To Be a Feminist

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The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities is truly what feminism is. A major key principle that Donald Hall utilizes in his Feminist Analysis is that “Language, institutions, and social power structures have reflected patriarchal interests throughout much of history” (202) and that “This has had a profound impact on women’s ability to express themselves and the quality of their daily lives” (202) are greatly seen in the two short stories “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin, and “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and in the novel The Awakening also by Kate Chopin all written in mid-19th century. These all illustrate how women were oppressed by patriarchal power and how women rose and subverted patriarchal oppression which elucidates Hall’s theories that state women have been denied self-expression affecting their daily lives and patriarchs take power away from women. One major effect of patriarchal power that Hall discusses is how it denies women to express themselves. A feminist would argue that women have been valued as objects, valued on for the usefulness they provide for men and their beauty. This gives way to why patriarchs would frown upon women expressing themselves. The purpose of a woman was to be a mother, a good wife and, in a very blunt manner, a trophy, an accomplishment that satisfies the man. Traces of such practices could be referred to the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” when the unnamed narrator suspects that her husband, John, is coming into the room, she writes, “There comes John, and I must put this away,-he hates to have me write a word” (Gilman 769). The wife is being denied the right to express herself through writing and she does not question this rest... ... middle of paper ... ... convey the ways and outcomes of patriarchal oppression. In the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” the result was insanity, in the novel The Awakening death was the result and in “The Story of an Hour” the result was also death. These are not the only results of a sudden realization that men should not have all the power. Women have resisted patriarchal power and earned their power against oppression throughout the years that followed the 19th century. Works Cited Chopin, Kate. The Awakening. Glencoe McGraw-Hill. New York, New York. !899 6 & 34 Hall, Donald Literacy An Cultural Theory. Houghton Miffin Co. Chopin, Kate. “The Story of an Hour(1894)”. Adapted from The Awakening . Glencoe McGraw- Hill. New York New York 1899. Gliman Perkins, Charlotte “The Yellow Wallpaper.” The Language of Literarture. American Literature. Evaston McDougal, Littell 2002

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