Desire for Freedom in The Story of an Hour and The Yellow Wallpaper

Desire for Freedom in The Story of an Hour and The Yellow Wallpaper

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In the short stories "The Story of an Hour" and The Yellow Wallpaper the imagery, symbolism, and the changing and tone throughout these stories explain that women deal with, and the conflict of their personal freedom and identity in a marriage. The women in these stories are viewed as strong and do whatever it takes to free themselves from their husbands.
In “Story of an Hour” the irony is detected in the way that Louise reacts to the news of the death of her husband. The widow describes the world according to her perception, after the horrible news. She accepted it and goes to her room to be alone (Pike & Acosta (2014). Now in her room, Louise sinks into her chair and looks out the window. The widowed Louise is looking out of the window and sees spring and all the new life it brings. The descriptions used now are as far away from death. "The delicious breath of rain, the notes of a distant song, sparrows were singing, and patches of blue sky."(Pike & Acosta (2014). The opened window in the story symbolizes Louise’s freedom and opportunities that were waiting for her and she did not have to answer to no one. Louise’s excitement of this is shown by the explanation of her physical reaction- raised pulse, relaxation of muscles, and the look in her eyes. At one point she was referred to as Mrs. Mallard, and now she is her own person, with an independent identity. Louise’s heart trouble which afflicts her is a symbolic malady that showed her dissatisfaction in her marriage and her unhappiness due to lack of freedom. The widow whispers "Free, free, free!" She realized that although at times she had loved her husband, she has her freedom, a state of being that all creatures strive for. She grows excited and begins to fantasize about li...


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...rts to feel she is a prisoner inside this paper. The wife, narrator, proves that her husband John is oppressive when she shows how afraid she is of him. She says, “There comes John, and I must put this away-he hates to have me write a word” (Pike & Acosta (2014). The wife at the end “I’ve got out at last,” Said I, “in spite of you and Jane. And I’ve pulled off most of the paper, so you can’t put me back!” (Pike & Acosta (2014).
In Chopin’s The Story of an Hour” it is made aware that the main character Louise was being down by her husband as well, even though it was never stated outright in the story. Unjust treatment plays a large part in the comprehending the theme of liberation in the stories “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “The Story of an Hour.”





Works Cited

Pike, David L., & Acosta, Ana M. (2014). Literature: A World of Writing (2nd ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson.

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