The stories “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant and “The Story of an Hour”, written by Kate Chopin, are set in the 1800s. This was a time when men were dominant over women. Both stories have protagonists that are searching for a more fulfilling life. They each do so in their own way.
Kate Chopin, Guy de Maupassant and other writers use symbolism and imagery to their best advantage. In describing the reaction of Mrs. Mallard to her husband’s passing, “the tops and branches of trees were aquiver, with new life. The notes of distant music that was being sung reached her faintly. And countless sparrows, twittering under the eaves,” immediately give you the impression of birth. A new beginning is symbolized by the trees that were all aquiver in spring. A new start.
Guy de Maupassant, in “The Necklace”, uses this symbolism: “She endured endlessly, feeling that she was born for all delicacy. She was afflicted by the poverty of her home, its worn-out chairs and curtains, as well as its drab walls. These things, which most women in her class wouldn’t have even noticed, bothered and insulted the woman. These aren’t the things she needs to feel young and vibrant. Madam Loisel, despite the fact that the Loisel family is not from the lowest class of society, dreams about being wealthy. Guy de Maupassant makes lists, too. This is a way to express that she has a feeling of being able to name so many negative things about her life as she does positive things.
Both stories make use of irony. In “The Necklace”, a very wealthy woman, Madame Loisel borrows an expensive necklace and loses it. They had saved up for 10 long years to buy a new necklace. Madame Forrestier tells Madam Loisel that her necklace, which was a diamond to her, is a fake. In “The Story of an Hour”, Mrs. Mallard is shocked to see her husband alive at the front door. She collapses, dying from shock. The message of both writers is that they could have avoided all the suffering if they had been content with what they had rather than chasing rainbows.