Literary Comparison: Story of an Hour and A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

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Within the purview of A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, there are a number of key literary techniques as well. One of these is that of diction. The author uses a number of simplified, snappy words when coming from the perspective of the younger barman, while the older barman seems to speak almost in his own language, as if the young and the old are two different species in this story. This is a key theme within the short story itself, so it is entirely possible that this was intentional on the part of the author. The diction utilized here is also important because it allows the author to create grandiose statements for seemingly innocuous or everyday occurrences, such as this old man staying far too late at a bar, preferring this clean, well-lit place to whatever awaited him back home

One literary device that can be observed within this story as well is that of imagery. Indeed, this story is one that evokes a stark contrast in terms of the ways that the old and young barmen, as well as the old patron themselves, are imagined in the minds of the readers. This is another important component of the short story because of this dichotomy taking such center stage so often. Indeed, the story frequently invokes thoughts of the old patron being somber and depressed, as alluded to by the words used to describe his demeanor and manner of speaking, as well as his attitude in general. This concept is one that also extends to the barmen in general, as they also have their own unique personality and visual quirks, as well as, perhaps, that of their own modes of speaking, which were alluded to here as well. This allows the author to link this imagery to the overarching theme of the story, which is the differences, as well as similarities, in some cases, between the young and the old. This element of imagery is one that can be observed, albeit in more abstract and emotional form, within the purview of Story of an Hour. In this story, the author very clearly makes an effort to create the image of a woman who is emotionally unstable, in general, but whom becomes thrilled and free as a result of an event that, for most people, would be considered to be extremely tragic. This allows the reader to come to a sort of visualization of this woman as a result of merely the ways that her thoughts and actions, as well as words, are given life by the author. This means that the author is able to properly link this imagery with the overarching theme of the story, which is that of the freedom, and limitations, that come with both death and the concepts associated with it. In this regard, this story is something of a cautionary tale, and this is one of the most important singular elements of the story. The main character takes the emotion within the story to its logical conclusion, and this causes her to pay the ultimate price. 

The concept of the past replaying itself in some way is one that can be observed within both of these stories here, and one literary technique that can be observed that complements this concept is that of epilogue. This might seem obvious, given that these are short stories, but therein lays the main point here. Because of the very nature of short stories, the epilogue naturally carries much more weight than it would normally, and the authors for both of these short stories realize this, and use it to great effect. Within the case of A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, the author utilizes the epilogue as a way for both the characters as well as the readers themselves to reflect on the words and actions of the story, even though they were relatively brief. This is important because it allows for some of the concepts, some of which might be difficult to understand, within the story to be understood and absorbed more easily. In the case of Story of an Hour, the epilogue is used almost in the opposite way, but the underlying meaning of it, in relation to the overarching theme of the story, is the same. That is, the epilogue flips all of the preceding events of the story on their head, creating a plot twist, of sorts, wherein it is the woman, not her husband, who ends up dead by the end of the story. It seems that the main point of this is that nothing in this life, or death, is certain, and that the story itself is something of an illustration of this concept. 

Ultimately, both of these stories utilize these literary devices (a form of classical literary analysis), practical tools, in order to make points and generally use these as a means of making a much more macro and overarching point that allows for these short stories to be much greater than the sum of their parts. This means that there are a number of key points within these stories that necessitate closer elucidation, but the ways that these tools are utilized means that this is made all the more easy and possible, if not time-consuming.