February 7th 2014
Marriage Portrayed by Women in the 1800s
Marriage has been portrayed as many things throughout the years. In the short stories, The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin and A Jury of Her Peers by Susan Glaspell both portray marriage, and how it does not always bring happiness. Each story was written by a married woman in the 1800s, this could reveal and interrupt how the lives of a married woman were in their time period. In each story, the main character is woman being overpowered by her husband, then when they find out they could be ‘free’ a sudden sigh of relief comes to mind. Only to be either be mislead or to feel trapped again. The authors Kate Chopin and Susan Glaspell illustrate how marriage was in the 1800s and how it was not the source of happiness everyone in today’s society thinks of it to be.
To start, both stories were written by female authors in the 1800s. Coming from a woman’s point of view in that time era it can be interpreted that a woman’s role in a marriage was not what everyone thought it was. It can be depicted that each woman struggled while trying to find herself, but they eventually did within their writing. Both women were extremely good writers and both achieved success almost instantly after their writing was brought to the public. Kate Chopin who went to Academy of the Sacred Heart (Robinson, n.p.) and Susan Glaspell who went to Drake University and University of Chicago (Ben-Zvi, n.p.) both wrote about experiences in their life and the struggles they were faced with. While similar on how they both strived on writing from their life experiences, both strong feminist writers, and dealing with roles that women play or are forced to paly, and the relationship between men and women in society (Ben-Zvi, n.p.) Yet. They differ as Kate Chopin wrote after her husband was deceased and Susan Glaspell wrote as a career in a way. Chopin wrote as a way to release her emotions and feelings, and Glaspell wrote about her life experiences as an investigator and other life events. Chopin and Glaspell are both strong feminist writers who grew up in a time where woman were not playing a huge role in society and they played the role or were forced to play a role of just a common household wife who tends to her husbands needs.
Moreover, both Chopin in The Story of an Hour and Glaspell in A Jury of Her Peers wrote about how woman sacrificed their freedom to live a married life. In Chopin’s short story the protagonist lives a life in the shadow of her husband, and then learns that her husband has passed away, at first grieving over her loss she soon comes to the realization that she is now free to do as she pleases. Until she has to face facts that it was a miscommunication and her husband is still indeed alive which causes her to die of broken heart because she is still forced to stay in her life and not be free (Chopin, 477). In Glaspell’s short story the protagonist is assumed to have murdered her husband, and everyone thinks justice should be served. But, while going around her house and searching the scene her peers come to the conclusion that Minnie did not live the life it seemed from an outside perspective. Her clothes were worn out and fixed several times, her kitchen was timeworn and her peers get sympathy for her. Seeing the life Minnie lived her peers hide and dispose of any clues linking her to the murder of her husband, Mr. Wright (Glaspell, 495). Both authors writing can compare on how the protagonist of the story is a woman over powered by her husband, who has sacrificed her freedom to be married. Both of the main characters are relatable on how they are women who gave up their life and freedom to live the life of a wife to a man. This relates to the authors of the writing. For example, Kate Chopin was a widower with six children to raise, she did not have the freedom most woman have today being a single parent. She has to...
Cited: Chopin, Kate. “The Story of an Hour.” The Norton Introduction to Literature. Mays, Kelly J. New York, N.Y: W. W. Norton & Company Inc, 2013. 476-477.
Glaspell, Susan. “A Jury of Her Peers.” The Norton Introduction to Literature. Mays, Kelly J. New York, N.Y: W. W. Norton & Company Inc, 2013. 490-504.
Robinson, Marilyn. Foreward. The Awakening. By Kate Chopin. New York: Bantam. 1989.
and Toth, Emily. Unveiling Kate Chopin. Jackson: UP of Mississippi. 1999.
Ben-Zvi, Linda. Susan Glaspell: Her life and times. (New York: Oxford University Press), 2005.
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