The Chrysanthemums vs the Story of an Hour

Topics: John Steinbeck, Women Pages: 3 (928 words) Published: February 25, 2013
Elisa Allen in Steinbeck's "The Chrysanthemums" and Louise Mallard in Chopin's "The Story of an Hour" have a great deal in common because of the fact that they both went through similar struggles. Both Elisa and Louise prove to be strong women that clearly had dreams of their own such as being equal to men and having a passionate relationship with a man. Although that may be true, they lacked resemblance in the true desire they each yearned for.

Firstly, Elisa and Mrs. Mallard related in the fact that they both faced the sad reality that women in their time periods were unbearably unequal to men. For example, in "The Chrysanthemums," it was clear that women had no say in the business aspects of things such as running a ranch. This is evident when Steinbeck writes that "Elisa looked down across the yard and saw Henry talking to two men in business suits… Elisa watched them for a moment and then went back to her work" (229). It's obvious that Elisa's opinion on the business aspects of the ranch are completely disregarded. If her opinions did matter then she would be with her husband and the business men making decisions as a team. In addition, women could not be free to do things such as travel along the countryside. This becomes noticeable when Elisa tells the Tinker from "The Chrysanthemums" that living a travelers life must be nice and the tinker responds by saying "It ain't the right kind of a life for woman" (234). The way the Tinker responded clearly shows that the idea that society has about women in their time period is more of a housewife kind of idea. They don't see women as travelers or adventurers. Lastly, women could not live for themselves like Mrs. Mallard wished in Chopin's "The Story of an Hour." This is especially evident shortly after finding out her husband had passed away. Mrs. Mallard starts whispering to herself "Free, free, free!" (169). Clearly women in her time period were not allowed to do anything they wanted. They had to stay at...
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