A compare and contrast Essay
In the short stories Story of an Hour and A Rose for Emily, the two main characters Louise Mallard and Emily Grierson are both similar and dissimilar. These two characters lived in similar ideological societies and they shared a similar pattern of development. But also they differed in their goals and how they thought they could achieve their goals.
First, Emily Grierson and Louise Mallard both shared a common shackle, the society in which they lived. Both Emily and Louise were women, and they both lived in times where society defined them by their male counterparts. The expectations of women in those days were cooking, cleaning, dining, other household chores. Women were also expected to be married in their middle ages. In a Rose for Emily, the narrator says that the town was not pleased when Emily turned thirty and she still wasn’t married. Louise was bonded in marriage, and Emile was bonded in solitude. Louise felt that her husband’s powerful will was bending her own. A man was seen traditionally as the provider of a household, and a woman was to be the housekeeper. This is evident in A Rose for Emily wherein a group of women who were observing the fact that Tobe was keeping the Grierson house made the comment “Just as if a man—any man—could keep a kitchen properly.” The comment was directed at men in general and it reinforced the idea that men had their place in society and women had theirs.
Second, in the way that the characters Louise Mallard and Emily Grierson are similar is their development throughout the story. In the beginning of both stories it was clear that both women were unhappy. Louise Mallard was initially unhappy with her life as an ordinary housewife; but after hearing the news of her husband’s death and spending time away from everything in her room, she underwent a transformation. Before her untimely death, she had reached a stage of serene and resolve. Her grief quickly turned into joy and excitement as she began to realize the new freedom she would experience as a widow. And so Louise Mallard’s development had three stages: unhappy, happy, and then unhappy. Emily Grierson experienced a similar transformation. She started out unhappy as a single woman in her middle ages. Her unique sense of happiness was found in Homer Barren, and unlikely suitor from the north. She began making preparations for her future life with homer. She bought him a silver toilet set and dress clothes. Emily Grierson’s development was similar to that of Louise Mallard, hower Emily was more complicated and her development was: unhappy, happy, unhappy, happy.
Though Emily and Louise have their similarities they also have their differences. Louise Mallard thought that self-assertion was the strongest impulse of her being. This proves that Louise Mallard’s ultimate goal was to be accepted by society as a solitary woman, and the only way for her to achieve that goal was for her husband to die and for her to become a widow. Emily’s ultimate goals were to be accepted by her father, and to be accepted by herself. The evidence clearly shows that she thought highly of her father.
When he died, she claimed that he wasn’t dead and she would not let anyone move his body for three days. And as for herself, it would most definitely be beneath her own standards if she was unable to get married. The narrator stated that even the town’s people didn’t believe she would turn down every offer she got. The trait that stands out the most when contrasting these two women is their mental health. Though it is not mentioned what kind of family Louise came from, her actions and thoughts suggest that she is mentally sane. On the other hand, Emily Grierson comes from a family with a reputation of being uppity and mentally ill. Old Lady Wyatt, who is mentioned several times in A Rose for Emily, is confirmed by the narrator to have been insane. All speculation about Emily’s mental stated were clarified in the story’s conclusion. At the end of A Rose for Emily it is discovered that Emily Grierson had killed Homer Barren and that she had kept his remains hidden in her house for ten years. Furthermore, in the room where the body was kept, evidence was discovered that proved that Emily had been sleeping with Homer Barren’s decaying remains for ten years. Necrophilia. At this point, it can be safely assumed that Emily Grierson was indeed mad.
Louise and Emily were similar in their sociological setting. Also the two women were similar In the way that they developed as characters. Yet they differed in their goals, how they would achieve their goals. And also their mental health sets them apart. Although these women share certain qualities that make them alike and that makes them different, these two women have more out of common that they have in common.