Theme Of Death In 'The Red Convertible'

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“The Red Convertible” by Louise Erdrich and “Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin both have the common theme of death; however, in “The Red Convertible”, the death of Henry ends the very close relationship that he has with his brother Lyman while in “Story of an Hour”, the death of Mr. Mallard marks an opportunity of independence and freedom for Mrs. Mallard which shows that the relationship between Mr. and Mrs. Mallard was unsatisfactory.
“The Red Convertible” shows the literary conflict of person versus person through the good relationship between Henry and Lyman and has the prevalent theme of death. The brotherly relationship between Henry and Lyman starts off very close and friendly, however after Henry comes back from being drafted into the
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Mallard processes her husband's death and the theme of death. Once Mrs. Mallard learns of the passing of Mr. Mallard, she has a brief period of indescribable grief. She soon realizes the benefits of her husband passing and she is feeling conflicted. She has an internal debate thinking that she should be grieving and upset but she is actually finding the benefits and positives of it. Chopin writes, “And yet she had loved him - sometimes. Often she had not. What did it matter! What could love, the unsolved mystery, count for in the face of this possession of self-assertion which she suddenly recognized as the strongest impulse of her being!” (2). Mrs. Mallard’s relationship with her husband seems to not be happy and upon his death, she has a shift of mentality and starts to experience joy and hope instead of grief. She soon realizes all of the potential freedom and the many things that she can do without her husband. Mrs. Mallard has a sense of empowerment and independence to have a new start to her life where she can live for herself. The theme of death in “Story of a Hour” presents itself with the death of Mr. Mallard. His death results in Mrs. Mallard being optimistic and looking forward to her life. This is different than what she felt the previous day when she may have thought that life was not good and she did not look forward to her future. When she learns the news of her husband’s death, she was sad and shocked by it yet it gave her a sense of freedom and feeling of opportunity of what was to come of her day to day life without her
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