An Analysis of Kate Chopin’s The Story of an Hour and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper

1045 Words5 Pages
An Analysis of Kate Chopin’s The Story of an Hour and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper

“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin are stories of two women that suffer from ailments, one mental the other physical, who are very emotionally detached from their husbands. Emotional detachment could stem from complacency in the marriage but I believe it’s their illness that is the cause of the disengagement.

During the era in which these stories were written, marriages were an economic arrangement which had very little to do with love. In both stories, the couples seem to have an ideal marriage, which eventually turns to aloofness. This could be that ending a marriage during this time was unheard of.

The protagonist in “The Yellow Wallpaper” suffers from mental illness, which can be read as postpartum depression. In “An Story of an Hour” Louise Mallard suffers from heart problems.

The couples share a certain amount of love for each other but the disconnection was stronger. The protagonist’s disconnection is evident because her husband treats her like a little girl instead of a wife when he takes her “ …in her arms and called [her] a blessed little goose” (p121). The Mallard’s disconnection is also evident because her husband’s “face that had never looked save with love upon her, fixed and gray and dead” (p 15). This is not the emotion a wife wants to feel from her husband.

There is evidence of love between the Mallards when Louise “knew that she would weep again when she saw the kind, tender hands folded in death” (p 15). She often didn’t love him but it didn’t matter to her now that she thought he was dead. The protagonist from the other story exclaims “Dear John! He loves me very dearly… “ (p123).

She proclaims her husbands love throughout the story, I feel, in an attempt to bind the disconnection she feels with her husband.

Emotional detachment can border on emotional abuse. The dominant spouse will use this to isolate their spouse from family and friends. They will decide whom their spouses will see, where he/she can go and what type of guests he/she can receive. This rings true in “The Yellow Wallpaper.

More about An Analysis of Kate Chopin’s The Story of an Hour and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper

Open Document