Comparison and Contrast Essay
“The Yellow Wallpaper” vs. “The Story of an Hour”
“The Yellow Wallpaper”, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and “The Story of an Hour”, by Kate Chopin, are alike in that both of the women in the stories were controlled by their husbands which caused them to feel an intense desire for freedom. Both stories were also written from a feminist point of view. However, the women in the stories had different life changes and different responses to their own freedom as a result of that change. In both stories the women’s husbands had direct control over their lives. In “The Yellow Wallpaper” the narrator’s husband controlled her both mentally and physically. He does not allow her to have any sort of mental or physical stimulation. She is virtually imprisoned in her bedroom, supposedly to allow her to rest and recover her health. She is forbidden to work and not even supposed to write. She does not even have a say in the location or décor of the room she is forced to spend almost even moment in. Furthermore, visitors are absolutely not allowed. She says, “It is so discouraging not to have any advice and companionship about my work…but he says he would as soon put fireworks in my pillow-case as to let me have those stimulating people about now”(Gilman 635). Mrs. Mallard in “The Story of an Hour” had to deal with the same sort of affliction. Her husband had control over her “body and soul”. She felt that he lived her life for her and did “not believe that anyone had the right to impose a private will on a fellow creature” (Chopin 13).
This control caused both women to long for freedom from their husbands’ oppressive behavior. In “The Yellow Wallpaper” it seems that the narrator wishes to drive her husband away. She explains,...
Cited: Choplin, Kate. “The Story of an Hour.” Literature for Composition. Ed. Sylvan Barnet et
al. 5th ed. New York: Longman, 2000, 12-13.
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Literature for Composition. Ed.
Sylvan Barnet et al. 5th ed. New York: Longman, 2000, 12-13.
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