The Story of an Hour" and "A Sorrowful Woman

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Trapped in an Unwanted Life
Occasionally people will run across a couple who do not seem to have that marriage everyone desires to possess. In many cases these relationships are unhealthy because they feel imprisoned in a marriage they simply do not want. In both Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” and Gail Godwin’s “A Sorrowful Woman,” this is what seems to be the reality for these two couples.

At the time these stories are set in, both women are expected by society to have a healthy, loving relationship with their husband and family. They were meant to take care of the household and that is just the way it was – no questions about it. There was no escaping the reality they were in. I believe, because of how society viewed a marriage at the time, they had to suffer through the circumstances they were in to please society. I think both women loved their family and husbands especially, but when it comes down to it, they clearly did not want to be married. Both women sought out freedom from their husbands and children, but only Mrs. Mallard in “The Story of an Hour” gained that freedom (even though she technically did not have it.) In “The Story of an Hour,” Chopin described Mrs. Mallard’s desire for freedom in symbolism. She wrote, “There were patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds that had met piled one above the other in the west facing her window.” The clouds are the interference from freedom and the blue sky is the freedom. Mrs. Mallard wanted the patches of blue sky so badly! She spent much of her time agonizing over the marriage she was trapped in. The mother in “A Sorrowful Woman” did the exact same thing by isolating herself from her husband and child in hopes of a glimpse at freedom. The woman was so depressed about her life and the fact that she had a family that “the sight of them made her so sad and sick she did not want to see them ever again.” Due to her physical abandonment of them, the husband was forced to take over...
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