Many authors explore gender roles in their writings. Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour" uses gender in describing a woman that feels socially oppressed in her marriage. Marge Piercy's "Barbie Doll" explores gender roles by describing a woman as she goes through life and her infatuation with becoming the perfect image of society. Each of these authors uses women and how these women deal with their situation. Kate Chopin uses nature and Mrs. Mallard inner feelings, while Marge Piercy uses societies assumptions and their effect.
Kate Chopin's "The Story Of an Hour" is a perfect example of social oppression that takes place in many marriages. "The Story of an Hour" shows that marriages no matter how much love can be an institution that oppresses, represses, and is a source of discontent among human beings. Mrs. Mallard has just found out that her husband has been killed in a train accident and she also is tragically stricken with heart disease. Mrs. Mallard loved her husband. She wept at once after finding out that he had been killed and "went away to her room alone. She would have no one follow her" (Chopin 27). She goes into the room and makes her way to the window. "There stood, facing the open window, a comfortable roomy armchair. Into this she sank, pressed down by physical exhaustion that haunted her body and seemed to reach her soul" (Chopin 27). She felt depression coming upon her so she looked into the sky for answers.
Marriage was not kind to Mrs. Mallard, her life was dull and not worth living, her face showed the years of repression. If she did love this man, why was marriage so harmful to her? Marriage was a prison that she had come to realize and she knew that her social oppression had finally come to a close. Marriage oppressed her, she needed freedom, freedom to grow and experience new and exciting things. "Free! Body and soul free! She kept whispering" (Chopin 28). By this she meant she could finally see the world as it as...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document