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"story of an Hour" and "yellow Wallpaper" Conversation of Texts

Autor:   •  February 10, 2018  •  1,114 Words (5 Pages)  •  341 Views

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of being depressed after pregnancy never crossed their mind, and as a result of their ignorance, the narrator essentially goes crazy and sees herself as free from her husband’s oppression.

While Louise Mallard was also misdiagnosed, her defeat was due to heart failure. Since she never spoke out against her marriage, as society discouraged her from doing so, she lived life being seen as in a satisfying marriage. Society viewed her as fragile, evidenced when it was said that “great care was taken to break to her as gently as possible the news of her husband’s death” (Chopin 1). When Louise discovers that her husband is still alive, the shock and disappointment which overcome her are mistaken for joy of seeing her husband alive - "the joy that kills" (Chopin 20). The reader, of course, knows better than to assume she died of happiness when it was indeed sadness, but it all goes back to Louise’s relatively submissive nature revealed in the story. The feeling of freedom was so overwhelming that when she realized it was not tangible, her heart stopped.

Both "Story of an Hour" and "Yellow Wallpaper" reflect upon a woman’s journey towards independence in a male-dominated society. Although through different circumstances, Gilman’s narrator and Mrs. Mallard discover freedom from their husbands after years of oppression, and although it is fleeting, it makes them see life in a whole new way, ultimately challenging gender norms of the late 1800s. The narrator of "Yellow Wallpaper" discovers freedom through madness, while Louise Mallard finds only an hour of freedom in her life before it tragically ends. Although both of these stories were written in the 1800s, they are still relevant today, which perhaps showcases just how far there is to go in the struggle for gender equality. Although these stories may seem to serve as cautionary tales of their times, it is still important to reflect upon the lifelong oppression these two women faced into adulthood. Is there along way to go for complete equality in the United States? Painstakingly so. But perhaps if we act upon such stories as these and learn from them, one hundred year old pieces of writing can stop being eerily reflective of current events and just be reflective of tragedies of the past. The struggle for women’s rights will continue to be long and difficult, but by learning from our mistakes rather than reliving them, it can be achieved.

Works Cited

"Rights for Women." National Women’s History Museum. 2007. Web. 08 Mar. 2016.

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. The Yellow Wallpaper. Print.

Chopin, Kate. The Story of an Hour. Print.


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