Comparison of the Story of an Hour and a Sorrowful Woman

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The Portrayal of the Plight of Women by the Author, In Their Particular Period of Time Kate Chopin's “The Story of an Hour” and Gail Godwin’s “A Sorrowful Woman” are similar pieces of literary work. Both stories offer a revealing glimpse of extremely unhappy marriages due to being forced into stereotypical roles. Both stories portray women, who are trapped in their marriages and trapped in their socially expected matriarchal characters. They are identified by their role as a wife and mother. In "A Sorrowful Woman" the wife is depressed with her life, so much so, "The sight of them made her so sad and sick she did not want to see them ever again"(p.1). This wife and mother has come to detest her life, the sight of her family, and withdraws into a deep depression. The “wife” is unhappy in her life because she wants more than to be just a wife and mother. She wants a life outside the home but doesn’t know how to get it, so she blames her existing life and family. This unhappiness goes against society’s view that a woman should be satisfied being a wife and mother. Proof of the stereotypical relationship is the husband character. It’s not that he is written as dislikeable, but rather likable, strong, and completely in control, “He managed everything"(p.3). He never gets mad; he makes no demands of her to improve. He enables her “sickness” by preparing her “medication,” hiring help, and keeping her child away. He, however, never takes on an active role to help her. He doesn’t communicate with her. He doesn’t get her physiological help. He makes no attempt to prove her value to him, the child, or the house. Clearly he believes he’s in control. Her depression turns into anger with her life. She blames her family and acts out, "After supper several nights later, she hit the child. She had known she was going to do it when the father would see"(p. 2). In the end, she knows her life isn’t enough, but it isn’t the family’s fault. She goes to the kitchen and...
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