Death In The Story Of An Hour, What The Living Do, And Trifles

983 words - 4 pages

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 their husbands. In Trifles, Mrs. Wright‘s misery is obvious because of
the way she had changed over the years. ―I wish you`d seen Minnie Foster . . . stood up there in
the choir and sang‖ (Glaspell 11). She did not enjoy her life anymore, which may have been one
of the reasons that she killed her husband. In ―The Story of an Hour,‖ the character Mrs. Mallard
is also miserable in her life, and this can be sensed throughout the whole story. The irony is that
even though Mrs. Wright killed her husband, the audience seems to be more sympathetic towards
her than Mrs. Mallard, because of the background the audience gets about Mrs. Wright. In ―The
Story of an Hour,‖ Mrs. Mallard is made out to be a cold hearted character because of her
reaction to her husband‘s death, but the audience does not get much background on the husband.
The fact that in Trifles the audience gets to have background of Mr. Wright as being, ―a hard
man. . . Like a raw wind that gets to the bone‖...

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