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In 'Story of an Hour' and 'Bliss' where the main part of the story is based around Mrs Mallard and Bertha, the main female characters. The women in each of the stories have different attitudes at the end towards the men involved

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Introduction

Compare the presentation of women in two or three of the stories studied * Consider the structure/ ending of each story * Consider the presentation of the character through the writers' language choices. Within the three short stories studied all the women move from happiness in the main part of the story to being miserable and sad at the end. In 'Story of an Hour' throughout the main part of the story Louise (Mrs Mallard) was happy, happy due to the loss of her husband. 'Free body and soul free!' This shows that she is happy he is not alive and happy to be single and free. There is no one telling her what to do. In the end of 'Story of an Hour' she dies and the author by using the phrase 'Of joy that kills' symbolises everyone thought she had died due to being happy yet in fact we knew she had not. Similarly in Bliss, Bertha's happiness throughout the story is exaggerated 'by a feeling of bliss- absolute bliss.' She is thrilled to be alive and so happy with her 'perfect' life that she just knows it cannot stay like that for long. A symbol of this is in the short story is the pear tree. ...read more.

Middle

In 'The End of Something' and 'Bliss' it is due to being let down by a man cheating and actually ending the relationship in 'The End of Something.' In 'Story of an Hour' it is due to her husband still being alive which is the total opposite to the other too. The one thing they do have in common though on this concept is the emotion of sadness due to being let down and disappointed. In the endings of all the stories there is a revelation to both the reader and the woman. This in all cases is a shock to the a relationship. The write in 'Bliss' has portrayed Bertha as innocent and happy all the way through due to the language. She knows something isn't right with the whole Pearl and Harry situation, the whole act Harry puts on when talking about her and the general mystery about Pearl. This shows that Bertha is intuitive and a bright woman. From a female writers point of view I believe she is attempting to make out that men are the bad people and did this by having Harry have an affair. It was nothing Bertha could prevent and in finding out she was now in control if the situation. ...read more.

Conclusion

Chopin uses the phrase 'of joy that kills' and this simply means that everyone thought she died of happiness yet it was the disappointment that killed her. The reader has been exposed to information the rest of the characters had not and then by using this line we are supposed to have realised why she actually died. 'She was drinking the very elixir or life...' meaning she was happy, for once. The shock of her husbands return made her feel unhappy and therefore disappointed as she would not get to live the life of freedom. Lastly in Bliss Bertha is shocked at the revelation and realises that the act of knowing about the affair does not change her marriage. That is unless she wants it to. If not it will just stay the same showing she has power and still in control of her own life. The act of only her knowing about the affair does also not affect the way other people see her marriage, they will still see it as perfect, just like the pear tree- it is an illusion. The pear tree meanwhile is still described as lovely and it is still, portentous of the fact her life is inert, come to a halt and the feeling of numbness inside her. ?? ?? ?? ?? Rachael Dunderdale ...read more.

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