Compare and Contrast: the Story of an Hour and a Rose for Emily

Last Updated: 20 Apr 2022
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Deriso 1 Daniel Deriso Professor Robert Eastman English 101 4 September 2012 Compare and Contrast: “The Story of an Hour” vs. “A Rose for Emily” The two short stories discussed are about two drastically different women both with oppressive men in their lives. In “The Story of an Hour”, Louise realizes she wished to be free from her marriage. In “A Rose for Emily”, Emily is yearning to be married. One woman is looking to be loved, and the other is so full of disdain that it kills her. In “A Rose for Emily”, Emily is being controlled by her draconian father.

He will not allow Emily to have contact with other men. When Emily’s father passes away she requests to keep the body, because she is fearful of being so desolate. Emily later kills her boyfriend Homer Barron for trying to leave her, and his body is not discovered until after her death. Whereas, “The Story of an Hour” is about a woman who wishes the man in her life is not in her life. The reader can tell from Louise’s thoughts that her spouse is a very stern man. The news of his passing brings her a feeling of overwhelming freedom.

Emily never married because her father would not allow it. This fact drives her insane. Her life dream is to be married, but she will end up alone. However, Louise Mallard, who is married, yearns for those bonds to be severed. Her marriage is what inevitably kills her. The stories both end tragically. In both stories the protagonist dies, yet for very different reasoning. Emily kills Homer for trying to leave her. Then she keeps his body with her until she is discovered dead of old age.

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Louise Mallard believes her husband to be dead, which leaves her bonds of marriage broken. His return causes her so much anguish that she dies of a heart attack. In the end, both women die of their individual ideas of love. Emily has every man she ever loved Deriso 2 die throughout her life. Louise Mallard faces her mortality when she realizes that her husband is still alive. The stories are both extremely grim. They deal with the themes of love, hate, and loss. Three of the most powerful themes in all of literature.

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