Story Of An Hour And Richard Cory Comparison Essay

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Cassandra Clare once pointed out the importance of reading and comparing literature when she said, “Only the very weak-minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry.” The similarities between “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin and “Richard Cory” by Edwin Arlington Robinson are striking, and they deserve thorough examination. In “The Story of an Hour,” Mrs. Mallard thought that her husband died, but when she found out that he was actually still alive, she died of shock. In “Richard Cory,” an entire town of people looked up to a man named Richard Cory who seemingly had everything, but Richard Cory was deeply unhappy and ended up killing himself. The same theme statement could encompass both pieces. “The Story of an Hour” and “Richard …show more content…
Both stories had deceivingly light tones at points. After Mrs. Mallard heard of her husband’s accident in “The Story of an Hour,” she felt free. This freedom was expressed with a light tone. The scene was described in detail. Outside of her window, “countless sparrows were twittering” and “patches of blue sky” were visible (167). “Richard Cory” started out with a light tone. Richard “fluttered pulses” and “glittered when he walked” (552). The tone changed from light to dark tremendously quickly. It was quite a shock to hear that Richard Cory “went home and put a bullet through his head” (552). “Story of an Hour” also had a darker, more depressing tone at times. Mrs. Mallard was “powerless” when she heard the news about Mr. Mallard; “her bosom rose and fell tumultuously” (167). When she realized that her husband was in fact alive, her sister’s “piercing cry” could be heard as Mrs. Mallard died (167). The darker tones of the story are focused around Mr. Mallard being alive, while the lighter tones occur when Mrs. Mallard believed her husband to be dead. The hurried change of tone in both pieces made each ending more shocking. Although each work has both light and dark tones, there were also tones that were unique to each piece. In “The Story of an Hour,” there was a constrained tone. Mrs. Mallard felt “paralyzed” when she heard the news about her husband (167). There was also a threatening tone. Mrs. Mallard seemed to be afraid to accept her freedom; she was “waiting for it, fearfully” (167). “Richard Cory” also included an envious tone. Towards the end of the poem, the townspeople were clearly jealous of Richard Cory. They worked hard and “cursed the bread” (552). The jealous tone was the first hint that the piece wasn’t just a light hearted, song-like poem. The jealous tone then led into the surprisingly dark tone that described how Richard Cory killed himself. The two works of

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