oth they been satisfied with what they

February 18, 2019 General Studies

oth stories use irony to make a point. In “The Necklace” Madame Loisel is invited to a prestigious ball and borrows a necklace which she thought was very expensive and lost it. Madame Loisel and her husband knew that they had to replace the necklace and saved for 10 years. Madam Loisel bumps into Madame Forrestier and is told that the necklace which she thought was diamonds was only paste. In “The Story of an Hour” when Mrs. Mallard’s husband appears at the doorstep very much alive and Mrs. Mallard sees him, she is the one who collapses and dies from the shock of his being alive “She had died of heart-disease of joy that kills” (Walker) . Both writers send the message that all of the suffering could have been avoided had they been satisfied with what they already had instead of chasing rainbows.

Chopin and Guy de Maupassant also send social messages. Emily Toth writes, “The Story of an Hour” is also a clever piece of social criticism, showing without preaching. Chopin’s Louise has been a good wife, but she sees that death has freed her from sacrificing herself to someone else’s will. Now she can make her own life. In “The Necklace” Guy de Maupassant clearly shows that social status and class plays a very important part in the irony of the story. In an article titled Masterplots II, by Ahlbrandt, Wm. Laird, he writes, “In this the husband is as much to blame as his wife. Although Guy de Maupassant seems to be saying that such people are the victims of the society in which they live, dominated by the status-conscious in the early days of the Third Republic, he never prevents his characters from exercising their free will. It is precisely their ability to make such choices that leads to their own damnation. Maupassant shows how the Loisels are imprisoned in their loneliness and their lack of self-worth. Their pathos is their inability to speak to avoid a whole lifetime of misery.”

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Chopin and Guy de Maupassant present two different women that do not want to live under the domination of their husbands. In “The Necklace” Madame Loisel seems to be trapped because of the social norms of that time. In “The Story of an Hour” Mrs. Mallard’s freedom is due to the constraints of her marriage. She admits that she loves her husband but feels guiltless for recognizing that his death means her freedom.

The Husbands roles in both stories are slightly different. In “The Necklace” the husband is very supportive and caring while in The Story of an Hour” it’s hard to discern what the husband was like. There is one sentence …..And yet she had loved him-sometimes. Often she had not. What did it matter! What could love the unsolved mystery, count for in face of this possession of self-assertion which she suddenly recognized as the strongest impulse of her being! (Walker, Nancy Chopin A Literary Life).You get the impression that he was a good caring husband provided for her and did his best to take care of her but you also get the impression that she was not in love with him.
Summary: It is very clear that in both short stories Kate Chopin and Guy de Maupassant use imagery, symbolism and plot twists to send several messages about women’s liberation, social norms, greed, unhappiness and the ultimate desires of two women, that only come to fruition for a brief period of time. Both heroines pay a terrible price for their inability to come to terms with their situation in life. The irony in “The Necklace” is evident when Madam Loisel finds out that the necklace was not real after working for 10-years to pay it off. Excerpted from an article in Magill’s Survey of World Literature, Revised Edition “What makes Maupassant’s famous story “The Necklace” so popular is not merely the ironic shock that the reader feels at the end when Madame Loisel discovers that she has worked long and hard to pay for a worthless bit of paste, but rather the more pervasive irony that underlies the entire story and makes it a classic exploration on the difference between surface flash and hidden value.” The irony in “The Story of an Hour” is that Mrs. Mallard drops dead when she finds out her husband is still alive. Nancy A. Walker in literary life wrote: If Maupassant inspired Chopin to be more daring in her subject matter than were many of


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