The story of “The Hand” by Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette describes a newly married couple starting their new lives together. As the husband falls asleep, the wife begins to examine her husband’s hand. It is clear that her husband’s hand evokes emotions in the wife, that seem to have a larger meaning, such as the feelings the wife has regarding her husband and the new life she is beginning. Because the hand evokes fear in the wife, the description suggests the fear she has for the hand applies to the fear she has towards her husband.
Out of all the short stories that we have analyzed thus far this semester, The Hand by Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette stuck out the most to me. I, for one, love a short read with a solid message rather than a long and dull story. The theme in this story, from my perspective, is about how women are stereotypically inferior to men. Whether it be in marriage or a relationship, as a society we have implemented into many women’s minds that they play the submissive role in the relationship, and this type of mindset dates back to the B.C historical era. The three literary devices I will be discussing will be theme, symbolism, and imagery.
The Story of an Hour is short, yet, contains important examples of gender roles in marriage. They are important because they represent how women felt married in the 19th century due to male dominance that manifested throughout marriages all over the world. In The Story of an Hour, Mrs. Mallard is a wife that is, at first, seen as distraught, because of her husband’s death. She starts to cry and run to her room, to soon be lifted with the joy that she is now free. It is clear that she felt trapped in the marriage and is now happy that there is no one controlling her any longer. Mrs. Mallard is a prime example of women in marriages in the 19th century, and even some today. Unfortunately, they have to experience sexism from their husbands. Women are dominated by men in marriage and are expected to acquire the stereotypical gender roles.
From a feminist critical perspective, it is clear to perceive that her husband’s death was a release of freedom from her marriage. The text describes that at times, she did and did not love her husband. However, love had not mattered anymore because she was now free. Whether they loved each other or not, she would have still been his property. This restriction of freedom was no longer her cross to bear. The death of her husband would pave her a path for a new life.
This dream left Curley’s wife with an unfulfillment within herself as she would breathlessly claim ,”I tell ya I could of went to shows…not just one neither,” when around the other men (Steinbeck 78). This is her defense towards the farm laborers consciously for Curley’s wife to feel better since she beheld an impressive chance. Whereas, this dream was in the hands of a male figure who saw potential in the young woman which only ended with Curley’s wife’s remark, “I never got that letter...and I thought my old lady stole it and I could not stay where I was stuck,” as for Curley’s wife she remained stuck in only a different way (Steinbeck 88). After Curley’s wife’s dream was destroyed she became the product of a female environment and married into a family with money, thus she gained substantial funds but her hopes of being on the spot light faded into the background. This exemplifies how the world is not created for aspiring women in this era and how easy being the victim of the world stands for women similar to Curley’s wife as she blamed her old lady for holding her back. Even more, the accusal can show the minute amount of faith within the household and also the minimal faith of the figures in Curley’s wife completely as low expectations are accounted for
Kate Chopin and Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette create the theme of obedient love and the discontentment in life that is to follow. This is important in both stories because both Mrs. Mallard and the wife in “The Hand” are virtuous, submissive wives who doubt their marriage and question their love for their significant other. Although the wife in “The Hand” has only been married for a short period of time, about two weeks, she comes to the realization that she has made a mistake in getting married as an adolescent. The wife starts out excited about her new life to someone she barely knows but loves. As she lays in bed unable to sleep, she notices and admires his features in great detail. “To herself she also praised his mouth, full and likable, his skin the color of pink brick, and even his forehead, neither noble nor broad, but still smooth and unwrinkled” (Colette 275). This feeling does not last long before her view of him changes to that of disgust as she notices his hand take on a “vile, apelike appearance” (Colette 275). Mrs. Mallard has been married for quite some time and has lived her life through her husband. She endures an obviously unsatisfying marriage that is defined by “a powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women
Like when a child falls asleep on the couch, and the parent takes it to their room, so John does the same thing for his wife. Many times, John restricted his wife on the physical movements she could complete. As her doctor, he insisted she not strain herself with unneeded tasks. She was no longer allowed to preform her passion of writing, take walks in the garden, or be with her newborn son for too long. Activities that gave her joy were no longer acceptable to John's standards. This all knowing attitude of male roles over women show to be ways of restriction on the female capacity in a society dominated by men.
According to Oxford English Dictionary, patriarchy is defined as the “predominance of men in positions of power and influence in society, with cultural values and norms favoring men.” This social structure in particular was prevalent during Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s time and played a large role in her involvement with feminism and women’s rights. Along with the patriarchal influences, Gilman provides an autobiographical basis upon which she built the framework for “The Yellow Wallpaper” as she was forced to undergo the dreaded “Rest Cure” depicted in the short story. Through the eyes of the narrator, Gilman provides illumination regarding the role of women imposed by the patriarchal society of the 19th Century and the implications of such
In the beginning of the story, the narrator admires her husband and all of his features saying “to herself she also praised his mouth, full and likable, his skin the color of pink brick, and even his forehead, neither noble nor broad, but still smooth and unwrinkled”(273). The newlywed couple is in love and the narrator admires her husband’s face as he peacefully sleeps next to her. This admiration does not last long because the narrator then shifts her focus to the hand she is laying on and it suddenly becomes this monstrous thing that scares her into realizing what she’s gotten into. The narrator looks down to see “the thumb stiffened itself out, horribly long and spatulate, and pressed tightly against the index finger so that the hand suddenly took on a vile, apelike appearance”(274). This change in her perception of the hand represents her realization that she is no longer innocent and young, but that she married a stranger and would be stuck with him the rest of her
The story “The Birth-mark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne is heavily affected by symbolism. Aylmer’s wife Georgianna has a small hand shaped birth mark on her cheek that is viewed differently by many people. Women view Georgianna’s birthmark as damaging to her beauty, nicknaming her birth mark the “bloody hand”. Some men see Georgianna’s birthmark as an enhancement to her beauty, unfortunately her husband was not one of those men. Georgianna’s birth mark
In the two stories “Desiree’s Baby” and “Lamb Of The Slaughter” the author portrays a selfsame story that shows a wife and a husband who adored one another, but doesn't stay like that transiently. Both story have complications and explication. The theme of the story is love is something you don’t take for granted it takes a strong emotional couple to keep stable
The women in this story are dominated by their husbands. They are forced to complete arduous and bland house work all day. In this story the women’s lifestyle after marriage is portrayed as insipid and bleak in comparison to their once vibrant lives. The main theme that ties these tales together is marital oppression.
These texts speak about the mental health condition that she is already suffering from along with the treatment of “rest cure” that she is receiving from her husband, which causes her to be engrossed by the symptoms of psychosis. Notably, this condition that she was suffering from is produced after giving birth to a child and is now known as postpartum depression. Furthermore, the treatment she was receiving was called the “rest cure” which consisted of being isolated in a room and placed on bed rest for several weeks and can even be for months. The upstairs room that her husband insist on her staying in has yellow wallpaper that she finds “repulsive” and she pleads with her husband to “repaper the room” but he won’t give into a “nervous patient[s]” request (Johnson 524). In view of this, during the eighteenth century women were not allowed to speak out against their husbands nor was she allowed to have an opinion in this matter due to her illness.
Her husband is not strong enough for the undertakings needed to gain the crown. She continues with a soliloquy to become free of her feminine ways that would make her soft: