Oppression of Women in Chopin's Story of an Hour and Gilman's Yellow Wallpaper

Oppression of Women in Chopin's Story of an Hour and Gilman's Yellow Wallpaper

Length: 1254 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Oppression of Women in Chopin's Story of an Hour and Gilman's Yellow Wallpaper

 
"The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin and "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman share the same view of the subordinate position of women in the late 1800's. Both stories demonstrate the devastating effects on the mind and body that result from an intelligent person living with and accepting the imposed will of another. This essay will attempt to make their themes apparent by examining a brief summery of their stories and relating them to their personal histories. It will reveal this theme further through analysis of setting, visual and conceptual symbolism, and by exploring the relationships between the characters in each story.

In the "Story of an Hour", we are told that Louise has a bad heart condition. A friend of the family has discovered that there was a bad accident at her husband?s job and he is on the deceased list. Louise?s sister carefully tells her this distressing news; however, instead of falling apart, Louise finds herself feeling as if she has a new lease on life because she will finally be able to live for herself. Suddenly, her husband walks in the door, and shocked, Louise drops dead of a heart attack. The physician says it was from "a joy that kills" (341-342).

In "The Yellow Wallpaper", the main character is attempting to heal from a nervous disorder. Her physician prescribes the "rest cure" which allows her to do nothing: no housekeeping, no writing, and no visiting with family or friends. She cannot even play with her baby. Her husband insists that she stay in a room upstairs and she eventually goes insane.

Both Chopin and Gilman borrow from real events in their lives when writing these stories. Kat...


... middle of paper ...


...V. Roberts and Henry E. Jacobs. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc. Simon Schuster/ A Viacom Company, 1998. 542-553.

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. "Why I Wrote ?The Yellow Wallpaper?" Ed. Catherine Lavender; The College of Staten Island of the City University of New York, Fall Semester, Oct. 1997. (25 Jan 1999)   http://www.library.csi.cuny.edu/dept/history/lavender/whyyw.html

McChristie, Pat. "Women Need to Work" Copyright: 1998. Cyberwoman (30 Jan 1999) http://www.cyberparent.com/women/needwork.htm

Wyatt, Neal "Biography of Kate Chopin" English 384: Women Writers. Ed. Ann M. Woodlief Copyright: 1998, Virginia Commonwealth University. (26 Jan. 1999) http://www.vcu.edu/engweb/eng384/katebio.htm

"Why are Women Leaving Marriage in Droves?" Marriage. Copyright: 1998. Cyberwoman (30 Jan 1999) http://www.cyberparent.com/women/marriage1.htm

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Oppression of Women in Chopin's Story of an Hour and Gilman's Yellow Wallpaper

- Oppression of Women in Chopin's Story of an Hour and Gilman's Yellow Wallpaper   "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin and "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman share the same view of the subordinate position of women in the late 1800's. Both stories demonstrate the devastating effects on the mind and body that result from an intelligent person living with and accepting the imposed will of another. This essay will attempt to make their themes apparent by examining a brief summery of their stories and relating them to their personal histories....   [tags: Story Hour Yellow Wallpaper Essays Papers]

Better Essays
1254 words (3.6 pages)

Freedom for Women in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gillman and The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

- Freedom for Women in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gillman and The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin 'The Yellow Wallpaper' by Charlotte Perkins Gillman and 'The Story of an Hour' by Kate Chopin are two feminist works in which liberation is the overlying theme. Both of the main characters achieve freedom from their husbands' oppression in these short stories; however, freedom is only achieved through insanity in 'The Yellow Wallpaper' and death in 'The Story of an Hour.' The women in these stories are viewed as very powerful, as they do whatever it takes to free themselves from the oppressive holds of their husbands....   [tags: Yellow Wallpaper Gillman Hour Chopin Essays]

Better Essays
1218 words (3.5 pages)

The Yellow Wallpaper And The Story Of An Hour Literary Analysis

- The Yellow Wallpaper & The Story of an Hour Literary Analysis In both The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin, the authors develop detailed yet ambiguous stories riddled with common themes, clever symbols, fitting settings and dramatic conflict, creating classics we can not only glean from, but also enjoy as an entertaining read. When analyzed, the two short stories seem to mirror each other’s purpose through a mutual theme communicated in each story....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]

