Comparison Of Marriage In Jane Eyre And The Story Of An Hour

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Jane, from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, and Mrs. Mallard, from “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin, attempt to distort the lines of the conventional purposes of marriage. Jane believes that one should only marry as a result of an all consuming love whereas Mrs. Mallard views marriage as a suffocating necessity in the name of propriety. Marriage is a key component to both Mrs. Mallard 's and Jane 's identities. However, since Louise dies from losing the momentary taste of freedom that she had been denied of for so long by her husband, and Jane gains Mr. Rochester, Adele, and her future children as dependents, both texts suggest that marriage has a negative effect on women; being married strips away any independence that a woman may possess. …show more content…
Mallard views marriage as an unavoidable duty that takes away her individuality; deep down she values her free will. We only know Louise as Mrs. Mallard until her husband dies; her identity is Mr. Mallard’s wife. We learn Mrs. Mallard’s first name after she finds out about her husband’s death, which is when she regains her individuality. However, when she goes downstairs and learns her husband is alive, neutral terms such as “she” “her” and “wife” refer to Louise which illustrates her losing her individuality again. Mrs. Mallard has a heart disease which prevents her from being independent. Louise’s husband and sister shelter her, which we know because of her realization that “There would be no one to live for during those coming years; she would live for herself” (page 27) when she learns of Brently’s death. The serene spring that Mrs. Mallard sees outside the window when she is alone in her room, foreshadows Mrs. Mallard’s uncommon reaction to her husband’s death. The season suggests a fresh beginning, and a renewed happiness. Mrs. Mallard attempts to stifle a crippling excitement at the opportunities that arise from being an unattached widow. Louise wishes to be in control of herself, but she can not be in command of her own life while in a marriage. We know that Louise can only be in control of herself when she is not married since we only witness Mrs. Mallard stand up for herself when she makes the realization that she is “Free! Body and soul free!” (28). After this revelation, Mrs. Mallard is able to rebuff her sister. It is ironic that when she finally gains control over her actions, she loses control over her body and dies. Women can only be independent if they remain

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