Story Of An Hour Literary Analysis

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The constraint of gender roles have become an ever-rampant phenomena to the point that is has been engrained in the culture and identity of people around the world. Because of this, there has been a common theme in many works of literature that dissect the constraints that are placed on men and women alike. Two such works are “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin, which analyze the tragic circumstance that surround the respective lives of the protagonists. In the two short stories, Gilman and Chopin show through themes, symbols, motifs and other literary tools how the two female protagonists suffer under the oppression of their surroundings and male dominance, which ultimately causes them…show more content…
The yellow wallpaper became a central symbol of the wife’s insanity and conflict she felt within herself. Also shown in “The Story of An Hour”, Louise uses the window as source of comfort and relief as she sorts through her conflicting thoughts thus making it a main symbol of the story. In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, readers come to view the wallpaper as the foremost symbolism of hers and the oppression she endures. “I often wonder if I could see her out of all the windows at once. But, turn as fast as I can, I can only see out of one at one time. And though I always see her, she may be able to creep faster then I can turn!” (Gilman 754). She notices the similarities and differences between her and the woman behind the wallpaper. For example, during the day she is able to move about the house and write because John is not nearby, but at night she is trapped because John will notice if she leaves. Whereas the woman behind the wallpaper experiences the days differently, the bars from the windows cast shadows over the woman entrapping her from moving, while at night she appears to be creeping behind it. Finally she tears at the wallpaper to free the woman behind but in all actuality she is attempting to free herself from the walls of the house that her husband has trapped her in. Correspondingly, “The Story of An…show more content…
In “The Yellow Wallpaper” the narrator first states the room with the yellow wallpaper must have been a nursery because the furniture is nailed down and there are bar on the windows, but readers can plainly see that this room was previously occupied by someone insane. The reader can also see that as the narrator continues to grow more insane, her feelings toward the earlier gross wallpaper become more of fascination as she identifies with the women behind it. She believes that she is getting better, but from the readers’ point of view or from the “outside” she is clearly on the point of breaking. Another illustration of irony throughout the story is how John handles his wife’s illness. He is a doctor and should know when a woman is suffering from post-partum depression; the best thing for her is to be surrounded by loving and caring people. Instead he locks her in a house, forbids her little to no human contact and doesn’t allow her to write because he believes this will worsen her condition, but in all actuality it has the reverse effect and drives her more insane. In “The Story of An Hour”, the most ironic part of the entire story is that when Louise fine accepts that her husband is dead and imagined her life without him, she finds out the he hadn’t died after all and it was a case misunderstanding. Then the irony continues when Louise finds out

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