Theme of Desire in Five Stories: Eveline by James Joyce, Story of an Hour, A Pair of Silk Stockings by Kate Chopin, Popular Mechanics by Raymond Carver and a Short Story by Ernest Hemingway

Theme of Desire in Five Stories: Eveline by James Joyce, Story of an Hour, A Pair of Silk Stockings by Kate Chopin, Popular Mechanics by Raymond Carver and a Short Story by Ernest Hemingway

The five stories I am going to compare and contrast are Eveline by James Joyce, Story of an hour, A pair of silk stockings by Kate Chopin, Popular Mechanics by Raymond Carver, and A very short story by Ernest Hemingway. My theme is on desire. Desire is to wish or long for something or someone.The characters in each of these stories were so passionate but, also passive in deciding what they really wanted in their lives.

In Evelines story she wants to start a new life. She was tired of all the negative things in her life. Her father who was abusive at times took a toll on her too. Also, the two jobs she juggled around as a nanny and a shop worker. Eveline struggled with the decision to either remain home with her dad who she financially supported or leave with her love frank. He was a sailor and he wanted to marry her. She agreed to leave with him in secret. Their relationship was pleasant until her father began to reject their relationship.

Eveline really started to think seriously about her situation and then her mind took her to the remembrance of her mother and how she promised her that she would take care of the home.She started to be indecisive she thought well life isn’t all that bad. She cooked, clean, and her dad was not mean all of the time. Eveline was really at the point of should I or should I not. She was not a selfish person. She always put others before herself. After her moms death she felt she owed it to her mom to take care of her dad and their home. But, when she really thought about it she realized that her moms life was really sad in this same house. She decides to leave with her love frank. All of a sudden she started to feel overwhelmed like this was the wrong thing to do. She prays to God for direction when the boat takes off Frank pleads with Eveline to come with him. He called again shouting she set her face to him passive, and helpless. She gave him no sign of love, farewell, or recognition.

Eveline lost her desire and passion. She became passive, helpless, and Forgot all about herself. Sometimes you have to put yourself first and everything else after. Eveline seem to dwell more on the pass. It was to hard for her to accept that she would actually have a good future. She seemed to be scared to move on to a new venue. Sometimes your past can hold you back. It can be like a stronghold burdening your very soul. Which causes you not to progress in life. Because, you are so weakened from your past. You wont allow your future to lift you up. This why fear holds you back. I felt bad for eveline. I totally understood why she felt the way she did. If I was her I would of still took a chance and married my love. I would still keep in touch with my family.

In the story of an hour the main characters are Mrs. Millard, her sister Josephine, and her husband’s Brently friend Richards. The main event in the story was Richards heard about a railroad disaster while in the newspaper office. He saw Brently’s name on the list of those who were killed. He received a telegram and was sure that this news was true. Richard did not want to stall anymore from telling this sad news to his friend’s wife. He had to be careful of how he conveyed the message because, she suffered with heart problems. When Mrs. Millard heard the news she wept running into the arms of her sister. When the pain of grief hit her she went straight to her room. She did not want anyone to follow her. She went in her room and sat in her comfortable arm chair. She was so exhausted from all the news of the day and physically she felt worn out. As she looks out the window there are so many sights for her to see. But, she still cried for some reason it seemed like her mood was beginning to change. She had a look of hope on her face. For Example, she related the trees to as a new spring of life and also referred to the rain as the delicious breath of rain. Her world was turning around. Her desire started to change she longed for this new single life. Her spirit to me started to be lifted in such a short span of time. Still crying though she tries to feel emotions but cant she starts to say “Free, free, free” her heart started to beat faster and she starts to feel very relaxed.

I believe this was her way of trying to heal herself of the grief. Trying to psyche herself to focus on now she was free. I don’t think that worked very well for long. She thought of when she would see her husbands dead body ( she knew she would cry again). She describes her husbands touch as tender and the way he looked upon her in a loving manner. She imagines her life years ahead, which is was only her now, She opens and spreads her arms to welcome and accept this present future. She would be free with no one to bother her. She thinks all men and women bother eachother it’s their cruel intention. She had love for brently but, her main focus was being a free lady. Mrs. Millard had probably desired, and genuinely longed for living a life of independence. But, sadly the way she received it was through the death of her husband . Which I hope she did not intentionally want. Her sister Josephine cames to the door of her sisters room. She begged her to come out warning that she is making herself sick. Millard tells her to go away. She is imagining all the days and years ahead. She hopes she lives a long life. In the story it said “only yesterday she had a thought with a shrudder that life might be long”. I think this meant that she really could not live I guess because, she felt bounded by marriage. But, now she was free in a sense now she could live long. She wants to enjoy her life and not share it with anyone. Mrs Millard opens the door her and Josephine start walking downstairs where Richard is waiting. The front door unexpectedly opens and her husband brently walks in. He had not been in a train accident. Josephine cries and Richard tries to block him from seeing his wife. The doctors arrived and pronounced her dead. She died from a heart attack brought on by joy and happiness. I felt Mrs. Millard was really shocked. She had already psyched herself to believe that he was deceased. She finally found a sense of a new beginning in her life. When he walks through the door all those expectations which exhilarated her went right out the door. The shock of it all took the life out of her. I think she tried to hard to get over her husbands death to quick. She should of allowed herself to grieve more and accept it. This would of slowed down her pace. And when she saw him again it would not of shocked her to the point of where she would die. She was moving to fast in her thoughts. When reality strikes she couldn’t handle it.

