Compare and Contrast Essay

3186 Words Nov 18th, 2011 13 Pages
Lauren Ehlers
Dr. St. John
English 102
March 25, 2011
Marriage; a road to imprisonment
Kate Chopin’s “Story of an Hour,” and Charlotte Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” present similar plots about two wives who have grown to feel imprisoned in their own marriages. “The Yellow Wallpaper,” focuses on a woman who feels so entrapped in her own marriage that she begins to feel this type of isolation and imprisonment all around her. She begins to feel as though the room, in which she is being forced to stay in is a prison in itself. “Story of an Hour,” has a similar plot of a woman in an unhappy marriage. This woman however, momentarily escapes her unhappiness when she comes to find out that her husband was thought to have been killed
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This represents the same feelings she is having at the time, the feelings of being trapped and desperate to escape. The differences and similarities in the characterization of this story is also an important aspect to compare; with Chopin describing her character through reactions and Gillman describing hers through her actions and conflicts. Chopin describes the main character in “Story of An Hour,” by her reaction to her husband’s death, as well as through her speech and gestures. Her reaction to her husband’s death suggests that she is in conflict with herself in regards to the emotions she is feelings. She feels a new found sense of freedom with her husband gone, but is in conflict in regards to how she feels about his actual death. Her speech and gestures are also used to describe her character. She continues to repeat “free,” and exits her bedroom in a happy and joyous manner. This characterization makes her a round and dynamic character in this story, much like the round and dynamic character in Gilman’s writing. Although they are both round and dynamic, Gilman portrays the main character by her actions as well as her women vs. man conflict. Every action of the main character in “Yellow Wallpaper,” is that of a woman who feels confined and isolated. She is constantly looking for ways to defy her husband and escape the confines of the room he has trapped her in. Her feeling of confinement and isolation are the

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