Similarities and differences between Calixta in "The Storm", Desiree in "Desiree's Baby" and Mrs. Mallard in "The Story of an Hour."

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mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

All of these women are married, and end up not being completely happy and satisfied in their roles.  Calixta, although she shows no overt signs of being unhappy or miserable in her marriage, is nonetheless much, much happier after stepping outside the boundaries of marital fidelity.  After her tryst with Alcee, she is a much more loving, kind housewife and mother.  This indicates that the conventional roles of marriage were restricting and unpleasant for her, and she felt more fulfilled and content stepping outside of those bounds.  Louise too felt restricted by marriage; she didn't have an affair, but when she learned of her husband's death, she was filled with elation and a sense of freedom from marriage, and how one person forces the other to "bend to their will" all of the time.  She had a good husband, and even loved him, but marriage repressed and stifled her.  Desiree is happy in her marriage, until her husband rejects her.  So all of these women were happier outside of the accepted, conventional roles as wives in the 1800's, and found happiness outside of those roles.

Key differences do exist in these stories, however.  Desiree is the most contented in her lot as a mother and wife; it is her husband's discontent in her heritage that drives her out.  She doesn't reject her role as wife and mother, whereas the other two do.  Calixta proactively breaks her marital vows to find happiness, whereas Louise doesn't realize she is unhappy until her husband dies.  So there are some major plot differences there.  Calixta is the most proactive is seeking happiness; Louise discovers it by accident, and Desiree's happiness is stripped from her at the startling discovery of her heritage.

I hope that those thoughts helped; good luck!

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The Story of an Hour

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