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Compare and Contrast of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber and The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin - Essay Example

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Compare and Contrast two literary works
The two stories that I choose to write about are “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” by James Thurber and “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin. After reading the two stories I realized that marriage has a deep effect on the weaker partner…
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Compare and Contrast of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber and The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin
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Compare and Contrast of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber and The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

Even though the genre of both the stories is different, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty takes a humorous look at marriage and The Story of an Hour is more intense, but both deal with the negative aspects of marriage.Besides the main theme of marriage I think the writers also discuss how male and female react differently to situations. If the basic concept is woven around failing marriage then the two protagonists being of different gender provide an understanding as to how the two genders react in the condition. In the next few pages I provide a summary of both the stories and then discuss the two main themes of the stories, gender roles and marriage, under separate headings. Finally a conclusion is provided to the discussion. “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” by James Thurber The story deals with the life of Walter Mitty, and old man, who has a dominant wife who bosses around her way while Walter Mitty helplessly listens to her. In order to escape from this reality he lives in a secret world, a world where he is the boss, he daydreams. In fact he daydreams so often that it is only when somebody else nudges him that he’s brought back to reality. It is interesting to see how he dreams of himself as being a supergenious surgeon or a brave soldier. The writer has used humour to describe the situations however, underneath this humour lies the failure of a person and his inability to do or say anything against a dominant person. It is to be noted that even though it would seem that a dominant wife is the most probable reason for Mitty’s secret life however, the author does suggest that Mitty is the one who follows people cowardly. Despite that marriage can be considered as one of the themes of this story and hence it’s being discussed here. “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin Here unlike the previous story the protagonist is a woman who apparently has a weak heart. Her husband has died in an accident and her well wishers are wondering how to break the news to her considering her condition. However, to reader’s surprise the woman is more happy than sad on hearing about her husband’s death. Thus, Kate Chopin too discusses the negative side of marriage. Even her condition can be partly blamed on the marriage and the stress it must have brought on her. She is happy to learn that she might finally be free. She is overjoyed. Even though it seems a little cruel but the author provides a different aspect of human nature. It could be that the protagonist felt nothing for her husband anymore, maybe the burden of marriage and a strained relationship had killed all her feelings. In the end it is learned that her husband had not dies in the accident. However, to everybody’s astonishment the protagonist dies of a heart attack. She finally does get her freedom. Marriage as a theme In our society marriage is the legal certificate that recognizes the existence of a man and a woman as husband and wife. However, this institution seems to have its own stresses and responsibilities and writers have now and then discussed the various aspects of this institution. Here we discuss the two stories that bring the negative aspect of the institution to light. Marriage involves understanding your partner in order to carry on the relationship, which is the same with any other relationship. However, when two people live together the sense of mystery is lost and when one of the partners happens to be of dominant nature the other inevitably suffers. ... Read More
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