Role of Conflict

Chelsea Williams Role of Conflict The two stories I chose were “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin and “The Carnival Dog, the Buyer of Diamonds” by Ethan Canin. Both conflicts have similar ideas, which can be compared and contrasted as I have below. These elements include theme, setting and characters. The first element to discus is theme. In “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin the theme is the self-independence of women. In the beginning of the story, the main character, Louise Mallard mourns over the death of her husband, Mallard.

As the story progresses, Louise Mallard grows as she sees the new found freedom she has been given at the loss of her husband. “… she would live for herself. There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence …” Though, at the end of the story it is brought to light that the death of Brent Mallard was false belief, and her idealism of being free is diminished. With this shock along with her heart problem, she died from a heart attack. It seems Louise feels her inner emotions are trapped and confined through her marriage, home and even heart. She breathed a quick prayer that life might be long. It was only yesterday she had thought with a shudder that life might be long. ” In the time this story takes place a woman’s independence is frowned upon and she probably felt forced into the marriage and having a man in her life instead of being independent and making her own decisions. In “The Carnival Dog, Buyer of Diamonds” by Ethan Canin the theme is in order to achieve contentment, you must do what you want, not what someone else wants for you. It is quite similar to that of “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin.

In the story Abe Lufkin always taught his son, the main character, Myron what not to do, especially to never quit. Myron lived his life the way his father wanted him to live it. He always pushed his son because he wanted Myron to be a spitting image of himself. Myron thought differently though. Throughout the story, Myron tries several times to veer from his father’s choices for him. Like the time Myron and Abe were to race to see if Myron would go to Judaism camp or not, Myron wanted so badly to beat his father and have his way, but he ends up letting Abe win. “.

He sprinted back down to the house, sat down on the stops, and decided it wasn’t so bad to go to the mountains in July. ” When given the chance, he ends up giving up and letting his father win. He believes that something this small isn’t worth the fight in the end. Though, later on Myron is faced with a much larger decision. He is unhappy in medical school and wants to quit so that he can find contentment in doing what he wants, even though he knows his father won’t agree. This was his biggest decision to escape his father but he fails. Abe dominates Myron, once again as he always has.

Myron ends up backing down and ultimately letting his father win as he always has. “Do you give? ” “What? ” “Do you give? ” “You mean, will I go back to school? ” “That’s what I mean. ” “Look,” Myron said, “you’re crazy. ” “Give me your answer. ” ………… “I give. ” In the end, Myron continues to live under his father. The second element to discuss is the setting. The Setting in “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin seems to have great influence towards the conflict of the story. The story seems to be set in the time that the author, Kate Chopin lived in, around the nineteenth century.

This was a time when a woman’s independence was looked down on. At this time they believed a man was needed in a woman’s life to support her. It was a woman’s job to stay home – to cook, clean, and take care of everything in the household. A woman was confined to the home, and men were the ones who went out into the outside world to work and do other things. Households weren’t two people coming together like they are today. They were male dominant. This is the life that Louise felt she had to live because that’s how society said it had to be.

She was trapped in her own lifestyle. The setting in “The Carnival Dog, Buyer of Diamonds” by Ethan Canin also has an important role towards the conflict of the story. When Myron goes off to The Albert Einstein medical school he is on his own. Though here he feels somewhat trapped. The smell of the school is the same smells of his father, which reminds him of how Abe is getting old. This seems to be parallel to Myron’s thoughts of missing out on what makes him happy. “No, it wasn’t death that bothered Myron; it was the downhill plunge of the living body? he muscles that stretched off the bones into folders, the powdery flesh odors of middle-aged men. ” His father’s life is diminishing, but Myron’s soul is diminishing because he is pursuing what someone else wants for him instead of what he wants. “That was why Myron wanted to quit medical school. He hated the demise of the spirit. ” Through this journey he realizes that he is no longer on constant watch by his father. He took up running and seemed to find freedom. It was his way of letting go where he could do what he wanted and not what anyone else did.

Myron’s surroundings made his mind click into realizing his full potential because his father isn’t around to tell him otherwise. The third element is the characters. Mrs. Louise Mallard is the main character in “The Story of an Hour” By Kate Chopin. She is a woman who wants to be independent, but never had the opportunity until her husband passed. “When she abandoned herself a little whispered word escaped her slightly parted lips. She said it over and over under her breath: ‘free, free, free! ’” Freedom was like a release to her, probably because it wasn’t something that women had back then.

This didn’t mean she didn’t love her husband though. “And yet she had loved him? sometimes. Often she had not. ” She may have been forced into a marriage too quickly, which is why she felt this way. She seemed to be held back from her thoughts of independence, but when her husband died it was brought to light. Myron Lufkin is the main character in “The Carnival Dog, the Buyer of Diamonds. ” He as well wants freedom to do what he wants, but instead he pursues what his father, Abe wants for him. He was very obedient to his father and always listened to him.

Myron had always wanted to gain the courage to go against his father’s will. “…he knew, there was something in beating his father that was like the toppling of an ancient king. ” But no matter how he thought he could stand up to his father, he always gave up. This is what held Myron back from pursuing his own dreams instead of his fathers. Both stories envelop crushed ideas of freedom interpreted in different ways Every time Myron felt he would stand up against his father he backed down and let his fathers opinion overtake his own.

Abe always wanted things done the way he saw them, and Myron always listened and followed. Myron had many opportunities to pursue his own freedom, but always ended up giving in to his father. In “The Story of an Hour” Louise Mallard was trapped in her own life. She only realized her potential freedom when her husband died. She was finally free and independent. Unfortunately this idea was false as Brently was not actually killed, and the overwhelming news and shut down dreams caused her to die of a heart attack. Both characters had ideal freedoms that were never pursued.

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