Women's Role in Marriage

Topics: Marriage, Wife, Husband Pages: 4 (1341 words) Published: April 10, 2014


The roles of women have changed drastically throughout the years. Historically the expected role of the woman in the family was to a take care of the needs within the home, which included providing care for the children, doing chores, and making goods. During these times women were required to be subservient to their husbands and had little say in the matters outside of the home or outside her “place.” During the 1800s women were essentially the possession of their spouse, they were not allowed to keeps their earnings, inheritance, nor their freedom. Once married, often very young, the woman became one with her husband and followed his rules within and outside of the home. Similar to the present, there were levels of class, however, regardless of stature the bounding laws placed on a married woman remained intact. The author Kate Chopin demonstrated in her short story “The Story of An Hour” the emotional torment of these women during this time. Kate expressed the desire of freedom and independence that these women longed for and did not receive until many protests and years later. “The Story of an Hour” is a representation of the women in the 1800s who lacked liberation and rights as opposed to the freedom and progressiveness they possess presently. The struggle for equality, though not as challenging, has remained over the years. However, women are no longer in the shadow of their spouse. Women of the present generation are able to possess a life of their own and even progress to a higher stature than their male counterpart. In the nineteenth century, marriage was an economic and social requirement instead a partnership for romance and true love. A woman in the nineteenth century was expected socially to be married or face humiliation. A woman during this time had little to no power in her marriage and had the duties of a home maker with no benefits. As it pertained to legal matters they had no existence whatsoever. A woman could not sue, vote, nor give...

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Kirszner, Laurie G., and Stephen R. Mandell. "The Story of an Hour." Portable Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing. 8th ed. Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2011. 115-16. Print.
"Rights for Women." Rights for Women. National Women 's History Museum, 2007. Web. 9 Mar. 2014. http://www.nwhm.org/online-exhibits/rightsforwomen/SenecaFalls.html
Smith, Kelly. "Lives of Women in the Early 1800s." Historical Brief-Lives of Women in the Early 1800s (2002): 1. Lives of Women in the Early 1800s. University of Washington, 2002. Web. 9 Mar. 2014. .
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