Trifles and the story of an Hour are both stories with a feminist view. The theme in “Trifles” and “The Story of an Hour” has one prominent similarity concerning marriage that shapes the flow of story: from a feminist approach, we see that the women of both stories lose their individual identity as a result of male domination in the bond.
In “The Story of an Hour”, Mrs. Mallard rejoices her chance to regain her long-lost individuality again after hearing of her husband's death: “They would be no one to live for her during those coming years; she would live for herself. There would be no powerful will bending her in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow creature (Chopin, 11).” She finds these thoughts monstrous at first, but she rationalizes them because of the suffering she endured in her marriage without identity.
This loss of identity can be seen in “Trifles” as well, in the marriages of Wright, Hale, and Peters. Mrs. Hale tells Mrs. Peters that, "I heard [Mrs. Wright] used to wear pretty clothes and be lively, when she was Minnie Foster, one of the town girls singing in the choir. But that -- oh, that was thirty years ago" (Glaspell, 947). The county attorney later remarks that because Mrs. Peters is the sheriff's wife, she is "married to the law" (Glaspell, 592). Mrs. Hale afterwards hides evidence from the crime scene, showing the beginning of her rebellion from her husband's domination and the evolution of her individuality.
We can see in both stories that there is a clear link in the themes concerning the female loss of identity in marriage. Mrs. Mallard realizes this but does not have time to act upon it before she dies. Hers is a story of suppressed desire for freedom that emerges too late in her life. Mrs. Hale succeeds in doing so by defying her marriage's assumed lawfulness. As she sides with the murder suspect, she is siding with an...
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