One of the most important elements for a reader is understanding the meaning behind a symbolic figure. Some might be difficult to catch, but in Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” and D. H. Laurence’s “The Rocking-Horse Winner,” both are quite clear. The stories have opposite symbols, but both are about the loved ones that influence their lives. For Mrs. Mallard, it’s her husband. In “The Story of an Hour,” Louise Mallard received news that her loving husband died in a railroad disaster; which made Louise weep and run up to her room, shutting the door behind her.
As she dwelled on the thought of no longer having a husband, she stared out an open window which symbolized how she really felt. Seeing the “tops of trees that all aquiver with the new spring life…[and] blue sky (246)” showed the reader that although a horrific death occurred, Louise did not only feel at peace, but feel the open freedom she desired for so long.
As a window can open freedom and sunlight, it can easily be shut to reality without fresh air. In “The Rocking-Horse Winner,” the opposite affects a boy about his home.
A child should have more freedom than anyone else in the world, for what do they have to worry about? In “The Rocking-Horse Winner” however, the young boy named Paul received more pressure than the rest of the family. Paul lived “in a pleasant house with a garden (267),” and with other rich items to feel superior, but his mother never had the right heart; she always wanted more money. To this, the very house that they all lived in “came to be hunted by the unspoken phrase: There must be more money (267)! ” The house itself symbolized the restrictions and bond that the mother had on her son.
All Paul really wanted was to see his mother happy, and because wanting more money seems to be the only thing on her mind; he was determined to grant her that wish. A supernatural rocking-horse gave Paul the winner of the next horse-race winner, which he could bet and earn some serious cash. When Paul secretly gives it to his mother, a strange occurrence happened. The house went mad, screaming “Now-w-w–there must be more money! –more than ever (274)! ” The greed of the mother increased the greed of the house, making the boy more slaved into getting more money than ever before.
The house which should give Paul comfort and peace was the very thing that limited his freedom. Although both stories are very different with different symbolisms, both main characters end in devastating situations. Louise after she left her wide open window to walk downstairs saw her living husband enter the house, which shut the window of new freedom. Although the doctors “said she had died of heart disease- of joy that kills (247)”, it was much more likely that her small window of freedom that shut close just moments ago was the true reason of her death.
Likewise, Paul rode his rocking-horse one last time in attempt to make the house stop talking and his mother satisfied. He began to convulse and fell to the ground in front of his mother screaming the winner of the next race horse winner. “The boy died in the night (277),” after they placed the bet on that horse and of course won. Through the symbols that the authors carefully placed out, the stories were made clear with its intentions. The enslavement of the loved ones and life itself was freed to both Louise and Paul. The ones that must suffer are those they left behind.
Cite this Story of an Hour/Rocking Horse Winner
Story of an Hour/Rocking Horse Winner. (2016, Oct 01). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/story-of-an-hourrocking-horse-winner/