The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

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What are the similarties and the differences between the short story "The Story of an Hour" and the short story "A Jury of Her Peers"?

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The essential similarities and differences between the short stories "A Jury of Her Peers" are based on the themes that both stories treat, and on the personal conflict of their main characters.

The central theme of both stories is gender roles.The role of gender is extremely important to define the central conflict of both stories. In "A Jury of her Peers", the characters of Minnie Wright, Mrs. Hale, and Mrs. Peters are consistently diminished while in the presence of males. Minnie Wright's situation is an obvious case of domestic violence, both physical and psychological.

In the case of Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters, the women play the submissive role of "the wife" as a granted second class citizens. We know that there is an issue of suppression in the manner in which both women discuss Minnie's case in a secretive way, and allowing for the males investigating the home to make silly and condescending comments regarding Minnie's housekeeping skills.

"you women might come upon a clue to the motive"

"would the women know a clue if they did come upon it?"

Similarly, "The Story of an Hour" describes the main character as a feeble, weak, and sickly woman with a "bad heart" who is thought to be in deep depression upon the potential death of her husband. Little do they know that, as Louise Mallard requests a moment of solitude to process the information, she is actually wrapped in the biggest joy she could feel as she feels that she can finally be free. This entails that her gender grants that she has to be confined to the whims of a husband, to the expectations placed upon her by society, and to the role of wife and mother: one that cannot find herself for having to serve others.

The main difference between the two stories is the conflict that each character suffers. Minnie Foster is an abused woman who snaps and kills her husband after he performs his  last act of intense cruelty (the killing of her canary). According to Mrs. Hale, the former Minnie Foster was a pretty woman who wore "ribbons" and flowers, who sang pretty at the choir, and who had an essential joy of life. After her marriage to John Wright, the now Minnie Wright changes significantly for the worse: she is erratic, nervous, unkempt, and isolated from the rest of the world. This is the typical profile of a truly battered woman. Her only escape, perhaps her only defense, was to kill her husband after snapping.

Louise Mallard admits that she has a good husband and that

she may have loved him once

Louise has no...

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