Story Of An Hour By Kate Chopin: Is Marriage A Prison?

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Is Marriage a Prison? The short story, “The Story of an Hour,” by Kate Chopin leads the reader to question what actually killed Mrs. Mallard, the joy of seeing her husband alive or the sad realization that her husband was still alive. My interpretation is that she died from the shock, not joy of seeing her husband alive. This leads to my question, from this can it be inferred that marriage is really like a prison? Kate Chopin implies that Mrs. Mallard may have felt that, during her married life she has been held back and not able to live as she would like. Could marriage affect one in a way to lose their identity? Does constant compromise in a marriage lead one to miss out on life or opportunities? Chopin’s short story begins…show more content…
Mallard has been unhappy and maybe even miserable in her marriage. The direct quote from Explicator indicates that she still may be sad from time to time about her husband’s death, “She did not stop to ask if it were or were not a monstrous joy that held her. . . . She knew that she would weep again when she saw the kind, tender hands folded in death; the face that had never looked save with love upon her, fixed and gray and dead” (Foote 87). As best we can tell she was not abused because Chopin indicated that Mr. Mallard had gentle hands. So if she was not abused, why did she feel that she needed to be free? Another story, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman has a story line that can be compared to Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour. In Gilman’s story, the wife is accused of having a mental breakdown during postpartum and is ordered by her doctor who is also her husband to get better in an upstairs room of their summer rental house. There are bars on the windows and at gate at the top of the stairs. Her husband will not let her do what she loves to do and that is to write. She does so from time to time, but she does so in secret. She eventually becomes obsessed with the wall paper on the wall and begins to see a woman in the wall paper that is trying to get out. Soon she begins to think she herself has escaped from the wallpaper and tries to help the others escape by tearing it down. Could the wallpaper be a…show more content…
Research shows that when women get married, for some reason they unconsciously begin to change their identity. For women who have been taught that it is a good thing for you to be independent and take care of yourself, find it hard to adapt to married life. Many guys also don’t really want a strong and independent woman to marry. Tradition has normally been that the man is the strong and independent one in a marriage. Tradition can also be to blame for some reasons women feel trapped and not an equal partner in a marriage. It is normal tradition for a woman to take the man’s last

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