Critical Essay about the Story of the Hour and Boys and Girls
Critical Essay about the Story of the Hour and Boys and Girls
Literary devices are effective aspects used by theorists to evaluate issues in various societal platforms. The efficacy of these stylistic techniques is evident in the Story of the Hour and Boys and Girls. An evaluation of the two literature pieces puts emphasis on the notion that philosophical features and the basic elements of communication may instigate social or political transformations in a community. This is because of the benefits of tactically linking the imaginative and real worlds. For instance, in the Story of the Hour, the imaginary world portrayed by the writer through the perspective of Louise Mallard consists of freedom and tranquility. This setting aids in criticizing the status quo, which entails oppressive principles based on sexist ideologies. Similarly, Munro uses comparable stylistic techniques to describe a typical patriarchal society. In this conventional community, the inhabitants have to accept the roles delegated based on one’s gender. The young girl, who is the main character in the story, faces numerous challenges in her efforts to define her own path in life. This argument forms the basis of the comparison. Munro and Chopin use such literary devices as imagery, tone, and setting to criticize the status quo regarding the inferior position of females in the society.
The detailed use of imagery in both literature pieces is helpful in addressing the position of women in the conventional community. Accordingly, this aspect substantiates the thesis of this critical analysis. To begin with, the author indicates that the dull atmosphere created by Mallard’s demise and subsequent distress experienced by his wife ends after she enters her room. The comfortable chair and open window is an illustration of her acquired calmness. In addition, the liveliness visible in the natural environment from her room shows the possibility of an improved life. The author uses this imagery to describe the freedom that Mrs. Mallard is bound to acquire following the death of her husband. It is the end of an oppressive existence. Similarly, Munro uses imagery to highlight the plight of women in a conservative society. The young girl in this literature piece has minimal opportunities of working outdoors since the society considers such chores as manly. For this reason, the house in this story depicts the gender-based confinement that discourages her from establishing her desired path in life. She is afraid of facing similar challenges to other females who have to accept the inferior position designated for them by the society.
The tone used by these authors is also an effective approach of criticizing the status quo with reference to the position of a typical woman in the conservative society. The writer of the Story of an Hour uses an ironical tone to depict the plight of females in the society and their quest for freedom from the oppressive principles upheld by the traditional community. Through this paradoxical technique, it is apparent that Mrs. Mallard only experiences genuine happiness following the alleged death of her husband. The termination of this calmness occurs when she receives information that her husband is still alive. Accordingly, the use of the ironical tone aids the readers to understand the psychological torture experienced by females because of the presence of oppressive figures represented in this story by Mr. Mallard. In Boys and Girls, the main tone employed by the author in discussing the theme of gender bigotry is distressful. Munro describes the sadness experienced by a young girl who has to cope with the fate dictated by the conventional principles upheld by the community. Similar to other females in her neighborhood, she can hardly define her won social path. She has to concur with the values of the community, which dictate that a woman should focus on completing household chores as opposed to engaging in exciting activities outside the home setting. This tone aids the author in criticizing the status quo regarding the inferiority of a woman. The writer uses this literary device to show that such traditional values and principles make it difficult for an average female to pursuit her desires in life with respect to social and occupational developments.
Owing to its importance in conveying the intended message in any literature piece, Munro and Chopin use a comparable setting to discuss the common motif of gender discrimination. In the Story of an Hour, Chopin describes the house of Mr. and Mrs. Mallard as a building with many rooms with locks installed on the doors. The staircase inside the house indicates that the construction is modern. This is an indication that the couple belongs to the higher social class. However, her financial capability is not sufficient for her to acquire freedom. The locks illustrate the restrictions in her life. In addition, the plot of this literature piece does not show any female leaving the house. In contrast, men such as Richards and Mr. Mallard leave the building, an indication of the relationship between liberty and gender in this society. These restrictions are worthless since Mrs. Mallard dies inside the house despite the assumed safety while her husband is still alive even as he walks around freely in the outer world. In contrast, the setting of Boys and Girls is in a rural region in Canada. The fox-farm creates an adventurous environment. The author uses this setting to highlight the liveliness of a man’s life in the completion of outdoor activities by comparing it to the boring life of a female who has to stay indoors based on the values upheld by the society.
Both stories focus on criticizing the supposed inferiority of females. Munro and Chopin use various literary techniques to compare the adventurous life of a man with the depressing existence of a female owing to the oppressive values that define the roles of the two genders by using unfounded ideologies. However, there are noteworthy differences between the arguments integrated in the two literature pieces. While Munro focuses on the challenges faced by women in defining their own values in life, Chopin emphasizes on the useless nature of some of the principles upheld by the traditional society. For instance, Mrs. Mallard dies despite living in a house considered as safe.
In conclusion, the literary techniques used by Munro and Chopin including imagery, tone, and setting are effective in criticizing the status quo regarding the supposed inferiority of women in the society. These aspects are effective in analyzing the theme of gender discrimination in both stories. The traditional values that define the role of certain population groups based on unsupported ideologies cause unimaginable distress. Mrs. Mallard and the young girl are representatives of distressed females in the Story of an Hour and Boys and Girls respectively. The effects of these discriminative ideologies in their lives indicate the influential nature of the society on personal developments.
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