(855) 4-ESSAYS

Type a new keyword(s) and press Enter to search

The Search for Independence and self-fulfillment

            In the last half of the nineteenth century, Victorian ideals still held sway in American society, at least among members of the middle and upper classes. Women were considered far more religious than men and, therefore, they had to be pure in heart, mind, and, of course, body, not engaging in sex until marriage, and even then not finding any pleasure in it. They were also supposed to be passive responders to men's decisions, actions, and needs. The true woman's place was her home, devoting their lives to creating a nurturing home environment. However, the tensions between old and new, traditional and untraditional, were great during the last years of nineteenth century and there was a debacle among male and female writers and social thinkers as to what the role of women should be. Among the female writers who devoted their work to defying their views about the woman's place in society were Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Kate Chopin. In looking at "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin and "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Gilman, we will consider the tone and narrative structures in each story. We shall find that the two female protagonists slowly reject and defeat their socially crafted consciousness", enabling freedom, however, they are forced to define themselves as individuals rather than relying on their mates, their families, and their households to give them meaning. .
             Gilman's and Chopin's stories are stories of women who feel "trapped" by the men in their lives. Gilman uses first person narration to reveal a woman's loss of reality to her readers, likewise, Chopin lets us experience the joy Mrs. Mallard feels upon hearing of her husband's death through third person narration. Neither story would have been able to reveal either woman's psyche to the reader as successfully as both did if their individual narrations been different. In "The Yellow Wallpaper," Gilman's point of view is expressed through first person narration, which provides her readers with short views into the other characters" perception of her and her perceptions of them.

Essays Related to The Search for Independence and self-fulfillment

Got a writing question? Ask our professional writer!
Submit My Question