The Oppressive Force in Marriage

1266 Words6 Pages
In the novels written by Charlotte Gilman and Kate Chopin, the concept of marriage is contradicted from the romanticized relationship to a notion of imprisonment. Through the feminist perspective the reader gains a sense in which marriage may be the primary cause to gender oppression. In “The Yellow Wallpaper” Gilman’s central figure, who is unknown to the reader, is metaphorically imprisoned in a house in which the warden is her own husband. In contrast to this Chopin’s Character, Louise Mallard, gains a sense of liberation from a bleak marriage. It is clear that there two works illustrate how the characters are imprisoned through marriage. In both works there is a fine-line between the concept of domesticity and masculinity that ties…show more content…
In addition to this in “The Story of an Hour”, Mallard is confined to the home due to her illness as her husband, Brently, is also away on a trip. This is an indication of what Kent attempts to explain in his article. The undisputed authority that Victorian men hold against women proves to connect to gender oppression and leads to the domestication of women. In addition to this, masculinity in marriage contributes to oppression of women due to the general idea of their need to for control or power over another. In “The story of An Hour” there is no indication of whether Mallard was passive or subservient to Brently but she felt the sweet sense of liberation when she thought she was a widow. She was ‘free’ of marriage, ‘free’ of her husband and ‘free’ in body and soul (Chopin 124). It is clear that male dominancy in marriage proves to be an oppressive factor to most women and in Mallard’s perspective she was ‘free’ from the oppression. The Yellow Wallpaper also illustrates this factor as John refuses to meet his wife’s demands to at least change the ugly yellow wallpaper instead of allowing her to move to a different room. The Narrator quotes, “He said that after the wallpaper was changed it would be the heavy bedstead, and then the barred windows, and then that gate at the head of the stairs, and so on” (Gilman 304). John refuses to these demands as he wished to remain in control of his wife. He notes how if he changes the
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