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Escape: A Comparison Of "The Yellow Wallpaper" By Charlotte Perkins Gilman And "The Story Of An Hour" By Kate Chopin

1123 words - 5 pages

"Women are trying to escape the imprisonment of society and marriage!""Women should not have to conform to society!"These were new thoughts at the time that The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and The Story of an hour by Kate Chopin were written. The Yellow Wallpaper and The Story of An Hour have many similarities and differences. Both of these stories use creative ways to depict women who are trying to escape the imprisonment of society and marriage at the time. These ideas are reflected in areas such as the style of writing. Both stories have similar themes woven into them. They both depict objects the main characters try to escape. Both stories were written with a unique ...view middle of the document...

While having contrasting writing styles, both stories share similar themes.Both The Yellow Wallpaper and The Story of An Hour have many different ideas they try to attack. In The Yellow Wallpaper, the roles of women in society are seriously analyzed. At the time when it was written, women were supposed to conform to expectations. It was the only sane thing to do. Someone would have to totally disregard their expected characteristics to escape."'I've got out at last,' said I, 'in spite of you and Jane. And I've pulled off most of the paper, so you can't put me back!'"(The Yellow Wallpaper, 10)Here, the narrator (assumed to be Jane) has to ignore herself completely in order to escape. In this example, the persona she is ignoring is not her thoughts on the inside, but rather the expected "wife" that society has said she needs to be. Both stories seem to have at least one theme in common.The Yellow Wallpaper and The Story of An Hour both attack the stereotypes given to wives in marriage. At the time, women were expected to submit to the husbands in every way. Charlotte Gilman and Kate Chopin did not believe so. In both stories, women become free after they finally dissolve the bonds of marriage in their lives. Once their relations to their husbands have been disbanded, they are liberated from the life they were bound to."'Free! Body and soul free!' she kept whispering.""...No; she was drinking the very elixir of life through that open window"(The Story of An Hour, 2)Now that her husband died (or at least he was thought to be dead) she could live an unrestricted life. Throughout both stories, the wives are trying to escape many things.Both stories express thoughts of women breaking off of existing stereotypes. At the time, it was improper to follow one's imagination. Society viewed wives almost as thoughtless servants towards their husbands. In both stories, a husband is shown restricting his wife; however, the wives are breaking free from these restrictions. Both stories suggest that there...

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