Although marriage should be an equally enjoyable partnership, for both husband and wife the story of an hour reflects the nineteenth century view that marriage is an oppressive relationship where women are the victims. Even in today’s society, with women rights, ladies are still in their husbands’ shadow. Husbands are the head of the house and bread winner. Wives are the housekeeper. Today even thought a wife have rights she is still her husband’s maid. However, marriage is starting to be a partnership when it comes to household chores and children.
Slavery is an appropriate term for marriage in the nineteenth century. Who was the slave in a marriage? Women, having no rights, were expected to be obedient to their husbands. If a wife was not obedient, her husband had the right to beat her. A husband had a right to beat his wife up until 1978. Wives were oppressed by their husbands. Even if a lady was fortunate to have a husband that did not beat her and treated her well, she still felt oppressed. According to the Story of an Hour, Mrs. Mallard’s husband, Brently Mallard, was a loving and kind husband. However, Mrs. Mallard still felt as though she was in slavery. She kept repeating the word free when she received the news that her husband died. Mrs. Mallard felt oppressed because in the story she said “Free! Body and soul free!” (Chopin, The Story of an Hour). Though Mrs. Mallard felt oppressed by Mr. Mallard she still loved him. After hearing of her husband’s death, “Ms. Mallard wept at once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister arms” (Chopin, The Story of an Hour). Although the question will arise whether Mrs. Mallard really loved her husband or if she just was acting, the story states that...
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...eenth century a woman did not have a voice, Husbands are starting to realize that their wives do not have to take care of the household responsibilities and appreciate their wives. Marriage has changed since the nineteenth century however there is still a lot of changes that need to takes place.
Hoeflinger, Deborah. "A Brief History of Women in America." Power point found online. A Brief History of Women in America. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2014.
Chopin, Kate. The Story of an Hour. Logan, IA: Perfection Learning, 1894. Print.
Muntone, Stephanie. "Women’s Rights in the 19th Century." N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. WIC - Women's History in America. McGraw-Hill Professional, 4 Feb. 2012. Web. 03 Mar. 2014.
"The Role of the Wife and Mother." Kate Chopin. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Mar. 2014.
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