Free «“The Story of an Hour” and “Trifles”» Essay Sample

First and foremost, it is important to note that both Glaspell and Chopin were influential female writers who undertook to explain through literature the kind of domination women were subjected to by their male counterparts. In the two stories, they show their dissatisfaction with this arrangement and subsequently call for a change in this status quo. More importantly, they do this by showing high levels of similarities in their writings, which can be depicted in the settings of the two stories, themes, as well as historical contexts. On historical background, the stories were written in the 19th century, when male domination and chauvinism were the norm of the day. In such settings, women had little participation in the events of the day, and as such were confined to the boring marriage life. The two writers continue to show their similarity by writing in the same setting, which is the family or home setting. It depicts clearly that the genesis of women problems is at the home settings where men wield absolute power.

The similarities in the two stories are further deepened in the portrayed themes. One central theme to the two stories surrounds marriage and freedom for the female gender. In the ‘Story of an Hour’, it is evident enough that Mallard believes both men and women infringe on ones freedom and liberty, but men overdo it. From the story, it is apparent that she has no ill motive against her husband, and even goes further to express her approval of her love to Mallard. More crucial is the fact that the story is not about any kind of abuse between couples in a marriage, but instead focuses on ones inner desire to attain a level of self-autonomy and liberty in life. The story is well-articulated from the point of view of the wife Louise, who despite her love for her the husband, still has a vehement desire for total freedom that is much greater to her than her love for Mallard.

The theme of male domination over women is further entrenched in the story of “Trifles”. This is reflected in the theme of “Men not appreciating their Women”. It is noticeable from the story that the men are an impediment to the virtue of self- importance. They always portray themselves as tough-minded people while in reality, this is not the case as they are not as mean to the law like their female counterparts. Such hypocritical attitude hardens the women who resort to being defensive and form ranks. For instance, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters form a compact bond as female genders who are tired of the male hypocrisy, and the result is that they hide incriminating evidence against Mrs. Wright as the display of solidarity for own gender.

On the other hand, significant differences could be seen from the stories in respect of gender issues and roles, as well as conflict resolution adopted in the stories. In terms of conflict resolution, Mrs. Wright adopts killing as a way to resolve the conflict she has been through. This is not good, as taking of someone’s life is only within the confines of God. Therefore, if such kind of resolution should be revealed to the male dominated society, women would then be at a higher risk of extinction from the men. On the contrary, Mrs. Mallard does not resort to using violence as a way of expressing her dissatisfaction with the status quo. Although she is somewhat relieved when she gets the news of her husband’s death, she still finds herself heartbroken for some time. This shows her dignity for human life even in times of difficulty.

In conclusion, both the two writers were phenomenon feminist writers. There works have won international accolades for championing the rights of people once considered lesser beings. But most importantly, the two stories captures something phenomenon; strategies for overcoming human hurdles should respect the dignity of human life at all costs.


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