Women's Roles In A Rose For Emily And The Story Of An Hour

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Women’s Roles in Society
Over the centuries, it has been accepted to be a societal norm for men to be the financial providers and women to tend to the domestic chores of the household. This view of the family has been expected by society which sets the rules of behavior which are considered acceptable. This concept of traditional gender roles envelopes the literary works by Susan Glaspell, William Faulkner, and Kate Chopin as their works focus on the roles of woman within the home. In their works, “Trifles,” “A Rose for Emily,” and “The Story of an Hour,” respectively, each woman portrayed is expected to adhere to societal norms of settling down and producing a family. Each woman, however, defies the customs expected of her. As each story
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Emily character, as it states, “after her father’s death she went out very little; after her sweet heart went away, people hardly saw her at all” (31). The death of her father had caused Emily to go into a downward spiral and with the ‘departure’ of her sweetheart, she too isolates herself from the outside world. Emily Dickson’s “Because I could not stop for Death” closely relates to Mrs. Emily, for Death had stopped for her father and Homer Barron, her sweetheart, whom she poisons with arsenic. Emily is surrounded by death, both in a literal and figurative sense. She experiences the death of her dream to lead a normal life by starting a family as her father prohibited her from dating anyone not of her social class. Mrs. Emily’s character drastically changes for the worst with the death of her loved ones as she was now alone and under the scrutiny of the town who pity’s her for not fulfilling her role of being married with …show more content…
Mrs. Mallard’s character makes a positive transformation with the realization that she could live her life without judgment for being a childless widow. However, she figuratively witnesses the death of her dreams when her husband walked through the front door. She had just begun to believe herself to be a free individual as illustrated by the narrator who states, “When she abandoned herself a little whispered word escaped her slightly parted lips. She said it over and over under her breath: “free, free, free!” “(180). She felt free from the burden her marriage had presented her with, as she was constantly judged for being barren and remained isolated within the home. As it was the woman’s role to remain at home, Mrs. Mallard became further secluded from the world. With the news of her husband’s thought to be dead, she became relieved. It states, “She did not stop to ask if it were or were not a monstrous joy that held her.” With the opportunity to start over it only heightened the crushing feeling that Mrs. Mallard feels with the realization that her husband was still alive. Mrs. Mallard dies from a heart attack as a result, further emphasizing how the pressures of societal-defined roles highlight those that don’t quite fit within the perfect

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