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In Gilman’s story The Yellow Wallpaper, and in Chopin’s story The Story of an Hour are two feminist stories, which freedom is the main theme. In the nineteenth century, women were supposed to take care of their children and obey their husbands. “Women of the mid-19th century had no such choices. Most lived in a state little better than slavery. They had to obey men, because in most cases men held all the resources and women had no independent means of subsistence” (Wojtczak). The Yellow Wallpaper, takes a devastating look at the oppressive relationships between middle class husband and wife, doctor and patient. The Story of an Hour describes a moment of awareness when Mrs. Mallard realizes how she really feels about her life and situation. The news of her husband’s death shocks her into an awareness that seems to overtake her against her will. Mrs. Mallard and the narrator both express they want to be free, but unfortunately they achieve freedom through insanity and death. Freedom is accomplished in an unusual way in The Yellow Wallpaper and The Story of an hour; the freedom these women attained is not readily obtainable to most women in the 19th century.
In The Story of an Hour, Mrs. Mallard received terrible news that her husband has died in a railroad disaster. Mrs. Mallard grieves drastically upon hearing the news of her husbands assumed death. During the grieving process Mrs. Mallard reflects upon the impact of her husband’s death would have on her, she comes to realization that she would now have more freedom, which she did not have in her life with her husband. “There would be no one to live for her during those coming years; she would live for herself” (Davis, et al.932). Mrs. Mallard soon realizes that she is truly free...

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...ered from postpartum depression, but in the 19th century it was unknown disease. Both husbands in each story resembled each other because they controlled their lives. In The Yellow Wallpaper, the narrator’s husband had control over her physically and mentally. In The Story of an Hour, Mr. Mallard had power over her body and soul. In the end Mrs. Mallard and the narrator both gained control of their own lives without the control of their husbands. Mrs. Mallard and the narrator both express they want to be free, but unfortunately they achieve freedom through insanity and death.

Works Cited

Davis, Paul, et al. The Bedford Anthology of World Literature The Nineteenth Century, 1650-1800. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2004. Print
Wojtczak, Helena. Women’s Status in MID 19th-Century England. Web. 29 April 2014. http://www.hastingspress.co.uk/history/19/overview.htm
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