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The Story of an Hour

All the three short stories `The lottery`, `The Story of an Hour` and `A Rose for Emily` take a look into the blind traditions and atrocities followed by society. The final lines in all the three stories are critical in uncovering the mystery and deeper meaning behind the unpretentious storyline and characters. ‘The lottery’ is a dark tale which starts out by portraying a very mundane town filled with common people. The town has a lottery which seems normal at first, but the lots are meant to determine a volunteer who gets pelted with stones by rest of the town.

The women chosen by the lots says “It isn’t fair, it isn’t right” during the end as the others continue to throw stones at her. In real life, we too witness similar things that are fundamentally wrong, but continue to accept them fearing to break tradition. In ‘A rose for Emily’, the central character Emily is a woman controlled by her father and denied a chance to fall in love. After her father dies, she is also tormented by the fear of not being loved as her lover decides to leave her. Emily goes to the extent of killing her lover to preserve her love.

The town also makes up several rumors about her; most of them turn out to be false when the truth is revealed after she dies. The story also sheds light upon the perception of women by the society in 1930s. The story ends by when the narrator mentions “we saw a long strand of iron-gray hair”, indicating she was intimate with the corpse. This story explains how her controlled upbringing and rigid society made her obsessed was with the idea of being in love The ‘Story of an Hour’ is about Mrs. Mallard who is loses her husband. Instead of feel extreme grief and hopelessness, she on the contrary feels liberated.

The line “There was a feverish triumph in her eyes, and she carried herself unwittingly like a goddess of Victory” which appears at the end explains her feelings aptly. Although one would feel that she is relieved from her controlling husband, she is actually feeling free from the clutches of marriage. These stories emphasize the role played by society in controlling and shaping people’s lives. The authors themselves do not make any moral judgments but call upon the reader to make up their own mind on such issues. Reference: Jackson, S. (1997). The lottery. Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing. Fort Worth: Harcourt.

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