The Impact of Family Relationships in “the Story of an Hour” & “the Yellow Wallpaper”

Topics: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Marriage, Short story Pages: 3 (1159 words) Published: November 27, 2011
Family relationships, especially involving spouses can create difficulties and challenges for one or the other, in-turn could create an impact in their relationship. Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” are short stories centralized on the view of two married women, the challenges they endure in their relationships and coping with their spouse. Women wanting to have freedom, having to deal with an illness and their position in the household can create such challenges for spouses. Freedom to women means to be treated as an equal to their spouse, to avoid being controlled with every aspect of their lives. In Kate Chopin’s “The Story of and Hour and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper, both have a setting in the same era of men being dominant over their spouse. In “The Story of an Hour”, the protagonist Mrs. Mallard kept whispering to herself upon hearing the passing of her husband; “…she said it over and over under her breath: Free, free, free!” (Chopin 2) and “Free! Body and soul free!” (Chopin 3). In my point of view those feelings that Mrs. Mallard felt at that moment was finally being let go from her husband’s grasp and the shackles of marriage which was an imprisonment to her. In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the narrator of the story was remained nameless is confined in a room with eccentric wallpaper, which I think seems to symbolize the complexity and confusion in her life. The narrator’s freedom in this case would be writing, which did not sit well with her husband based on this quote; “There comes John, and I must put this away – he hates to have me write a word” (Gilman 57). For those moments the narrator writes in her journal she feels to have freedom and to express herself from reality, but in secret. The way the narrator describes her room as; “it is a big, airy room, the whole floor nearly, with windows that look all ways, and air and sunshine galore…I should judge, for the windows, are...
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