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My Last Duchess vs The Story of an Hour - Essay Example

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22 April 2012. My Last Duchess vs The Story of an Hour My Last Duchess and The Story of an Hour are two very important stories in the literature that depict the gender-based expectations in marriage…
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My Last Duchess vs The Story of an Hour
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"My Last Duchess vs The Story of an Hour"

While a woman has full potential to sustain a married life, no joy of the married life compares to the individualistic success of a woman when she is independent. Mrs. Mallard in The Story of an Hour is pacified by the realization of the fact that now that her husband has died, both her body and soul have been set free. This also contradicts the conventional stereotyping of the women as objects of sex in which, women are believed to like sex. While Mr. Mallard enjoyed sexual relationship with his wife when he was alive, Mrs. Mallard essentially considered that slavery of body towards her husband. In a conservative society, this may be considered as emotional dishonesty of Mrs. Mallard in the marital relationship. This negates the notion of intrinsic desire of women to be sexually significant to their husbands. My Last Duchess also seems to be predicting the emotional dishonesty of the Duchess towards the Duke. In the capacity of her husband, the Duchess should have been more thankful to her husband than she actually was. Her husband should have sufficed for her bodily needs, yet she kept flirting with other men. While this reinforces the notion of personal willingness of women to be portrayed as objects of sex, the element of emotional dishonesty towards the husband is still obvious. ...
In The Story of an Hour, Mrs. Mallard dies to see Mr. Mallard alive. Although there is no mention of any cruelty inflicted upon her by Mr. Mallard, yet the audience gets an underlying feeling that Mr. Mallard must have been seriously wrongful in his attitude towards Mrs. Mallard which was why she couldn’t take the shock of him being alive. However, it can also be understood as the apogee of ungratefulness a woman can show for her husband, in which Mrs. Mallard even surpasses the Duchess. The two stories differ in the causes of stress in married life. In My Last Duchess, the Duke complains of his wife’s ungrateful attitude towards him. The Duke says that his wife flirted with other men and did not love him more as her husband. Although he kept gifting him and providing her with a royal lifestyle, yet she did not seem to realize that. On the contrary, in The Story of an Hour, the causes of stress in the married life of Mrs. Mallard are not obvious. The only predictable cause of stress was the fact that Mrs. Mallard felt enslaved in marriage. This speaks of the fact that the cause of stress had more to do with Mrs. Mallard’s nature than Mr. Mallard’s behavior. Probably, Mrs. Mallard would have been just as unhappy had she been married to any other man. Concluding, My Last Duchess and The Story of an Hour share one very strong trait which is that they depict the thanklessness of women towards their husbands in the married life. The Duchess was oblivious of the love and caring attitude of the Duke. Likewise, Mrs. Mallard feels liberated as if she had been enslaved in marriage despite no mention of any cruelty cast on her by the Read More
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