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The Loss Of Freedom During Times Of Struggle

1062 words - 5 pages

A human has a basic instinct to be free to make their own choices and beliefs without being forced to make one based on their situations. In “An occurrence at “Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce and “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin examples of escaping free will and each characters desire to be free can be seen throughout each story along with each of their respective setting. Along with the settings, internal struggles and societal pressures are prevalent in both of the characters decision making. With all of this going on around them they are faced with numerous challenges and obstacles standing in their way whether that be playing a small role in your countries war or obeying your husband’s authority and being held back from enjoying a life that was meant for living a booming time in American history.
First, in each of the two stories, the characters respective societies play an important role for each character. In “Owl Creek Bridge”, Peyton Farquhar is living in Northern Alabama during the height of the American Civil war. During this time, both the Confederacy and the Union repeated the rhetoric of helping by any means necessary to better the cause for each country. “No service was too humble for him to perform in aid of the South.” (Line 87, 88 “Owl Creek”) This shows that life either if you were loyal to the Confederacy or the Union, you were obligated to stay loyal to your state and help by any means to further each sides cause for war. In “The Story of an Hour”, Mrs. Mallard lives during the late 19th century America, the culture in America at this time was that the male would rule every aspect of a marriage. “She said it over and over under her breath: free, free, free! The vacant stare and the look of terror that had followed it went from her eyes.” This shows that the she was unhappy in her marriage as with most women during this era. Societal reasons helped shaped both of these characters lives and their actions throughout their respective stories.
Next, the internal battle for each character and the varying emotions they faced constantly shaped each story as it progressed towards a solution. In “Owl Creek Bridge” Farquhar, was faced with the decision to rig the bridge the union outpost was at and blow it up. “Suppose a man-a civilian and student of hanging- should elude the picket post and perhaps get the better of the sentinel, what could he accomplish?” (Line 107-109 Owl Creek). This proves that Farquhar has made his decision to sabotage the union held bridge even though it is closely guarded and with the risk of death. In “Story of an Hour” Mrs. Mallard goes through some varying emotions upon learning of her husband’s death. “There was something coming to her and she was waiting for it, fearfully. It was too subtle and elusive to name.” (Lines 30-34 “Hour”). Mallard is facing a struggle internally. She feels obligated to feel sad...

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