Comparison of the Yellow Wallpaper, Story of an Hour, and Gaslight

Topics: Feminism, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper Pages: 3 (975 words) Published: October 14, 2012
While women have achieved equality along with political and social independence in many ways over the past century, contemporary feminist movements continue to blossom as gender expectations and stereotypes remain deeply embedded in our culture. Today and in the past, feminist notions about the social norms that limit women's possibilities have yearned for expression and have found this through various artistic outlets. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Story of An Hour by Kate Chopin, and the 1944 Film Gaslight are three artistic works that relay feminist themes in a unique way. These three works differ in certain aspects, but all ultimately embody the same underlying theme of the oppression and liberation. While reflecting many similarities, these three works diverge in a few core areas, particularly in the artistic avenues and literary techniques these feminist notions are forwarded through. Gaslight stands alone as a film, whereas The Yellow Wallpaper and The Story of An Hour share their status as short stories, though differing in the literary methods employed. The Yellow Wallpaper embodies characteristics of the gothic horror genre of literature, realism, and also acts as a social and political allegory about the status and roles of women. The Story of An Hour was also crafted in a realist fashion, as these stories both portray the atmosphere of the time as it actually was, and not as it should be or had been in times past. These stories share realist trends, but the basic plot outline, setting, and point of view differ wildly. Despite the differences in the construction of these works, they all hinge on the same fundamental feminist ideas. The theme of oppression is central to all three of these works, although they differ in the approaches that are used to convey it. An important part of the story line shared by both Gaslight and The Yellow Wallpaper is absent in The Story of An Hour. These works spend a large portion...
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