The Fate of Women in "The Necklace" and "Story of An Hour" Comparison Essay

The Fate of Women in "The Necklace" and "Story of An Hour"
A comparison of Kate Chopin's "Story of an Hour" and Guy de Maupassant's "The Necklace".
# 153580 | 2,858 words | 6 sources | APA | 2012 | US
Published on Jun 21, 2013 in Literature (American) , Women Studies (Women and Society)

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The paper points out that at first glance, Chopin's "Story of an Hour" and de Maupassant's "The Necklace" appear to have very little in common. The paper analyzes both stories' form, content and style, to demonstrate how both authors developed themes of illusion, deception and obligation to marriage, and succeeded in highlighting the suffering of women in society. The paper also notes that both protagonists, Mathilde and Louise, are portrayed very differently in the two stories in order to elicit a different response from the reader. The paper shows how despite their differing styles, Maupassant and Chopin tell a similar tale of two women trapped in the illusion that one day they may escape a society that oppresses them because they are women.

From the Paper:

"Beginning with the form, although both are short stories, there is clearly a variance in length, yet each works to add to the meaning of the story. The Story of an Hour (Chopin, K. 1894), is ingeniously delivered to spell out the space of an hour, works in this form because it is the story of an epiphany. Louise's revelation of impending freedom is fleeting, enough though, that it becomes the centre piece of the story. Also, there is a short turn around between her weeping "with sudden, wild abandonment" (Chopin, K. 1894), her realization of freedom, and snap ending of her husband returning unscathed, providing the reader with a sharp insight. Yet, Chopin does not stop there, because immediately following Brently's arrival, Louise dies, having never realized her true independence. In this end, Chopin's form provides the reader with the fleeting moment women have for independence, merely a daydream before their husband comes home.
"On the other hand, de Maupassant takes us on a much slower journey in order to show Madame Loisel's slow fall from grace. De Maupassant could not possibly have achieved the same effect in telling the story of the Necklace (1884) as quickly as Chopin. First, of course, his story takes much longer than an hour. Secondly, and more importantly, the form of his story is set up in order for us to witness the agony that endures after the necklace is lost."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Chopin, K. (1894) The Story of an HourRetrieved from:
  • de Maupassant, G. (1884). The NecklaceRetrieved from:
  • Knight, D. D. (1997). Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.Retrieved from:
  • Pizer, D. (1984). Realism and Naturalism in Nineteenth-Century American Literature. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.Retrieved from:
  • Powell, J., & Blakely, D. W. (2001). Biographical Dictionary of Literary Influences: The Nineteenth Century, 1800-1914. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.Retrieved from:

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

The Fate of Women in "The Necklace" and "Story of An Hour" (2013, June 21) Retrieved October 20, 2021, from

MLA Format

"The Fate of Women in "The Necklace" and "Story of An Hour"" 21 June 2013. Web. 20 October. 2021. <>