Essay about An Analysis Of Kate Chopin ‘s ‘ A Rose For Emily ‘

The lives of women in the nineteenth-century were drastically different than they are today. A woman in that time period had very little autonomy, and were considered as possessions to males. A young lady in the nineteenth-century could expect for her father to choose a suitable husband for her. She would be married to this man and eventually bear him children. In Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” the reader is introduced to Louise Mallard, who as a result of the social conditioning of the time period is in a marriage— while although happy feels constrained in the relationship. In William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” the reader becomes aware of how her father’s failure to accept a suitor, has grave consequences on her later romantic life. The repression that Emily Grierson and Louise Mallard experience in their respective stories serve to reveal the problems of the nineteenth-century view of marriage. This will be explored further by examining the symbolism, conflict and characterization.

The use of symbols in the two stories leads the reader to a greater understanding of repression in nineteenth-century marriages. Symbolism is best demonstrated in Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” by the objects that Louise Mallard encounters in that hour, such as the open window in her bedroom and in the description of the weather. The placing of an open window in Louise’s bedroom is symbolic as it represents the freedom she has been granted after the death of her repressive husband. This repression is illustrated through the actions of Louise,

“There stood, facing the open window, a comfortable, roomy armchair. Into this she sank, pressed down by a physical exhaustion that haunted her body and seemed to reach into her soul” (Chopin 26). The…

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…reclusive is echoed by the town’s people, “We did not say she was crazy then… We remembered all the young men her father had driven away, and we knew that with nothing left, she would have to cling to that which had robbed her, as people will (Faulkner 79-80). Therefore, acknowledging the weakness that Emily’s character experiences as a result of her repression.

For Emily Grierson and Louise Mallard the consequences of lives filled with repression from males in the traditional views of marriage within the nineteenth-century prove to be fatal for both ladies. Throughout these two short stories the reader is immersed into the world of the problems of which women suffered during the nineteenth-century as a consequence of the troubling view of marriage in that century. For a woman in that time period marriage could be likened to the words of Chopin— “a joy that kills”.

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