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To Room Nineteen
Many stories often benefit from surprise endings. They can give us
great insight into the characters. Four stories that have surprise endings are Rose for Emily, Young Goodman Brown, To Room Nineteen, and The Necklace.
The surprise in Rose for Emily, by William Faulkner, is in the last sentence of the story. When they see the "long strand of iron-gray hair" (43) on the pillow. Through this we now see what Emily has been doing over the years. We now know why Homer, her lover, was never seen again and what that pungent smell was. From her actions, now revealed, we
can understand what she was driven to. With this one sentence, Emily is
expressed as a desperate old woman. Through out the story you believe she is a woman of high stature with normal aspirations. Then the surprise comes in which we see she commits the ultimate crime, murder. We better understand the true effects of her father?s repression and isolation and what Emily must resort to. She was very lonely. Homer was going to leave her. With killing him she could have him forever and live out those normal aspirations. This way she avoided the pain of being alone for the rest of her life.
The surprise in Young Goodman Brown, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is even though Goodman Brown did not know if what he had seen was a dream or real, Goodman Brown treated it real. With this action, Young Goodman Brown becomes a bitter, scorned old man. From then on he could not pray and when others did Goodman Brown could not listen. "he could not listen because an anthem of sin rushed loudly upon his ear?" (112). To him the event was so real he did not trust anyone at all. He even lost his trust for his beloved Faith. When he dies, his family carved no hopeful verse on his tomb, for they knew his gloom.
The surprise in To Room Nineteen, by Doris Lessing, is the moment Susan finally kills herself. "She was quite content lying there, listening to the faint soft hiss of the gas that poured into the room, into her lungs, into her brain, as she drifted into the dark river"(208). Through Susan?s serious actions, we see she needs a way out. She lies about having a lover to conceal her isolation. Her husband offers her a divorce but she does not want it. She can not produce a Michael Plant in time, and feels the need to end her life for fear of being exposed. It is surprising that she thinks that death is her only way out. It is tragic that she stepped away from her life and family. All to be isolated in a room. She was a depressed woman who had problems dealing with her inner demons. Feeling this way and actually killing your self are two different things. Most people at on time of another feel depressed, lonely, or isolated. Killing yourself is not the way to handle it in today?s society. That is why Susan?s actions are such a surprise. However, in Susan?s time divorce is not a viable option the way it is today. Susan was looking for her "freedom" (71). She found peace and serenity in her room. The thought of loosing that and being exposed was too much for her to endure. So her only way to keep her peace permanently is to end her life.
The surprise in The Necklace, by Guy De Maupassant, is when Matilda is told that the necklace she lost was a fake. "Oh! My poor Matilda! Mine were false. They were not worth over five hundred francs!" (71). With the effort she had to put in to replace the lost necklace she had become a hard and worn woman. So much so her friend did not recognize her on the street. Matilda worked so had to pay off her debts that when she was done, she did not act how she once did. Before the lost necklace, she longed for fancy dinners and things above her class. After, she did not complain and was not dissatisfied with what she had. The end is ironic because not only was the necklace fake, but so was Matilda in the beginning. She then becomes real because she
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The Necklace, young goodman brown by nathaniel hawthorne, young goodman brown, to room nineteen, doris lessing, surprise endings, nathaniel hawthorne, william faulkner, rose for emily by william faulkner, ultimate crime, pungent smell, true effects, gray hair, gloom, aspirations, stature, repression, old woman, anthem, isolation, old man
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