Comparing Story Of An Hour And The Yellow Wallpaper

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Both of the stories “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin and “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman present strikingly similar social plight related to women in the contemporary patriarchal society. These stories caused a sensation in the public as they were published in 19th century when women were confined to domestic roles and any discussion about female’s perspective on social issues was widely unacceptable. Furthermore, women were dependent on men for their needs in life. They were barred from voting and from owning property. Job choices were sparse and clearly defined: nurse, maid, grade-school teacher, seamstress, etc. The only hopes women had for financial prosperity were in marriage or inheritance (Aurbach). Even in marriage,…show more content…
The authority of the owner in the males of that time blinded the husbands in both of the stories to see their wives as normal human beings who have emotions and wishes like them (husbands). However, in both of the stories husbands are defined as “kind” (Chopin), “careful,” and “loving” (Gilman). This fact raises the question of why the wives feel trapped in such harmonious marriages where there isn’t any hint of authoritative behavior of the males toward the females. In “The Story of an Hour,” Chopin answers to that that her protagonist’s will was bended in the “blind persistence” by her husband who restrained her from recognizing the “strongest impulse of her being.” Hence, she felt lack of identity in the marriage which the author artistically described in the story by calling her Mrs. Mallard in the starting and introducing her name Louise only after her realization of self-being. While in the story of “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the narrator has been isolated from doing anything intellectual by her physician husband as she is diagnosed with "temporary nervous depression -- a slight hysterical tendency." As a result, she is prescribed a “rest cure” in which she is abandoned of her duties, even of taking care of her own child and isolated from doing anything intellectual. Not only that, she is almost never allowed to leave her house and her husband’s sister is constantly keeping an eye on her. She doubts this treatment of her depression, and secretly rebels against it by keeping a diary. The narrator knows what is best for her and what would cheer her up, but she follows her husband’s guidance just like the society believes she ought to. Eventually, restriction of intellectual liberties, constant surveillance, and physical confinement
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