The Instituition of Marriage

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Institution of Marriage In the story “The Yellow Wallpaper”, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, I will discuss how women were oppressed by the institution of marriage in the nineteenth century while making comparative references to “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin. Women were treated as second class citizens during the 1800’s, which under rule of their husband weren’t allowed to be a person of their own, but live in the shadow of their husband. The narrator in “The yellow Wallpaper” is diagnosed with a nervous disorder by her husband John and her brother, whom are both doctors, and given a resting cure. Living up to the ideals of nineteenth century women, the narrator is expected to be passive, forbidden to exercise her…show more content…
The wallpaper is a symbol of the domestic lift that traps women. The narrator states, “Sometimes I think there are great women behind. Then in the very bright spots she keeps still, and in the very shady spots she just takes hold of the bars and shakes them hard. And she is all the time trying to climb through. But nobody could climb through that pattern-it strangles so” (311).She wants to continue to peel off the paper in order to free the women trapped inside, while at the same time free herself from the world in which she is trapped and only she can see. In “The Story of an Hour” Louise is an oppressed woman living in her husband’s footsteps, when she learns that her husband is on the deceased list at work she feels a sense of newfound freedom and joy. She begins the recognition of selfhood and no longer feels as though she is owned and dominated by a man. After learning of her awakening she states, “Free, free, fee” (124). The women in both of these stories begin to feel free from the dominance and constraints of marriage when they realize their possession of self assertion. By abandoning their husbands, both of the women in these stories are given a chance to live without the burdens that have oppressed them in the institution of marriage. By relating the two women characters in the stories, “The Yellow Wallpaper” and “The Story of an

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