The Lasting of True Happiness
How do you define true happiness in life? Do you measure it by the feeling of liberty and expression? By being comfortable in your own skin and prideful of your heritage? ... These are the alternatives of happiness that are explored by the authors of both: “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin and “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker. Both stories are based in the truemeaning, although in different perspectives, of life and happiness. Nonetheless the events of the stories, the ironies, and the values by which their happiness are based upon are completely different.
At first glance you may think, based on the titles that the stories are nothing alike; but if you look closely, both titles are based upon the factor of time. In “Everyday Use” the term“everyday” represents the satisfaction and happiness that the quilts, that represent pride of heritage and culture, gave Maggie who had always been proud of her family without putting in perspective their economical situation. Since at the time that the story was developed the African-Americans were gaining independence, the trend of showing their heritage became very popular. This was the only reason why Dee(Maggie’s sister) wanted the quilts, for superficial reasons. The decision that Mama made of giving the quilts to Maggie instead of Dee also represented the everyday happiness and reason of right that from that moment on she had. The title “Everyday Use” represents this happiness and pride that will last for generations.
Even though the titles are similar because both factors of time in thetitles represent happiness, “The story of an Hour” can also be in contrast because the happiness of the character, which in this case is Mrs. Mallard, only lasted for an hour. When Mrs. Mallard received the news that her husband had died, she at first felt sad though calm. After a while she felt something come over her. When she finally recognized what it was, she felt guilt since even though shehad lost her husband, for the first time in her life she felt free. She felt this freedom because in the time of the story the woman was usually dominated by the man, and even though the couple might be in love, the possession of self-assertion was more important. Due to this, for the first time, she felt true freedom and happiness. “But she saw beyond that bitter moment a long procession of yearsto come that would belong to her absolutely.” This excitement and extreme content lead to a tragedy when through the front door walked in her husband, who never died; she did. Due to the heart condition Mrs. Mallard had, the change of emotion from the most happy she had ever been to disappointment and seeing her dreams shatter in a matter of just seconds, led her to have a heart attack. Her joyand freedom had only lasted for an hour. This is what the term “hour” represents in the story. All in all, the titles can differ since in “The Story of an Hour” the happiness literally lasted and hour while in “Everyday Use” the pride and joy will last for generations to come.
Although the stories may be similar in symbolism, they also compare in other ways. “Everyday Use” is based on a poorAfrican-American family unlike “The Story of an Hour” where you can infer it tells of a white family with steady economical resources. In “Everyday Use” Maggie stood in the shadows of Dee. It had always been this way since Dee was never satisfied with what she had and also manipulated her surroundings in such a way that she could always get what she wanted. Maggie was a passive person and veryfamily oriented. Since Mama could never live up to Dee’s ideals and expectations she always wanted to please her, leaving Maggie in the shadows of her sister until the end of the story. Similar to this, in “The Story of an Hour”, like I mentioned before, the woman was usually manipulated and controlled by the man; therefore leaving her in the shadows without space or freedom to do what they...
Leer documento completo
Regístrate para leer el documento completo.