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"Women of Their Time"; Mrs. Mallard and Calixta - Thesis (essay) The Storm and The story of an hour


jeseniainsc 3 / 8  
Sep 3, 2008   #1
I want to write an essay on both of these and compare them. I can't come up with a good thesis for both. I just have to write an essay for one but I thought if I compared the two it might be better. Here's what I have.

"Women of Their Time"

Mrs. Mallard and Calixta are two very different women created by a very intricate author. Mrs. Mallard is overly dramatized at the news of her deceased husband and Calixta, to contrast, is an immoral housewife waiting out a storm.

In Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour" Mrs. Mallard is first perceived as a wife who would not possibly be able to fathom the news of the loss of her husband. Her sister Josephine is concerned for her health when she tells her the news, fearing for heart failure since she previously had heart problems. The author suggests she is a wife who has lived in repression yet loved her husband. However, this facade is soon unmasked by Chopin when Mrs. Mallard's grief turns to joyous victory, if you will, of her husband's death. She is struck with utter confusion and in a very odd manner tries to cope with feelings of love and hate all at the same time. "She did not stop to ask if it were not a monstrous joy that held her. A clear and exalted perception enabled her to dismiss the suggestion as trivial." (11)

The love Mrs. Mallard has for her husband seemed to exhaust her yet it seemed sincere in nature, to a degree. She seemed to be an oppressed wife living under the tyranny of her husband. The author implies this when shortly after the news of her now deceased husband is told to her she quietly whispers "Free, free, free!" (10). In line 7, "She was young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression and even a certain strength." This shows her character as one that bares distressing thoughts and memories that she is now free from since her husband is dead. Mrs. Mallard struggles with the idea of moving on with her life without her husband than the news of his death in itself. Almost as if having become a widow came with rights that she had never before experienced. She now had the freedom she was waiting for. As the story develops the author gives us insight on what might have possibly been a very troubled marriage for Mrs. Mallard. The death of her husband turns out to be a time of emotional celebration in that she now is freed from him. But from what? From her marriage to a man that perhaps she felt tied to for too long. The grief quickly turned to joy and then her sudden death. Was her joy so great that it killed her? "When the doctors came they said that she had died of heart disease - of joy that kills" (22). Perhaps she was better off dead than alive since her husband was not involved in an accident after all.

In "The Storm" the wife Calixta is portrayed as a devout housewife but behaves immorally. Calixta gets involved in a very amorous moment with an old fling while her family is out at Friedheimer's store waiting out the storm. She seems like a much happier housewife resigned to a lifestyle typical of the women of her time, at home sewing and doing house chores. She seems to be more outwardly loving and shows deep concern for her husband and child out in the storm but uses the storm to escape for a while. She gets caught up in an up close and personal heated moment with Alcee, an old boyfriend. Was the storm used momentarily to attain freedom for sparks that were never put out?

Apparently both of these women victims of their times, willing to escape their reality even if it killed them. Stuck in marriages with husbands they did not love. The ironic twist of circumstances leads me to think they were never truly in love with the men in their lives. Mrs. Mallard is thrilled at having lost her husband and now faces a freedom that she cannot handle and dies. Calixta manages to sneak a cheap thrill why her family is out in a vigorous storm and will apparently continue to do so since Alcee will be free from his wife for sometime. Both of these stories appear to be about a freedom which women in the Victorian era did not possess.

I need to add more and can't think of more points or a good thesis. HELP!

EF_Team5 - / 1,586  
Sep 3, 2008   #2
"In Kate Chopin's "The S tory of an H our" Mrs. Mallard is first perceived as a wife who would not possibly be able to grasp the news of the loss of her husband. A wife who has loved her husband unconditionally without any regrets. In Kate Chopin's "The Storm" a similar wife is portrayed in that she is so worried about her child and husband's well being and is a devout housewife."

...

OK, what if you start with an outline? List the points where the two women are completely different. Character wise, the decisions they make, the way they react to the choices in their lives, things like that. This will help you see their differences more clearly and get more organized. Once you have these differences clearly in mind, you can rewrite your thesis to include these differences. Once you have the differences, I can help you from there.
EF_Team5 - / 1,586  
Sep 4, 2008   #3
OK; let's see:

However, this fasade is soon unmasked by the author when Mrs. Mallard's grief turns to joyous victory, if you will, of her husbands death.

The author implies this when shortly after the news of her now deceased husband is told to her she quietly whispers "Free, free, free!" (line 10)(Double check your citation style for proper citation of page numbers.) Her character seems to bare distressing thoughts and memories that she is now free from since her husband is dead. Examples? Calixta, on the other hand, seems like a much more happier housewife resigned to a lifestyle typical of the women of her time. How?

