Feminist Themes in Silko's Yellow Woman and Choplin's Story of an Hour

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Comparing Feminist Themes in Silko's Yellow Woman and Choplin's Story of an Hour

Yellow Woman and the story of an hour by Kate Choplin have some feminist themes in common. Silko and Mrs. Mallard exhibited Characteristics that conflicted with their natural roles in life. They seemed to be confined by their marriage. With prospects of not being married again, they exhibited feelings of freedom and exhilaration instead of unhappiness.

When Silko was left alone in the morning, she had a chance to go home to her family but she did not go. This shows that she was not being held against her will. At the death of Mrs. Mallard's husband, she felt a deep sorrow but she also felt free. As Choplin puts it, "She said it over and over again; free, free, free!"(200). She felt that her husband's death had liberated her fro a kind of prison and she was free to assert herself and do things she wanted to do. Silko did not seem to be very disturbed at being away from home. She did not even consider her presence important for the baby. Silko conveyed this impression when she said, "My mother and grandmother will raise the baby. Al will find someone else and they will go on like before" (191). This shows that women might not always be satisfied in the roles they are playing in society. The society expects them to fit into this moulds and be a perfectly happy mother or wife as they case maybe. They act the roles out but they might be interested in some other things. The Structures of male dominance pervade every aspect of the society. Instead of asserting themselves, most women bend to there husband's will.

Contemplating her freedom after her husband's death, Mrs. Mallard said " there will be powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow creature" (200). This contributed to her sense of being free when her husband died. The same male dominance is shown in Yellow Woman when Silver told Silko "You don't understand, do you, little yellow woman? You will do what I want" (190). It was as if Silko was not a person and could not have a will of her own. Silko's sense of her own unimportance is also reflected in her assumption that she will be easily replaced by her husband.
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