is an internal one. Louise must choose between repression and self-assertion. Knowing that with the return of her husband, the freedom she has just discovered will be revoked, Louise’s heart is broken, and she dies. Chopin’s use of language ffectively conveys the intensity of the emotions that overcome Louise.
Repetition of the word “free” reveals the exaltation Louise experiences in being released from possession by her husband’s will. The diction aptly portrays the significance, emotionally and physically, of Louise’s transformation. Tumultuously, Louise’s bosom, the seat of passion, rose and fell as the “monstrous joy” possessed her. As the elixir of life “courses” through her once weak heart, Louise’s “pulses beat fast. ” When Louise’s fancy runs “riot along those days ahead of her”, the reader feels the excitement Louise feels.
Through the image of Louise as a winged “goddess of Victory”, her inner strength from triumph over repression becomes palpable. That strength is reaffirmed in Chopin’s use of words that connote potency. Louise has a “clear and exalted perception” of herself. In both these stories, the 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. As you can see Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” and “The Necklace” by Guy De Maupassant share the same themes which center on role of gender and marriage with special focus on the female characters and their complicated relationship with their husbands. “The Story of an Hour” revolves around the female character Louise Mallard who has been gently told that her husband died in a railroad disaster, news which Richard, her husband’s friend learnt from somewhere.
Since Mrs. Mallard is a heart patient she feels very depressed and seeks to sit in solitude as she learns about her husband Brently’s death. As the story unfolds one learns that Louise Mallard is in fact more “free” and utters the word repeatedly as she realizes that she will be independent from this time onwards. She fantasizes her freedom staring blankly out the window knowing that she would lose control when she sees her husband’s corpse.