“The Story of and Hour” and “The Yellow Wallpaper”

In considering the two female characters of Kate Chopin and of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, it is important to consider their methods for managing their constraint and their impression of opportunity. Obviously, “The Story of an Hour” is a short account, so this thought is not also created; on the other hand, there are still recommendations that parallel what is in “The Yellow Wallpaper.” The message is therefore not underpinned by the length of the paper.

Both stories accentuate the oppression of the female identity in the Victorian setting. Kate Chopin’s utilization of the pronoun she for a few passages is of note, as is Gilman’s utilization of an anonymous storyteller. They both show a representation of the whole women society of their era.

Both ladies are separated from everyone else in their endeavours at discovery toward oneself. In every story, there is another woman who agrees with the “customary way of thinking” of her general public. Mrs. Mallard’s sister Josephine endeavours to haven Louise from the news and from contemplating her new circumstance; she calls to Louise through the entryway:  “What are you doing, Louise?”  (Chopin, 1894). Likewise, the storyteller of “The Yellow Wallpaper” has a sister-in-law who agrees with the remedies of the specialist and her brother in regards to her limitations (Gilman, 1973).

Both ladies see the outside as flexibility. Louise Mallard gazes out the open window and sees the blue sky, the flying creatures’ singing- -she feels discharge (Chopin, 1894). The anonymous storyteller composes of the arrangements outside her room, the blossoms. However, the window is banned for her, so she must search inside the space for discharge from her constraint. This mental demand for discharge is found by her imagining the woman trapped inside the wallpaper (Gilman, 1973).

The ladies discover answers for their suppression, yet in diverse ways. As opposed to Mrs. Mallard, who plunges the stairs as “Triumph,” accepting her surroundings has changed just to be gone up against with her restricted patriarchal world, and then debilitating once more, passing on (Chopin, 1894); the storyteller of Gilman’s story tries to discover discharge. She does so as she liberates the woman, albeit doing so costs her sanity.

Both female characters are victims of misdiagnosis though in slightly different manners. At the end of the story, when Louise died, doctors concluded that her heart failure had been caused by the relief and happiness of seeing her husband alive. However, the reader who is privileged to look at her thoughts before she dies is bound to think otherwise. Louise is actually killed by the agony of discovering that she has not gained her freedom as yet (Chopin, 1894). In a similar manner, doctors conclude that the illness of the narrator in “The Yellow Wallpaper” is caused by her commitment to her husband (Gilman, 1973).

Both Chopin and Gilman use the closed room to enable the reader to look into the private lives of the female characters. While in public, the two women try to act in accordance to societal norms. Amazing transformations happen when the women are locked in their rooms. The woman in “The yellow Wallpaper” obsesses herself to insanity using the patterns and colour of the wallpaper (Gilman, 1973). In “The Story of An Hour,” Louise discovers her new found freedom in the privacy of her room. When she is outside, we see a Mrs. Mallard; in the privacy of her room, the woman opens up as Louise an independent woman (Chopin, 1894).


Chopin, K. (1894). “The Story of an Hour”. Retrieved July 12, 2014, from http://www.vcu.edu/engweb/webtexts/hour/

Gilman, C. P. (1973). The yellow wallpaper. New York: Feminist Press.

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