The main character of A Story of an Hour, Mrs. Mallard, is faced with male oppression and becomes a victim of customs and traditions of the society. When her husband is killed in an accident, she feels free from social tension and family oppression. The conflict becomes evident when standing near the window Mrs. Mallard understands that after the death of her husband she would have a chance for a change. She feels that: "the delicious breath of rain was in the air. In the street below a peddler was crying his wares. The notes of a distant song which some one was singing reached her faintly, and countless sparrows were twittering in the eaves" (Chopin). Similar to Mrs. Mallard, Bierce depicts that Peyton Farquhar feels free from fears, emotional tension and dangers of war. "The thought of his wife and children urged him on. At last he found a road which led him in what he knew to be the right direction" (Bierce). It means to readers that both characters are happy only a short period of time but it is the most important moment in their lives. The subtle difference is found in causes of happiness and their desire to escape from reality. Mrs. ...
The main similarity is that death is inevitable for both characters but they oppose it sinking into dreams and memories. Bierce describes; "Doubtless, despite his suffering, he had fallen asleep while walking, for now he sees another scene--perhaps he has merely recovered from a delirium" (Bierce). Even if their marriage has not been a perfect one being a wife she was under protection of her husband. Mrs. Mallard feels alone in the world because she could not imagine her future without her husband. "A kind intention or a cruel intention made the act seem no less a crime as she looked upon it in that brief moment of illumination" (Chopin). Thus, for Mrs. Mallard and Peyton Farquhar past and present, previous life and future hopes mean good and evil, expectations and disappointment, and more important life and death. In society there has to be both winners and losers, and Mrs. Mallard and Peyton Farquhar are "loosers". The different is found in the role and significance of death for the main characters. For Mrs. Mallard, death of her husband causes the moment of happiness and joy while for Peyton Farquhar death causes sufferings and fear. For Mrs. Mallard, death of her husband symbolizes "light" in her live. The symbolic interpretation of the events, comparison and contrast between the meanings helps Chopin to hold readers' attention. Mrs. Mallard lives in "dark" all the time and does not know the beauty of the surroundings. In contrast, Peyton Farquhar fears death and tries to escape it. Mrs. Mallard does not foresee her own death being unaware of it. For Mrs. Mallard death is sudden while for Peyton Farquhar death is 'gradual'.
The third similarity between the characters is emotional strength and inner power which guide Mrs.