How Are the Depictions of the Female Protagonists Different in “the Story of an Hour” and “the Yellow Wallpaper”? Essay

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The “Yellow Wallpaper” and “The Story of an Hour” are both centralized on the feministic view of women about their marriage in the nineteenth century. Both women in these two stories are repressed by their husband, as men have more power and rights than women do at that time. Two female protagonists seem to have the same fate in their marriage, at the end of the stories they even scarify their life to get back their freedom. However, these two characters have their own way to deal with their difficulties and have different responses to their own freedom. Both of these female protagonists are fighting for freedoms. The sense of freedom in “The Yellow Wallpaper” however is different from that in “The Story of an Hour”. The freedom in “Wallpaper” is somehow not that strong enough than the other story. Once the narrator is claimed to have postpartum depression, her husband who is a doctor tries to cure her by sending her to a haunted mansion. She does not allow writing as “he hates to have me write a word” (Gilman, 2), and has to stay away from her relatives and son. Her life is controlled by her husband. She points out that “I have a schedule prescription for each hour in the day” (Gilman, 2). She forces to live in a room, which she really hates because of the animated wallpaper. She wants to move out of this house and gets back her own life or thought. Although she has a mental depression at the end of the story, she finally recognized a power over a man, “so that I had to creep over him every time” (Gilman, 9). In contrast, Mrs. Mallard in “The Story of an Hour” retrieves her own freedom after knowing the death of her husband. She first fears about her future as she has to live alone. But, she soon becomes aware of independence and she “felt it, creeping out of the sky, reaching toward her through the sounds, the scents, the color that filled the air”. (Chopin, 2).

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