Theme Of The Chrysanthemums And The Yellow Wallpaper

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“The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin, “The Chrysanthemums “by John Steinbeck and “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Gilman shows each woman trying to escape their feelings of being confined or trapped because of the gender roles of being a perfect wife and mother that are afflicted upon them by those around them.
Each John, the narrator's husband in “The Yellow Wallpaper”, Brently Mallard, Mrs. Mallard’s husband in “The Story of an Hour” and Henry Allen, Elisa Allen’s husband in “The Chrysanthemums” unknowingly lead their wives to a state of mental confinement through their actions taken that are meant to help them. John tells his wife to rest and not to think of her condition for the sake of him and the children which drove her mad because
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“Said he, ‘I beg of you, for my sake and for our child’s sake,as well as for your own, that you will never for one instant let that idea enter your mind!’”(Gilman, 774) shows John begging her to withhold all feelings to save herself, him, and their child from any further pain. This suppression of feeling caused the mental confinement that the narrator felt. He hadn’t known in asking her to do so, it would cause such a reaction. While, Brently Mallard’s consistent pressure of being a perfect wife on Mrs. Mallard caused her conflicting ideas on his death as her being set free. “And yet she had loved him-sometimes. Often she had not.” (Chopin, 785) shows Mrs. Mallard's rethinking of her feelings towards her husband. The release of pressure caused by her husband death caused her to rethink and find her true feelings towards him. Mr. Mallard had unknowingly applied this pressure upon his wife because it was simply what he had always thought a woman should be which is learned from society. Meanwhile, Henry Allen consistently ridicules and rejects Elisa’s ideas of breaking free of the set standards of what a woman should be not knowing the effects it had on her. “Oh, sure, some. What’s the matter, Elisa? Do you want to…show more content…
The narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper” used her hatred but yet love towards the wallpaper in the room she was staying in to symbolize the domestic life that many women including herself are trapped in. “ Then I peeled off all the paper I could reach standing on the floor.” (Gilman, 778) shows the narrator’s escape from her mental confinement. Mrs. Mallard in “The Story of an Hour” felt that her husband's death was her source of freedom. “She could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring of life.” (Chopin, 784) shows how the world opened up before her eyes signifying she has gained her own definition of freedom which was being free of her husband. Elisa Allen in “The Chrysanthemums” never reached her own mental freedom due to the losing of her hope of something more and continued to live her simple farmer’s wife life. “She turned up her coat collar so he could not see that she was crying weakly--like an old woman.” (Steinbeck, 11) shows her giving up by weeping like a woman showing she is weak and still lives in the set standards of a
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