The Struggle Of Marriage In The Story Of An Hour

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Women have found themselves confined into gender norms for as long as mankind has existed. Women have especially found themselves bonded together in the struggles they face in marriage. For centuries now, women have been told to be seen but not heard, to quit their jobs and raise the children, and to be subservient to their spouses. The different struggles that a woman faces in a marriage can be depicted through the three short stories: “Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin, “Astronomer’s Wife” by Kay Boyle, and “Shiloh” by Bobbie Anne Mason, which individually exemplify the struggles a woman faces through the lack of freedom, respect, and change. “Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin is a story set in 1894 that exemplifies the pain associated with …show more content…
Ames who is confined to a marriage in which there is neither respect nor communication. Mrs. Ames and her husband, the Astronomer, have an estranged marriage in which the Astronomer spends a majority of his time either on the roof or sleeping. He hardly ever seems to acknowledge his wife, and when he does, Mrs. Ames returns “in gratitude to the long expanses of his silence” (64). For example, when the plumber comes to inspect the house, Mrs. Ames is very considerate of her husband and tries to be quiet as possible to refrain from waking him up; however, the Astronomer seems to care very little for his wife, even going as far as to insult her saying how a clogged toilet is “worthy of your mettle” (64). For a majority of the interaction between the plumber and his wife, the Astronomer stays silent but just as he starts to realize how respectful the plumber is acting towards his wife, he decides to make a jab at her to embarrass and humiliate her. Such humiliation takes its toll on Mrs. Ames, to the point where when she does her daily exercises, she chants “left, left, left my wife and fourteen children, right, right, right in the middle of the dusty road” (62). This chant is very derogatory towards women as it condones men leaving their wives and children, yet Mrs. Ames is the one chanting it which insinuates that she no longer has any respect for herself. For the longest time, Mrs. Ames has lived believing that “Man might be …show more content…
“Story of an Hour” exemplifies how having little to no power in a relationship can make life almost impossible to live, “Astronomer’s Wife” portrays the psychological toll that a lack of respect from her spouse can take on a woman, and “Shiloh” illustrates the complications that can arise when a spouse refuses to change with the relationship. All three obstacles are very different, yet very similar in the sense that they create unhappy marriages and leave the wife in a state of constant misery. If anything is to be learned from the three stories, it is that life is too short and women have too many options to stay silent and endure the pain of a relationship that brings them more pain than

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