Better Essays
1106 words (3.2 pages)

Symbolism Of An Hour And The Yellow Wallpaper

- Historically, the term feminism and its revolutionary nature are attributed to a majority of the twentieth century.1 While the epicenter of feminism for women, indeed, had its place during that time, certain female writers from the nineteenth century shed the roots of the movements through the pages of their fiction tales. By opposing to the expectations of womanhood and implicitly rebelling against the phallocentrism of literature in the portrayal of females, Kate Chopin and Charlotte Perkins Gilman utilize symbolism to criticize the injustices of their time....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Feminism, Emotion, Woman]

Better Essays
1137 words (3.2 pages)

The Story Of An Hour And The Yellow Wallpaper, And Trifles

- Over the years, the roles of women have drastically changed. They have been trapped, dominated, and enslaved by their marriage. Women have slowly evolved into individuals that have rights and can stand on their own. They myth that women are only meant to be housewives has been changed. However, this change did not happen overnight, it took years to happen. The patriarchal society ruled in every household in earlier times and I believe had a major effect on the wives of the families. “The Story of an Hour”, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, and Trifles all show how women felt obligated to stay with their husbands despite the fact they were unhappy with them To explore, we will compare how the effect on...   [tags: Feminism, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Family, Woman]

Better Essays
1334 words (3.8 pages)

Kate Chopin 's The Yellow Wallpaper

- During the 1890’s married women had little to no freedom or rights, the men controlled the life of the women, therefore marriage was often viewed as imprisonment and a burden. The chains of marriage would change women’s perception of reality, causing women to often question their importance in this male driven world. Kate Chopin’s Story of an Hour and Charlotte Perkins­Stenson’s The Yellow Wallpaper captures the views of these oppressed women very efficiently by using devices such as symbolism, imagery and irony, both tales center around one woman and her fall from reality and life due to the shackles of marriage....   [tags: Woman, Marriage, Wife, Husband]

Better Essays
1023 words (2.9 pages)

The Yellow Wallpaper and Charlotte Perkins Gilman and The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

- The two novels “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “The Story of an Hour” contain many similarities between the two women characters. Both plots can be seen to have a wife whose husband’s affects to their medical situation turn them for the worst rather than better. Indications of mental disorder are very apparent throughout each story, starting innocent and building to the demise of the wife. In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, we begin with a woman admiring her house that her husband has taken care of for their summer home....   [tags: plots, mental disorders]

Better Essays
955 words (2.7 pages)

Women in The Awakening and the short stories “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin and “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins

- A feminist is a person who believes in the social, political and economic equality in the sexes however, in the 1890’s feminists did not exist as a result of patriarchal oppression. This time, women were expected to be devoted to their husband and children while continuing their mundane roles as housewives. Although, women during the 19th century began to feel suffocated living within the strict social roles, they had to follow the norm, although some wanted liberty. Feminist ideas can be exposed in literature and feminist literary theory, focuses on the complex ways of women with no social power and expected roles in a “man’s world.” According to Donald Hall, one of his key principles about...   [tags: Repression, Feminism, Patriarcal Society]

Better Essays
1239 words (3.5 pages)

Essay The Story Of An Hour By Charlotte Perkins Gilman And Kate Chopin

- Throughout history, women have had to continuously fight for their rights and equality in society. Women have fought to separate themselves from their controlling husbands, fought to become independently accepted and have fought to create their own destiny. Within their short stories, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Kate Chopin address this search for freedom and independence. Chopin’s publication of “The Story of an Hour” in 1894 was not far behind Gilman’s publication of “The Yellow Wallpaper” in 1892....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Fiction]

Better Essays
1275 words (3.6 pages)

Women Oppression: Revolution through Revelation Essay

- ... Shortly after leaving the symbolic window of freedom, Louise is stripped of her independence just as swiftly as it was bestowed upon her. This twist of fate is no mere happenstance either. The view that Louise had through the open window might be compared to the Garden of Eden, along with the forbidden fruit. Chopin’s descriptions of the happy and light hearted scenes that await her seem to overwhelm her and send her into the imagination of self-indulgence. These kinds of feelings of a woman were readily frowned upon during this time period, possibly even punishable feelings....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper]

Better Essays
2017 words (5.8 pages)