What does marriage mean to you? In “The story of an hour,” written by Kate Chopin and “The yellow wallpaper,” written by Charlotte Gilman shares some of the same thoughts on what a marriage should be. Both of these stories have some similarities and differences. The stories are similar in that each contains a controlling husband and the wives are facing a form of illness, as well as feelings of low self-worth. Both of the women feel imprisoned in their world but the difference is how they gain their freedom.
A similar theme in both of these stories is the leading role of the husband in these marriages. The wife in both instances is largely a secondary actor whose arc and circumstance is decided by that of her husband. The husband
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A kind intention or a cruel intention made the act seem no less a crime as she looked upon it in that brief moment of illumination” (14). Another similarity in each authors’ story is the portrayal of both women as fragile. One of the factors that lead to this theme is their apparent sickness. Though addressed differently, each ones condition played a major role in their story. Mrs. Mallard’s illness was addressed quickly in the story, and seemed to be generally accepted. Chopin states; “Knowing that Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with a heart trouble” (13), seems to be stated as fact. In Gilman’s story the wife’s affliction seems to be taken seriously only by her. “You see, he does not believe I am sick! And what can one do?” (221). Each woman’s reality is largely defined by the actions of her husband. Another factor is their seeming lack of a sense of self. They were both treated like they were not only child like, but simple. They had to be coddled. In Chopin’s story it was said that, “Great care was taken to break to her as gently as possible her husband’s death”. Though seemingly benevolent on its face this approach shows a hesitancy to confront and deal with the new truth. There seemed to be a prevailing belief that she could not handle this information. The same holds true for the wife in