Comparing the Yellow Wallpaper & Story of an Hour

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“Ball and Unchained”

How much would you sacrifice to have the ability to make your own decisions? What would you do to be truly free; from debt, poverty, sadness, addiction, or from anything that causes you misery, pain or unhappiness? Would you risk insanity or even your life? Both “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin are two short stories that can today be categorized as feminist works of fiction. The main characters are females who are struggling for freedom from their husbands. Although the characters situations differ and the women react differently once they are aware of their suppression, the authors use similar motifs, imagery and themes. Both Gilman and Chopin use irony
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This is considered a normal reaction to hearing that a loved one has passed away. But after Louise confines herself in her room, she has a different reaction to the loss of her husband. Instead of being saddened and depressed, she becomes relieved and joyful as she realizes she is now free. She exclaims, “Free! Body and soul free!” (317) as she become conscious of the fact that she can now live life on her own terms. The last sentence of the story is ironic: “When the doctors came they said she had died of heart disease – of joy that kills” (318). This implies that Mrs. Mallard was so happily startled and excited to see that her husband was actually alive, that she ended up having heart failure. Because of her earlier reaction when she was alone, readers can infer it is more likely the loss of joy and her freedom that killed Louise.

The oppression that the narrator of “The Yellow Wallpaper” handles from her husband, John, is apparent within the first twenty lines of the story. The narrator writes that her husband is “a physician of high standing” (326). She implies that she cannot argue with her husband about her condition because of this fact, even if she disagrees with him and his assessment of her apparent illness. There is a specific line that is repeated three times in the beginning: “what is one to do?” (325). The repetition marks the importance of this statement and suggests that the narrator does

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