Compare and Contrast

Good Essays
Lauren Ehlers
Dr. St. John
English 102
March 25, 2011
Marriage; a road to imprisonment
Kate Chopin’s “Story of an Hour,” and Charlotte Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” present similar plots about two wives who have grown to feel imprisoned in their own marriages. “The Yellow Wallpaper,” focuses on a woman who feels so entrapped in her own marriage that she begins to feel this type of isolation and imprisonment all around her. She begins to feel as though the room, in which she is being forced to stay in is a prison in itself. “Story of an Hour,” has a similar plot of a woman in an unhappy marriage. This woman however, momentarily escapes her unhappiness when she comes to find out that her husband was thought to have been killed in an accident. The woman’s sudden freedom stemming from life without a husband to hold her back is short lived though, since she finds out at the very end that it is all a mistake. In the stories “The Yellow Wallpaper,” and “Story Of An Hour,” Gilman and Chopin use the same theme in discussing the lack of freedom that was given to women during this time period while using different forms of symbolism and different characterization methods such as types of conflicts, to introduce and describe the burdens the women had to face in each individual story. Theme is a very important part of fictional writing, and these two stories share a similar theme of women trapped in unhappy marriages. Both stories are about two women with successful husbands who feel suffocated by their lack of ability to live their own lives or make their own decisions. Chopin follows this theme through the main character that, in light of her husband’s death appears more cheerful at the fact that she can live her life free of the restraints her husband had put on her. “There would be no one to live for during these coming years,” she states as she reflects on the fact that she has just been informed of her husband’s death ( Kirszner and Mandell). Gilman



Cited: Kirszner, Laurie G., and Stephen R. Mandell. Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing. Fort Worth [u.a.: Wadsworth, 2010. Print. Page 198 Kirszner, Laurie G., and Stephen R Kirszner, Laurie G., and Stephen R. Mandell. Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing. Fort Worth [u.a.: Wadsworth, 2010. Print. Page 198 Kirszner, Laurie G., and Stephen R

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