Story of an Hour Vs Bernice Bobs Her Hair
The Story of an Hour is the story of a woman named Mrs. Mallard who is told of her husband s supposed death and is moved, in the span of one hour, from grief, to joy, and finally to death because of the news. Bernice Bobs her Hair is the story of a girl named Bernice who goes from being a social misfit to being popular and then back again all because of a visit with her cousin.
Immediately we see that both stories share a common thread in that they both deal with the main characters experiencing numerous changes. Furthermore, the two stories also contain one single event apiece that serves as a catalyst for these changes.
However, when we carefully dissect the two stories even further, we see that there are also many differences between the two. The time span in which the two stories take place is one major variation. How each character feels at the end of the
transformations is another significant difference.
In Bernice Bobs her Hair , the main character starts the story wanting to be popular with men but has no idea how to do it. She only begins to understand popularity after her cousin tears her down and transforms her into a confident and modern woman. This, however, is not the end of the story. Because of her cousin s jealousy, she is tricked into bobbing her hair, and is transformed back into a social outcast. The same large amount of changes occurs in The Story of an Hour. Mrs. Mallard is first saddened by the news of her husbands supposed death, then she thinks of how much she disliked him, and is happy about the event, and once she finds out that he is still alive, she is brought to death.
The Story of an Hour would have never took place if not for the specific event of Mrs Mallard being told of her husband s alleged death. She never would have undergone the transformations of sorrow, joy, and death if she had never heard the news. In Bernice Bobs her Hair , the catalyst that puts the transformations in motion is the confrontation between Bernice and her cousin Marjorie. Had Marjorie not been so brutal in describing Bernice s deficiencies, than Bernice never would have changed.
While both stories are about changes and transformations, the time in which it takes each character to go through the transformations varies a great deal upon the story. In the Story of an Hour , the transformations Mrs. Mallard undergoes takes, well, an hour. The shift from sorrow to joy takes about 50 minutes and the her death makes up the other ten. In Bernice Bobs her Hair , Bernice s social climbing takes time and even weeks before we see any noticeable change.
In the Story of an Hour Mrs. Mallard starts her transformations with sorrow. I am sure, however, that she would much rather be sad then dead, which is the way she is after her transformations. Bernice on the other hand may not seem ecstatic about the way things went for her, but after all her transformations, she does seem happy to have acquired her newly found wisdom about womanhood, and popularity. We truly feel like she is better off at the end of the story than at the beginning.
The Story of an Hour s main theme is Irony. The change from sorrow to joy in such a short time contributes to this theme. Mrs. Mallard s shock and ultimate death, is another ironic transformation given that her husband was, in fact, alive. Bernice Bobs her Hair seems to contain be happy with who you are as an underlying truth. Her transformation gave her confidence, and her destruction gave her the wisdom to realize that the confidence was always hers