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Death in The Story of an Hour, What the Living Do, and Trifles Essay

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Death is a topic that is often not discussed in the western culture. When the topic of death
is brought up, the conversation is quick and not many questions are asked. Authors, though, open
the minds of their readers to see the topic of death in a new light. Some authors use humor,
others drama and some even leave the audience with many unanswered questions. The point is
that authors write about death in their own ways, and this does not exclude the authors of ―The
Story of an Hour,‖ ―What the Living Do,‖ and Trifles. But the authors of these three works write
not only about the physical death of the characters but also the death of the character‘s soul.
The three pieces of literature all start off with the physical and obvious death of one of
the characters. In ―The Story of an Hour,‖ the husband is the one who is dead, or so the readers
think. The story revolves around the death of the husband and the misery that the wife should be
feeling. Then there is the poem ―What the Living Do,‖ which also revolves around the death a
loved one. In the poem, the main character seems to truly have sadness towards the death of the
loved one, in this way the two works differ. The last piece of literature is Trifles, which like the
first two works deals with the death of a loved one, but in this piece of literature the audience
gets insight into the main character‘s past. With this knowledge, the audience is more likely to
relate with Mrs. Wright from Trifles, even though she did murder her husband.
Though all three pieces of literature deal with death, Trifles and ―The Story of an Hour‖
are the ones that deal with the perspective of the wives. Both the wives are similar in the way
that they feel trapped by th...


... middle of paper ...


... to a realization that they have a choice of how they can live. The characters
have the choice of living in misery, with a loss of who they are, or of doing something about it.
In all the works, the characters do something about that misery they feel. Mrs. Wright kills her
husband, Mrs. Mallard ends up dying, and the narrator of ―What the Living Do‖ moves on. All
of the characters realize that they cannot live this way and change their environment to better suit
their needs, an instinct every human has.
Works Cited
Chopin, Kate. ―The Story of an Hour.‖ Literature: Craft and Voice. Vol. 1: 13-14.
Delbanco, Nicholas and Alan Cheuse, eds. Literature: Craft and Voice. Vol. 1-3. New York:
McGraw Hill, 2010. Print.
Glaspell, Susan. Trifles. Literature: Craft and Voice. Vol. 3: 5-12.
Howe, Marie. ―What the Living Do.‖ Literature: Craft and Voice. Vol. 2: 67.


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