Kate Chopin’s Story of an Hour and William Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily
The literature world is both quite interesting and impressive, and this is quite evident through the comparing and comparison of these two major vivid literature pieces namely Kate Chopin’s “Story of an Hour” and William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily”. This essay is a presentation of a precise analysis regarding the present fictional works of the two authors through both comparing and contrasting the works as well as the identification of the different fictional elements that have been used in the two literary works.
It is worth noting that in the two stories, oppression and unhappy relationships from the male figures were duly presented and while Mrs Mallard was forced into a marriage that was not capable of fulfilling her desires for freedom, Emily, on the other hand, was condemned and forced by her father so as she does not marry. While Mrs Mallard felt tied to the husband, not because of the absence of “love from him” but rather due to not feeling free in the marriage, she thought of being free on the realization that she will no longer be having a husband (Chopin, 2018, p.1). On the other hand, Emily is known to have had a partner whom she did not want to be with and even who was not attracted towards women.
One of the notable similarities between The Story of an Hour and A Rose for Emily is that the themes presented by both authors in the two stories are indeed similar. It is important to note that the two stories are known to discuss descriptions of “women with their numerous problems” that they encountered in the different societies that they stayed in. Based on the two stories, it is quite evident that women were regarded as being the “second-class” citizens and as a result, they were known to encounter lots of complicated issues and were even repressed. For instance, both stories assert that during the era of the “Post-Civil War”, husbands were known to have been supervising women who lacked the permission of doing their will without being asserted by their respective males as a result of the “Napoleonic Code”. As a result, it was ascertained that each of the major characters from the two stories wished to get their freedom using several ways or methods. It is ascertained from the two stories that the men who prevailed in the lives of the women did not allow them to make viable decisions during the times that they lived.
It is worth noting that in both “A Rose for Emily” and “The Story of an Hour”, the authors in the two stories used similar literary elements and these include among others foreshadowing, symbolism, as well as the “substantive meaning” associated with titles which were quite essential and relevant for taking readers in unexpected and ironic conclusions. Based on the backgrounds of both William Faulkner and Kate Chopin, it can genuinely be concluded that the authors faced numerous situations like political and social issues which occurred at that time (Faulkner, 1970, p.1). One of the major similarities or standard features between the two stories is, therefore, the fact that women were not only the major characters but also the two females namely Mrs Mallard and Emily in the short stories above were connected through the results that were expected from them by the society.
A similar idea is depicted in the two stories when each of the women makes efforts in overtaking “her freedom” through the use of various ways without any form of success (Bai, Xiaojun, Zhang & Li, 2020, p.613). It is therefore evident that both Mrs Mallard and Emily stay in societies that are highly dominated with by men and which women in such societies never felt free or even became what they wanted to be in life. For instance, Louise in “The Story of an Hour” and Emily from “A Rose for Emily” both live in conditions which their societies and families have placed them on and therefore their only wish and desire is finding ways of gaining their freedoms.
One of the notable differences between “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin and “A Rose for Emily” is actually the times or periods which have been described in the fictional works. This is because while Chopin’s story is known to only last for one hour, that Faulkner is known to describe a range of actions which have indeed lasted for several years. As a result, the quality of life for Louise can only be seen within one hour while that of Emily has been presented through progression and thus making it easier for one to notice the unhappiness that she encountered all that long period of time (Deneau, 2003, p. 212). In addition to that, it can also be truly ascertained that Mrs Mallard was known to have felt the freedom for only a short period of time that ultimately resulted in her crying of “…Free!Free!Free!.(Chopin, 2). On the other hand, this contradicted Emily’s case that unfortunately got her freedom upon her death.
William Faulkner made use of a variety of various fictional elements in the “A Rose for Emily”. For instance, Faulkner made use of the Gothic Tone that was highly influenced or impacted through not only the using of time by the author but also through the characterization of Emily and the “Southern area” (Faulkner,1958, p.2). The use of time by the author is indeed the most vital and skilful element since the story was divided into five major sections in which the first and last parts dealt with the “present time” while the 3 middle sections presented details regarding past events. During both the beginning and the ending of the “A Rose for Emily”, the death of Miss Emily is clearly illustrated and this is clear when the narrative begins with these words “…when Miss Emily Grierson died…” (Faulkner, 1). That apart, the last section also comprises of words regarding the death of Emily, and this is evident in “…for a long time, we stood there, looking down at the profound and fleshless grin…” (Faulkner, 1958. P.5). The three sections in the middle of the story also present specific times after the death of her father that left her beau, the Homer Barron to the period when Emily’s death occurred. The major reason why this author ensured the shifts were arranged; this was in order to explain the narrative and create the Gothic Horror. The heart of Louise pulsated like that of a bird upon hearing about the death of her husband. However, upon the returning of the husband unexpectedly, this led to an explosion that resulted in her death (Chopin, 3).
It can truly be asserted that the stories above as presented by William Faulkner and Kate Chopin share some form of similar conflicts and theme but in different ways. It can be truly ascertained that the two protagonists are indeed women that have been trapped in marriages that are toxic and in which the society regards marriage as being an important thing for a woman. The two women encounter death at last author through ways that are completely opposite. When dealing with the issue to do with marriage and death, it is quite evident from the two stories that Mrs Mallard and Miss Emily could not be more different (Chopin, 1981.p. 1). This is because when one encounters a situation which presents her hope and joy regarding the future, the other one encounters depression, thus making her only to hold on the past. However, the lives of the two women both end up tragically. It is worth noting that even though the two women pass through different situations, death as a theme and solution for their respective conflicts has been duly presented in the two stories.
Based on the above two stories, it can truly be asserted that they are both exciting because of their elements and plots of fiction that have been used by the two authors. The characters Emily emanating from “A Rose for Emily” and Louise from “The Story of an Hour” truly depict the entire processes of two delicate and fragile women who were lost in a world that was created or developed by their respective societies. It is evident that the authors in the two stories both present the limitations encountered by women in their demands and expectations and how at the end of it were mistaken through their respective personal perceptions.
Bai, Xiaojun, Xiaotong Zhang, and Yihui Li. “An Analysis of Emily’s Characters in A Rose for Emily from the Perspective of Narration.” Journal of Language Teaching and Research 11.4 (2020): 611-615.
Chopin, Kate. The story of an hour. Jimcin Recordings, 1981.
Chopin, Kate. The story of an hour. Joe Books Ltd, 2018.
Deneau, Daniel P. “Chopin’s The Story of an Hour.” The Explicator 61.4 (2003): 210-213.
Faulkner, William, and Noel Polk. A rose for Emily. Merrill, 1970.
Faulkner, William, John Carradine, and Anjelica Huston. A rose for Emily. Paderborn, De: Verlag F. Schöningh, 1958.
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