The Treatment of Marriage in Two Literary Works Essay

The Treatment of Marriage in Two Literary Works Essay

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The short stories “Souls Belated” and “The Yellow Wallpaper” have in common ‘Marriage’ as main theme. However, the marriage is treated quite differently in both short stories. In "Souls Belated", Lydia chooses to take control of her destiny, to deviate from conventions and to choose what is good for her. She is the strongest character of the couple. Whereas, in "The Yellow Wallpaper", the name of the main character who is also the narrator of the story is not known. She is identified as being John’s wife. This woman, contrary to Lydia in "Souls Belated" is completely locked up in her marriage. This essay will first describe and compare the characters of Lydia and John's wife in the context of marriage, and then it will look at how marriage is described, treated and experienced by couples in these two short stories.
Firstly, this part will focus on the characters of Lydia in "Souls Belated" and John's wife in "The Yellow Wallpaper" into the context of marriage and their perceptions of material duties. To find out what their roles in the relationship are, it is important to understand the characters of Lydia and John's wife, how they describe their marriages and their behaviour, in order to see how their choices affect in a positive or negative outcomes in their marriages.
In “Souls Belated”, at the end of the story, the omniscient narrator confides Gannett's thoughts on Lydia, and these thoughts help describe the character of Lydia in the way Gannett sees her.
“He had never thought of her as a woman who wept and clung: there was a lucidity in her intuitions that made them appear to be the result of reasoning.” (Wharton, 411).

Lydia is here the portrait of an independent, clever and rational woman. She seems to be a stronger...

... middle of paper ...

• Hughes Gertrude Reif. (Spring 1986). Subverting the Cult of Domesticity: Emily Dickinson’s Critique of Woman’s Work. Legacy. Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 17-2
• Professor Catherine Lavender for History 386 (Women's Pasts--Women in New York City, 1890-1940), The Department of History of The College of Staten Island of The City University of New York, Fall Semester 1998.
• Trumbull, John. Declaration of Independence, 4 July, 1776
• Welter, Barabara. (Summer, 1966). The Cult of True Womanhood: 1820-1860. American Quarterly. Vol. 18, No. 2, Part 1, pp. 151-174
• Wolff, C. Griffin. (1990). Four stories by American women. New York, N.Y.: Penguin Books.
o Introduction, p. xiii-xxvi
• Gilman, C. Perkins., Shulman, R. (1998). The yellow wall-paper and other stories. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
o Appendix B ‘Why I wrote “The Yellow Wallpaper”?’ p. 331

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