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"The story of an hour" and "The necklace" Write a character study of each of the main female characters in the stories. Which one do you feel most sympathetic towards and why? :

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Introduction

"The story of an hour" and "The necklace" Write a character study of each of the main female characters in the stories. Which one do you feel most sympathetic towards and why? : "The necklace" and "The story of an hour" both feature two nineteenth century women and the fleeting attainment of their respective dreams. Both women are, to an extent, victims of social circumstance. In the story of the "The necklace" Madame Loisel, a lady who was born into a lower middle class family, had always wanted more than she had. She dreamed of being married to a wealthy gentleman of good family but instead she allowed herself to be married to a junior clerk in the Ministry of Public Instruction. In this situation she could not have the marvels of life in which she had always hoped for; she was dressed plainly, having no money to spend on herself. It was a simple life and made her miserable. She knew that she had the good looks to make it in society, for in that time `women had no sense of caste or breeding; their beauty, their grace, and their charm taking the place of birth and family'. She was frustrated that she was trapped in this poor life when she felt that she was worthy of much greater things `born for the refinements and luxuries of life'. ...read more.

Middle

This shows how shallow Madame Loisel is and that again she thinks more of herself and her misfortunes than of friendships. Madame Forestier was only too happy to help with her friend's predicament and lends her a `diamond' necklace. The party was a great success for Madame Loisel. She was the prettiest woman there and was admired by all the men. She was so happy, 'intoxicated with delight' and for a short while achieves her dreams and finally fits the part of the woman she had always set out to be. She makes it last as long as she can and they do not leave the party until about four in the morning. But disaster strikes and her dreams turn to nightmares. They have to leave the party in a hurry because Madame Loisel was ashamed of her plain, everyday coat which she does not want to be seen in. Madam Loisel's happiness turned to sadness as her triumph and glory had come to an end and she realised had to go back to her ordinary life. But what happened next was to change her life forever. When she discovers she has lost the precious necklace she panics. She leaves her husband to search all night for the necklace on his own. ...read more.

Conclusion

Her happiness had lasted not as long as she required. As she descended down the stairs with her sister, Richards, her husband's friend, stood at the bottom waiting for them. Then Mr Mallard walked in through the front door. He had not been killed in the accident after all. Her sister Josephine let out a piercing cry. Richards quickly tried to screen him from his wife's view, but it was too late. All her happiness had come and gone "when the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease, of the "joys that kills". But really it was not joy at all it was disappointment. In these two stories I felt that even though they had the same meaning of men and women in such societies and of women feeling trapped, I felt more compassionate towards Mrs Mallard in "The story of an hour". Although some might think she is being egotistical for being happy of her husband's death, people need to understand that he had caused her hurt and never did love her. All her dreams came and went in a second, and I feel sorry for her because she never did get to live a life of her own. In "The Necklace", I felt that although Madame Loisel didn't have everything she wanted her husband seem to love and care for her enough to make her happy. Christian Gonzalez 11M ...read more.

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