Nice work; keep it up!

Regards,
Gloria
Moderator, EssayForum.com
OP jeseniainsc 3 / 8  
Sep 4, 2008   #4
Mrs. Mallard seemed to be an oppressed wife living under the tyranny of her husband. The author implies this when shortly after the news of her now deceased husband is told to her she quietly whispers "Free, free, free!" (line 10) In line 7 " She was young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression and even a certain strength" shows her character as one that bares distressing thoughts and memories that she is now free from since her husband is dead.

...
EF_Team5 - / 1,586  
Sep 5, 2008   #5
Well, what do you want to write about? It seems from your snippet that you are trying to compare (and perhaps contrast?) these two women. The issue is that if this is to be a thesis statement, there are too many details already. The thesis is like an introduction; it warms your reader up to what you will talk about later in greater detail. Your thesis should be short and to the point. Something to the effect of, "Mrs. Mallard and Calixta are two very different characters created by a complex and multi-faceted author. Mrs. Mallard on one hand is a repressed woman perplexed by the death of her husband. Calixta, to contrast, is intensely distressed at the thought of her husband and child being in danger from the storm." You can discuss your examples and points of interest further on in your paper.
OP jeseniainsc 3 / 8  
Sep 5, 2008   #6
Oh, I see it NOW! Thanks so much. I will work on it further and take in what you've written. Thanks!! The paper is due tomorrow morning.
OP jeseniainsc 3 / 8  
Sep 7, 2008   #7
Hi, so...I have been given a chance to make it better and need some help with grammer and calixta. Any new advice? Thanks! Here's what I have.
OP jeseniainsc 3 / 8  
Sep 7, 2008   #8
Here is some constructive critism from my prof. HELP!!!

Mrs. Mallard and Calixta are two very different women created by a very intricate author. Mrs. Mallard is overly traumatized at the news of her deceased husband and Casita, to contrast, is an immoral housewife waiting out a storm.

This is more summary than thesis. A thesis is arguable. Here you retell aspects of the plot showing how the protagonists are different. There is no contrast between the characters--they are simply different.

Try again. Use the Although, ... I see it otherwise formula.
EF_Team5 - / 1,586  
Sep 7, 2008   #9
OK, so you need to make your thesis more of an opinion; the way you see the two characters. You can do this by including examples from the text to back up your assertions. For example, at the beginning you write that Mrs. Mallard is over traumatized at the news of her husband's death; where is the proof of this from the text? The part where you say "overly traumatized" is an opinion; why do you say it is extreme? This is an opinion, therefore arguable because another reader may think her reaction appropriate for the give circumstances.

What makes the other woman immoral? Use the text to back up your "name calling" of immoral. If her actions are looked at from another point of view, namely the character's, could they be seen in a different light?

Regards,
Gloria
Moderator, EssayForum.com
OP jeseniainsc 3 / 8  
Sep 8, 2008   #10
Hi, so...I have been given a chance to make it better and need some help with grammer and calixta. Any new advice? Thanks! Here's what I have. Will have to give thesis more thought.
EF_Team5 - / 1,586  
Sep 8, 2008   #11
Mrs. Mallard is overly dramatized at the news of her deceased husband and Calixta , to contrast, is an immoral housewife waiting out a storm.

In line 7, "She was young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression and even a certain strength. " This shows her character as one ...

... disease - of joy that kills" (22).

... heated moment with Alcee, an old boyfriend. Was the storm used momentarily to attain freedom for sparks that were never put out? Can the storm be seen as a metaphor for Calixta's passions?

Mrs. Mallard is thrilled at having lost her husband and now faces a freedom that she cannot handle and dies. Calixta manages to sneak a cheap thrill why her family is out in a vigorous storm and will apparently continue to do so since Alcee will be free from his wife for sometime. Both of these stories appear to be about a freedom which women in the Victorian era did not possess."Nice conclusion.
OP jeseniainsc 3 / 8  
Sep 8, 2008   #12
I think that I can use just one more look at this. THanks so much for helping me...
EF_Team5 - / 1,586  
Sep 9, 2008   #13
"She did not stop to ask if it were not a monstrous joy that held her. A clear and exalted perception enabled her to dismiss the suggestion as trivial" (11).

"The contact of her warm, palpitating body when he had unthinkingly drawn her into his arms, had aroused all the old-time infatuation and desire for her flesh" (21).

Nice work!


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