We have been studying three short stories that all relate to adult relationships dependent upon different class and cultures. “The necklace” by Guy de Maupassant, “Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin and finally “Desiree’s Baby” also by Kate Chopin. In this essay, I will have to compare and contrast each husband and wife relationship from each story.
In “The necklace” Madam Loisel shows the quality of her character during the whole of the third, fourth and fifth paragraph as they are about her false desires and dreams. I figured this because her necklace isn’t made up of real diamond so this symbolizes that she’s living unsatisfied with dreams also not being real. So far I can see their relationship hasn’t got off to a good start considering she expects so much more luxuries but her husband she has settled for cant afford it.
Prices start at $12
Prices start at $11
Prices start at $12
This is proven when her husband came home with an invitation to a party still she was not satisfied. Her constant selfishness makes her wish she were of higher class because she was pretty but born into a poor working-class family. Due to her constant dissatisfactions class becomes very important to Madame Loisel, but means nothing to her husband. She looks upon her life as dull and unattractive which is a big downfall in her relationship because she’s not happy. Could she have been in the wrong place at the wrong time because Guy de Maupassant suggests she was “one of those pretty girls who apparently by some error of fate, get themselves born the daughters of very minor civil servants”?
However, her husband is generous, kind and always looks forward in life rather than behind. He gave his wife hard-earned money to buy a dress without even thanking him or appreciating it hardly. Still, with a lack of money, her confidence stays with her when the author says how she believes that she was made for fine dresses and jewellery, “intended for a life of refinement and luxury”. Her husband is shown to be proud of his lot in life but his wife doesn’t seem to care until she feels she’s living in a higher class, which will only stay a dream for her. I can conclude the relationship is starting to grow apart because her husband is trying to enjoy life but she’s getting in the way with her stubborn self. Also when her husband wanted to intend the party she threw down the invitations with no delight at all.
But with luck, the blow that changed their relationship was when she lost her friend’s necklace she wore to the party. During this time Madame Loisel proves how strong she is in a willful way whilst she works with her husband to pay for her loss. She eventually becomes less selfish considering she put her friend before herself, sacrificing her servants and the way she’s living. At this point, they become much closer when working as a team to pay back. While her husbands are work she starts to do things for herself such as housework and shopping. This was a dramatic change in relationship and attitude for Madam Loisel, which is why losing the necklace, was destined to happen.
In “story of an hour” the evidence portrays that their early marriage hadn’t got off to a good start and never worked since. This is proving by the irony that one notice is that of Mrs Mallard’s reaction to her husband’s death. This either means she’s very cruel minded or just hadn’t been a happy marriage for her. After hearing the news she is warned about making herself ill when left alone but instead of weeping, she thinks about a fresh new start, a free woman. She looks ahead at all the other experiences “the delicious breath of rain…the notes of a distant song…countless sparrows twittering…patches of blue sky”. After she whispers, “free, free, free” proving she is filled with joy that her husband is no longer around. However it’s ironic her husband comes back home after how many feelings she’s let out about their relationship, this gave her a shock and surprisingly she died of heart disease of “joy that kills”. I don’t think she died of shock I think she died of the guilt that built up insider her afterwards.
In “Desiree’s Baby” the story describes the couples early marriage and courtship to be successful as they fell in love instantly like a pistol shot. Desiree from the start is shown to be caring both to her husband and baby as well as being a devoted mother and wife. Dissatisfaction grows between the couple when Armand denies the baby is his. Considering his violent temper I expected him to come out with cruelty towards his baby. However, he puts the blame upon his wife when she is fair-skinned, but Armand ancestors and mother is black also he is darker than his wife is. Still, this point makes no difference to him. As Armand at one point becomes nice towards his slaves he realizes this is the baby’s blame so he refers to the baby as “the” that suggests he does not associate himself with the baby and feels emotionally unattached. This implies deep racism.
From here the first sight of love is poured down the drain, he ignores his wife and baby with hardly any contact with them at all, acts as if she has a disease, avoids her and talks with “averted eyes”. But, it’s ironic that Armand mother was black and just because Desiree was an Orphan he assumes it was from her side. At one point he was the happiest father “Armand is the proudest father In the parish” leads onto “the very spirit of Satan seemed suddenly to take hold of him in his dealings with slave” this sentence suggests that now he’s angry and upset. Their relationship has quickly fallen apart because of Armand strong racism but Desiree’s baby means the world to her so wouldn’t do anything to harm it. As the relationship Is set upon a wild roller coaster it eventually crashes when Desiree can’t take anymore and builds up all the feelings and pain inside her that result in suicide. She walks out into the field naked symbolizing she’s unprepared because her husband has rejected both her and the baby.
I conclude that each story’s husband and wife relationship strongly depended upon culture and class as mentioned before. In “the necklace” all she wanted was to live in a higher class that caused her selfishness and cruelty to fight back at her causing an accident (lost the necklace) to change her attitude in the relationship. Considering Desiree’s case she was driven to stress and pain only because of the skin colour of her baby which is ironic because it’s most probably the father’s fault with the mixed blood as his mum was black. The irony was also used in the “story of an hour’s” husband and wife relationship because no sorrow is shown when her husband dies only joyful feelings are expressed.
However, the results of each relationship were the massive differences whereas Madam Loisel accepted the fact of being misfortunate and dealt with it. Desiree took the situation into her own hands and ended her misery with suicide to put her point across. Mrs Mallard died unintentionally but seemed as if it was meant to happen for being so cruel and building up so much guilt afterwards, or maybe it was her time and place. Still from this evidence, it’s proven that each relationship was mainly based around female reactions, maybe because there better at expressing their feelings or because they’re very dramatic.
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