Social Injustice In The Story Of An Hour

1181 WordsSep 29, 20175 Pages
The Impact of the Social Injustices in “The Story of an Hour” Paulina Wright Davis, a women’s rights reformer in the nineteenth century, once said “we believe that a woman’s enforced inferiority in the marriage relation, not only wrongs her out of the best uses of her existence, but also cheats her master of the richest and noblest blessings of the nuptial union” (qtd. in Wayne, “Women Reformers”). This is what women, like Mrs. Mallard, dealt with during their lifetime. Much of what happened during this period of time paved the way for the freedoms women have today. “The Story of an Hour” shows the impacts that these injustices had on the women in the nineteenth century. Marriage significantly limited women’s freedom during the nineteenth…show more content…
As quoted in the same article Lucy Stone said "Marriage is to woman a state of slavery. It takes from her the right to her own property, and makes her submissive in all things to her husband" (qtd. in Wayne, “Women Reformers”). These were the hardships and restrictions that Mrs. Mallard dealt with while both she and her husband were alive. The freedoms of a single woman are much greater than that of a married one. When a woman is widowed, as Mrs. Mallard would have been, she becomes free from the restrictions put on her by marriage. She may handle legal work for herself because she will no longer be legally covered by her husband. Single and widowed women also have more opportunities to earn money because they are not just a housekeeper anymore; they have to take care of themselves and their families. (Wayne, “Single Women”). Not only are there more money earning opportunities, but there are also more educational opportunities available (Wayne “Single Women”). Since they are free from their wifely duties, they have the opportunity the further their education if they choose to do so. Other than her sister and her husband we don’t know much about Mrs. Mallard’s family. There is no evidence in the story of Mr. and Mrs. Mallard having any children. Mrs. Mallard is described in the story as “young, with a fair, calm face, whose lines bespoke repression and even a certain strength” (Chopin 129). Since they were a young couple, it is possible they
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