Clever Manka and the Story of An Hour
Manka and Louise Both short stories are a patriarchal society that restricted the roles of women, especially in their marriage. The setting in Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” takes place in a small city in the early 1900s. This story has actual characters with names, such as Louise Mallard. The main character is Louise Mallard, she is a women looking to get freedom from her husband, and she gets that chance when he dies in a railroad accident. The setting in “Clever Manka” takes place in a rural farming community is Czechoslovakia.
This story has stereotypical characters, such as the Burgomaster, the farmer, and the shepherd. The main character in is Manka; she is a woman that is a very quick thinker. She shows the burgomaster how clever she is by knowing all the answers to his riddles. In “Clever Manka” and Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour”, both demonstrate differences in health, personalities, and relationships. One difference between Manka and Louise is their health. Manka is a young woman who is in good health. She has no health problems, but on the other hand Louise does.
In the beginning of “The Story of an Hour”, it’s stated that “Louise had heart trouble” (Chopin 666). Knowing that Louise had heart trouble, her sister carefully told her about her husband’s death, to try to refrain from Louise having a heart attack. Another difference between Manka and Louise is their personalities. Manka is an independent woman. She has a very intelligent and confident personality. To show how clever she really was, the Burgomaster gave a riddle to her father (the shepherd) to give to Manka.
It was “tell her to come see me, but she must come neither by day nor by night, neither riding nor walking, neither dressed nor undressed” (Manka, 18). Her father told her what the burgomaster said. She showed how smart she was by going to his house at dawn (Neither by day nor by night), wearing fish net (neither dressed not undressed), with one leg over a goat and one foot on the ground (neither riding nor walking). The Burgomaster was so surprised by her cleverness that he had to marry her. He then told her “you are not to use that cleverness of yours at my expense. I won’t have you interfering in any of my cases.
In fact, if ever you give advice to anyone who comes to my for judgment, I’ll turn you out of my house at once and send you home to your father” (Manka, 19). Even the burgomaster was intimidated by Manka’s intelligence. Even though Louise did not seem as intelligent as Manka, she still had a thinking personality. After Louise’s Sister Josephine told her about her husband’s death, she went up to her room (where most of the story took place) and she began to think. She then realized she was free from her husband, and she was now happy that she was not under his ruling anymore.
She said “There would be no one to live for during those coming years; she would live for herself” (Chopin 667). Another difference between Manka and Louise is their relationships with their husbands. They are both married this is one similarity that they share. Manka and the Burgomaster seem to get along well, except when she got into one of his cases. He told her if she interfered with any of his business he would send her back to her father’s house and he was going to do just that. He told Manka she could take one thing with her.
She asked if she could stay till after supper, he agreed. She ended up getting him drunk and taking him to his father’s house. He woke up and asked her “what does this mean? ” She replied “You know you told me I might take with me the one thing I liked best in your house, so of course I took you” (Manka, 20). He then told her that she was to clever for him, and then they went back home. After that their relationship got stronger, and if a case was too difficult for him they went to her for advice. On the other hand Louise and her husband didn’t have such a good relationship.
In the story, not much is said about Mr. Mallard and her relationship. Going off how she reacted when her sister told her he had died in a railroad accident, their relationship was sketchy. She loved him—sometimes, but often she didn’t. In the story, she said “Free! Body and soul free” (Chopin, 668). Her sister came up to her room to see if she was okay. Bringing Louise downstairs, they saw at the base of the stairwell, Mr. Mallard as he came through the door. As soon as she saw him Louise died. When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease– of joy that ills. In both short stories, “Clever Manka” and “The Story of an Hour”, we read about two very different women, and compared and contrasted their health, personalities, and relationships with their husband’s. Although they did had some things in common, one was they both lived in a dominant male society. Chopin, Kate. “Story of an Hour. ” Successful College Writing. Ed. Kathleen McWhorter. 4th ed. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin’s, 2009. 665-668 “Clever Manka. ” Introduction to Literature. Eds. Alice S. Landy And William Rodney Allen. 6th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin,