“The Story Of An Hour” And “The Yellow Wallpaper” Essay

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he Story of an Hour” and “The Yellow Wallpaper” were written in the end of nineteenth century when women had no equal rights with man. Women’s role in the society’s life was stereotyped as being housewives. Both authors, Kate Chopin and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, were women with feminist persuasions. Their stories shocked “conservative Victorian society” (Chopin 1) but are now considered some of the greatest. The protagonist of “The Story of an Hour” Mrs. Mallard dies of a heart attack when she saw her husband alive just an hour later hearing of his death in the railroad disaster. The main character of “The Yellow Wallpaper” Jane is a woman who was diagnosed by her husband and physician John as having “a temporary nervous depression” (Gilman 55). He rented a big colonial mansion with gorgeous garden to help to treat her sickness by doing nothing. It was forbidden for his wife to write, to spend a lot of time with her baby, to have visitors and traveled somewhere. He controlled each Jane’s step by himself or with his sister supervision. John was so sure in his prescriptions to eat well, sleep after lunch and walk between old arbors that he did not mentioned that his treatment made her depression even deeper. Jane had to spend almost all her time in hated room decorated by yellow wallpaper which trapped her by illusion images. These both stories are related by powerful influence of protagonists’ husbands on their social and private lives. The author of “The Story of an Hour” describes the fact that Mrs. Mallard always felt the pressure “bending her in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have a right to impose a private will upon a fellow-creature” (Chopin 3). The perception of freedom exalted her spirit and she kept whispering that now her soul and body were free. Charlotte Perkins Gilman in her story “The Yellow
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