The Necklace and Story of an Hour; a Comparison Essay

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Pages: 12

The Necklace and Story of An Hour; A Comparison
Megan Ford
Instructor Reljic
August 19, 2012

At first glance, Chopin’s Story of an Hour (1894) and de Maupassant’s The Necklace (1884), appear to have very little in common. Chopin’s story, as displayed in its title is quite short; while in comparison, de Maupassant tells a much more detailed account of the beleaguered Loisel’s, who must learn from the self-centred Madam Loisel. With de Maupassant’s depiction of his female protagonist as selfish and ungrateful; it is difficult to fathom Chopin, known for her active role in describing woman's oppression in the nineteenth century. Interestingly, Chopin, a realist, did consider de Maupassant to
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Despite her exuberant exultation, Louise is forced to feign grief to her sister, Josephine. Ironically, Josephine, the only likely candidate to tell her of her husband’s death, cannot be privy to Louise’s true feelings, because as in being cooped into the bathroom, Louise, as woman in 1884, would be unable to profess her longing for independence, even to one as close as her sister. One of the most telling metaphors Chopin uses is the return of Brently, whose presence is announced by the turn of a latch key from the outside. This image, magnified by the sound it generates, wonderfully articulates what Chopin highlights is Louise’s dilemma. Not only is she locked into a domestic arrangement that she is not fully comfortable with, she is locked in from the outside, with Brently holding the key. This metaphor is perhaps one of the most telling within Chopin’s tale. When we look at de Maupassant's The Necklace (1884), in comparison, we find that he does not work with as many key images, instead using his tale and characters to tell his story. However, that does not mean that there are not any. de Maupassant's use of metaphor is strong and central to the point of the story. Two prominent and contrasting images that de Maupassant uses are flowers and diamonds, although he does use the case of the necklace as a masterful metaphor. When Monsieur Loisel offers Mathilde flowers, she