Female Repression of the 19th Century as Seen Thru the Two Stories: the Necklace and the Story of an Hour

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For centuries man has created this patriarchal society in which women have been treated as the lesser entity, having no sense of self-being or worth. These feelings led women to feel repressed in their everyday life. It was in the late nineteenth century when literary writers started to expose this female repression. Guy de Maupassant and Kate Chopin clearly express definitive examples of female repression in their stories, The Necklace and The Story of an Hour. During this time period, women’s role in society was that of a submissive, powerless position. They often relied solely on their husband for direction, allowing the husband to make decisions and take lead no matter what. In the story of The Necklace, Maupassant illustrates these…show more content…
The only thing that women could take ownership of was their beauty. “She danced with intoxication, with passion, made drunk by pleasure, forgetting all, in the triumph of her beauty, in the glory of her success, in a sort of cloud of happiness composed of all this homage, of all this admiration, of all these awakened desires, and if that sense of complete victory which is so sweet to a woman’s heart” (Maupassant 63). In this passage, Mathilde was basting in her own beauty because it was of her own. During this time many women were forced into marriage, resulting in a great unhappiness. Both Kate Chopin and Guy de Maupassant state this lack of joy that was often experienced everyday by women. “It was only yesterday she had thought with a shudder that life might be long” (Chopin 68). If was as if Mrs. Mallard was sickened by the idea that her life and the way it was, would continue forever. Maupassant portrays Mathilde’s frustration in her marriage with the frequent use of the word “suffered” in relationship to her higher class wants and desires. “She suffered ceaselessly, feeling herself born for all the delicacies and all the luxuries. She suffered from the poverty of her dwelling, from the wretched look of the walls, from the worn-out chairs, from the ugliness of the curtains” (Maupassant 59). These two stories exemplify the epitome of women’s repression in the male-dominated society of the late nineteenth century by conveying the feelings of

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