Freedom for Women in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gillman and The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

Good Essays
Freedom for Women in The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gillman and The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin

'The Yellow Wallpaper' by Charlotte Perkins Gillman and 'The Story of an Hour' by Kate Chopin are two feminist works in which liberation is the overlying theme. Both of the main characters achieve freedom from their husbands' oppression in these short stories; however, freedom is only achieved through insanity in 'The Yellow Wallpaper' and death in 'The Story of an Hour.' The women in these stories are viewed as very powerful, as they do whatever it takes to free themselves from the oppressive holds of their husbands. Their strength proves these two short stories very influential works of feminism.

Oppression is chief
…show more content…
Louise is informed that her husband has been killed in accident, and due to a heart disorder, the news is broken to her very carefully. The reader acknowledges that Brently was oppressive by her reaction to the news of his death. Instead of reacting with melancholy feelings, she expresses her joy for her fallen husband. Chopin writes, ?She did not stop to ask if it were not a monstrous joy that held her. A clear and exalted perception enabled her to dismiss the suggestion as trivial? (par 12). Louise knows that she should feel upset about her ?dead? husband; however she cannot help to feel relieved that the oppression has ended and that she can finally behave in the manner in which she chooses. It is soon discovered that Brently did not actually die in an accident, which causes the Louise to die. Oppression plays a large role in comprehending the theme of liberation in both ?The Yellow Wallpaper? and ?The Story of an Hour.? Only after the main characters break the oppressive hold that their husbands have over them are they able to gain true liberation, supporting it as a theme pertinent to both stories. Both the female main characters express throughout the stories how they want to be free; unfortunately their freedom is not gained in a normal manner, but through insanity and death. Through the isolation imposed by her husband, Gilman?s narrator begins to go mad,
Get Access