Thursday, September 19, 2019

Essay on Freedom in Chopin’s Story of an Hour and Gilman’s Turned

Freedom in Chopin’s Story of an Hour and Gilman’s Turned  Ã‚     In â€Å"Turned,† by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and â€Å"The Story of an Hour,† by Kate Chopin, two female protagonists gradually reject and overcome their socially constructed and internalized female consciousness’. These changes of heart happen when horrific events that relate to both the characters’ husbands occur. The women are then forced to define themselves as individuals rather than relying on their mates, their families, and their households to give them meaning. Their life-changing realizations are shown through the environments surrounding them and through suggestive water images. In these pieces, the female mind and thought process is dissected to show how these women discover their complex and somewhat hypocritical social positions. Both protagonists are finally able to comprehend the weight of their roles as wives and as women in their confining societies. Through their new found understanding, they are forced to see the idle and petty li ves they have been living to attain the other’s acceptance. In effect, the characters attempt to renounce their oppressed female roles and adopt lifestyles of their own.   Ã‚  Ã‚   The â€Å"turns† that transpire in these feminist works are suggested in the environment that the females live in. Their surroundings not only imply a change of lifestyle, but indicate a shift in the tone of the stories. Kate Chopin’s â€Å"The Story of an Hour† opens with Mrs. Mallard receiving word of her husband’s death through her sister. With the tragic news hovering inside her head, Mrs. Mallard withdraws up to her room to be alone. Her room becomes a retreat to her; she is able to peer down on society without participating in it as well as contemplate her n... ... of femininity and of marriage. Achieving independence, although it may result in one’s death or may cause one to be an outcast in society, becomes the ultimate objective of Mrs. Mallard and Mrs. Marroner.    Works Cited and Consulted Chopin, Kate. "The Story of an Hour." In Literature and Its Writers: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Ann Charters and Samuel Charters, Eds. Boston: Bedford Books, 1997. Martin, Wendy, ed. "Introduction." New Essays on The Story of an Hour. New York, NY: Cambridge UP, 1998.    Beer, Janet. Kate Chopin, Edith Wharton, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Studies in Short Fiction. NY: St. Martin's P, 1997. Knight, Denise D. Charlotte Perkins Gilman: A Study of the Short Fiction. Boston: Twayne, 1997. Lane, Ann J. To Herland and Beyond: The Life and Work of Charlotte Perkins Gilman. NY: Pantheon Books, 1990.

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