In a pair of silk stockings the main characters are Mrs.Sommers a Wife and her children. She found herself in a situation. She had fifteen dollars which seem to be a lot of money at the time. She thought of how she should spend the money. She did not want to regret how she spent it. She thought of what to buy the kids and she realized she might have money left over to buy a new stockings she was excited. The neighbors talked about her life before she became a wife and mother and they said she had better days. She had no time to think of her past though the needs of the present absorbed every part of her. A vision of her future looked dim to her. There family was very poor and she knew as a mom the values of bargains. While running her errands she see’a a pair of silk stockings that she desires for herself. She buys it and puts it on right away then she gets fitted for shoes. Mrs. Sommers started to feel liberated and her desires were being fulfilled. She wanted to be treated well she deserved it. For the first time she was not thinking about her responsibility as a fulltime wife and mom. After this she could not recognized her own feet they were so beautiful. Then she got fitted for gloves. She began to feel a sense of belonging and self worth ( pride & dignity). She bought high priced magazines who was she turning into? She began to feel hungry and decides to treat herself to lunch normally she would wait until she got home. Later she went to the theater, sitting around elegantly dressed men and women.

Each time she did something for herself she gets more comfortable with treating herself. This all seemed to be a dream and it looked like she did not want it to end. She did not want to go home each activity brought her so much excitement. As she got into the cab she had a pale look on her face as if she wanted the cab to keep going never to stop. Mrs. Sommers reminds me of myself. I often hesitate to do things for myself. I always put my children and family first. When I get the chance to do something for me it feels really good. But, I like the look on my kids face better when I do things to make them happy. Being a mom sometimes it is hard to do things for yourself but, there must be a balanced. As mothers we get caught between our different roles. ( You must remember to also make yourself happy don’t wait on others to it will never happen). You must have things in the right perspective. Think about what you desire it is not wrong to do nice things for yourself. Mrs. Sommers never did things for herself this is why she went out of control when she got the opportunity. But, if she treats herself every now and then she would have a great balance.

In “popular mechanics” this story made me so upset because, there was a couple in the middle of a separation. The woman was frantic, upset, aggravated, stressed and wanted her husband out. He was just as eager to leave he was in the middle of packing. They began to fight over the baby neither of them wanted to let go of the baby. But, I felt they could of resolve the situation in a peaceful manner. But, they both were so angry and they were not thinking straight. They fought until the baby was lifeless.

I felt this story was sad. If the couple desired to be apart they could of settle the problem on their own terms in a mature way or settle it in court. I
also felt the guy was wrong to fight her the way he did over the baby. He was aggressive and they both did not want to give up without a fight. As a
female I would of let go of my baby just so that the child would remain safe. There desires caused more pain, anguish, and grief. How would they be able
to live with themselves now. They also needed anger management. I felt sad for the babies sake. Innocent as a dove, harmless but, tragically killed. This
really makes you think about relationships, babies, family’s. You really have to think long and hard before settling down sometimes.

Now, In a very short story Luz a nurse took care of a wounded soldier while on the night shift they started to date. They wanted to get married but, couldn’t do so at the time.He agreed to go home and look for work so they could get married and she went to Milan. She opened a hospital in pordonone. It was lonely there. So Luz started to date another major and made love to him. She then writes her first soldier and tells him their relationship was only a boy and girl affair ( fantasy) nothing more. She stated how sorry she was and wished him all of the best and hoped he would eventually forgive her. She also told she would be getting married in the spring that never happened and he never replied to her letter anyway. The story said shortly after the first soldier caught Gonorrhea from a sales girl in a loop department store while riding in a taxi cab. I felt the soldier was devastated he stayed faithful to Luz and she basically, did not keep her end of the deal. She desired what she wanted at the time of her loneliness and the soldier desired her for his wife. I feel the way luz did things was wrong and hard for him to take. She moves to quickly into other relationships so fast. She gave up on what was suppose to be true love and the second soldier just played her and lied to her. He gave her false hopes just as she did to the first soldier.

These five stories made me look at life in a different ways. What is love, happiness, peace, joy, what really gives you contentment. I guess it’s what you really want deep down inside. It is ultimately what you truly desires. We must often ask ourselves what do we really want and need without thinking about others. Even though you may feel that is selfish. It is an important step we must take because, if we don’t then we end up living with so much regret and pain. So what are we really longing for success, riches, love, material things, only our needs, only for other peoples needs, independence etc.

Life is only a moment enjoy it live it happily to be the best of your ability.